Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
The second book in the Brilliance saga picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first, throwing the reader/listener straight into the ongoing conspiracy and opening with a chilling scenario….

Chapter one begins three weeks before that terrible incident. Tension and suspense build again gradually and consistently as we meet old and new characters. The...
Published 11 months ago by CathyR

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The unremarkable rise of the mutant nation
Imagine a world of mostly mundanes, and a minority of talented mutants. Set them into conflict with each other. Have the 'good' mutants try to integrate themselves into a society which regards them with suspicion. Have the 'bad' mutants start a new civil war so that they can take their rightful place as the leaders of the new world, a superior race.
That’s...
Published 12 months ago by Rowena Hoseason


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 27 July 2014
By 
CathyR (Ilminster, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The second book in the Brilliance saga picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first, throwing the reader/listener straight into the ongoing conspiracy and opening with a chilling scenario….

Chapter one begins three weeks before that terrible incident. Tension and suspense build again gradually and consistently as we meet old and new characters. The most notable of the latter is Dr Ethan Park who, along with Abe Cousen and their team, have made an unimaginable discovery.

Nick Cooper continues to fascinate as the strong and utterly determined main protagonist, complex and extremely resourceful, and although he doubts the wisdom of his previous actions based on their outcome he is still, now more than ever, committed to sorting through the backlash, figuring out what is going on and preventing a national catastrophe.

There’s so much incredible depth and detail to this and the previous story I was glad to have the recap of events from Brilliance woven into A Better Story and in such a way that it wasn’t a straight rehash. The tension between ‘normals’ and ‘brilliants’ is escalating and a terrorist group, The Children of Darwin, are set on provoking a war. It’s quite harrowing listening to accounts of the devastation as America goes crazy and cities are taken over and their populations left without food and utilities.

The writing, gripping story telling and alternate reality world building are exceptional as are the well-developed and believable characters. I enjoyed the interspersed flashes of newscasts and ads, I especially like the personal ones, as they continue, in a fantastic way, to update the narrative. There are some unexpected, moving and breathtaking twists in what is an excellent second instalment.

At the risk of repeating myself, and I probably will do again more than once because Luke Daniels’ performances are so consistently outstanding. I’ve listened to a lot of his narrations in all sorts of genres with an equally vast array of characters and he handles each one with ease and individuality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 doesn't disappoint!, 8 July 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wow! I am so pleased I stumbled across this book one when looking for a thriller to sink my teeth into. The premise doesn't sound that original but don't let that fool you - it's utterly gripping and at the same time very thought provoking. Marcus Sakey is a brilliant writer who has crafted engaging characters and a very clever plot.
I actually read the book one and book two in three days! I just couldn't stop myself. Cannot wait until Book 3!

Book 2 takes right up where Book 1 left off and things get very dark... I won't spoil it for anyone but you won't have any nails left by the time you read the last page. Loved it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The unremarkable rise of the mutant nation, 18 Jun. 2014
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Imagine a world of mostly mundanes, and a minority of talented mutants. Set them into conflict with each other. Have the 'good' mutants try to integrate themselves into a society which regards them with suspicion. Have the 'bad' mutants start a new civil war so that they can take their rightful place as the leaders of the new world, a superior race.
That’s pretty much the backdrop to A Better World… and it feels an awful lot like X-men to me, too.

This is the second book in a series, and maybe I would’ve engaged with it better if I’d started with the first. However it wasn’t too tricky to catch up with the general plot – there’s a sizeable chunk of recap in the opening chapters – and the conflicting factions and their representative characters soon take shape.
The best parts are undoubtedly those where the Brilliants – the new breed who all have different talents, ranging from Tier One uberhumans to almost-normal lower Tiers – flex their talents. The best of the Brilliants is the bad guy who functions at super-speed or, rather, he perceives normal time at a snail’s pace. This gives him huge advantages in action against even other Brilliants, but means he’s numbingingly handicapped in every other aspect of life. He’s one of the few character in the book I would have liked to spend more time with. (There's more thoughts on the plot and characters at MurderMayhemandMore.net)
So A Better World does include some fascinating, original concepts which I’d have enjoyed exploring at the author’s leisure. However, the plot which serves them is considerably less fulfilling, and the sequences where ‘an ordinary guy’ comes to terms with martial law and the collapse of society are pretty humdrum, more ‘so what?’ than ‘what if?’. Ditto the pasty POTUS and the evil manipulating Chief-of-Staff intent on war-war-war: it’s just all been done before. If the writing had been razor sharp then that could have made up for the meandering plot… but it kinda trudged along through the middle third.

The relationships between the Brilliant characters and the threat of the seriously bad dude were enough to keep my interest engaged to the end. However, A Better World didn’t inspire me to seek out the book which preceded it, nor to look out for the follow-up.
7/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day America with a Brilliant twist!, 17 Jun. 2014
This review is from: A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy) (Paperback)
What a book! To be honest I had feared it would not live up to its predecessor, thankfully I was wrong, very wrong!
Fast paced, it picks up right where Brilliance ended. The central character, Cooper again reigns supreme with much of the narrative dedicated to him. Much like Brilliance it is littered with an amalgamation of interspersed Media and propoganda which is highly successful at providing an insight into the new way of life. This format works as well on Kindle as it does in print.
The novel focuses on a variety of everyday themes; politics, family life and is set in a modern day America with a twist, a Brilliant twist.
Having throughly enjoyed the first book in the saga I was pleased to be
reunited with old friends but was equally intrigued by the new characters this book brought to the table.
Compulsive and consuming this novel asks the question what is a Better World? Moral, engrossing and arguably even better than the first it sets the scene perfectly for book Three, I can't wait!
Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for the advance copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improves On Part 1, 25 Jun. 2014
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My review of 'Brilliance', part 1 of Marcus Sakey's Brilliance series, described it as 'original' but also 'predictably plotted'. The alternative reality the author had created was both believable and fresh (I'd dismiss the comparisons with X-Men; Sakey's Brilliants are not mutants and are not superhuman in the traditional comic book sense. There are no psychics or telekinetics on display here). However, the book was let down by a plot that felt derivative and pedestrian.

There was enough promise though, to make me pick up part 2 to see where Sakey took the wider story next and whether he managed to iron out the kinks present in part 1. The answer to the first question is that he takes the story somewhere I really hadn't seen it going and the answer to the second is yes, plot & predictability-wise this is a great improvement on its predecessor.

Like most opening chapters in an ongoing series, Brilliance had relied on a relatively straight forward, narrow, linear plot to establish the world in which it was set; in its particular case the all-too-familiar 'cop goes undercover to catch bad-guys and discovers hidden conspiracy' trope. In this respect it wasn't too different to the likes of Star Wars: A New Hope (a simple rescue the princess from the dark fortress plot) or The Hunger Games (basically 'girl must compete in fight to the death').

As with both the Star Wars and Hunger Games series, with the world successfully established in part 1 and the readership invested in the setting and characters, 'A Better World' allows Sakey the opportunities to broaden that world and offer up a more complex plot. They are ones that he takes.

The result is a story that has far more moving elements to it than 'Brilliance' did, and is therefore less predictable (although one 'twist' is again so blindingly obvious that you wonder why Sakey bothered to include it) and far more interesting. It is also a great deal less self-contained, with multiple sub-plots left unresolved at the conclusion. This might dissatisfy some readers but in my opinion made the story all the more appealing, as there was no awkward struggle of trying to tie everything up in a neat bow in time for the final page.

Not that there isn't satisfying catharsis on offer in 'A Better World'. Sakey does remember to throw readers some bones in the form of 'wins' for the ostensible good-guys. However, he does so whilst simultaneously shaking up the whole world and leaving you wanting to know where the story will go next.

For that reason alone 'A Better World' has to be considered a successful second volume in the 'Brilliance Saga', but it is also offers much more than just a launch pad for part 3. I can highly recommend it

(Note: Despite my less criticism of Part 1, I would recommend reading it before tackling A Better World. It provides vital back story and establishes the characters who feature in Part 2. Its also pretty enjoyable, in spite of its predictability.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Potential Blockbuster Movies, 17 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First things first: as a writer, Markus Sakey definitely has balls.

It never ceases to amaze me in this series how far Sakey is able to escalate the situations he creates. Every time a crisis reaches breaking point (and at exactly the point where most writers would back off and have someone save the day) Sakey somehow pushes things even further. This lends the Brilliance books a level of tension so few novels manage since you really never know what's going to happen next. Every time you think, okay, this is the breaking point, this is the limit...Sakey snaps right through it and takes the situation to a whole new level. It makes for an absolutely exhilarating read.

It also helps that Sakey writes well. These novels are as fast paced as anything I've read and while there are some cheesy moments, I think that's exactly what this sort of book requires to keep it from either becoming a numbing succession of action sequences or ruining the mood with out of place personal dramas. The dialogues are sparky and generally to the point and the characters are fleshed out quickly with the reader easily able to supply details and form opinions based on their actions.

I'm not at all surprised these books have been optioned for movie releases and I hope they get the big budget treatment as I could see them becoming huge successes if done right.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance 2·0, 28 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The prose is so richly detailed and nuanced. Transportation into the post-millennial world of the Brilliants is so complete that I've cried (full-on nasal burning/eye welling/over-spill) in the middle of a packed tube carriage reading this. It doesn't get more evocative than that. I don't even know what the protagonist looks like (yet another nifty literary hook that I adore) But I love Cooper! Flawed, earnest and very, very 'gutsy'. Can't wait for part 3.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars No surprises at all, 3 Dec. 2014
This review is from: A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy) (Paperback)
This book and the one before that, "Brilliance", has been labeled as something new and hailed as more or less outstanding. I am sorry but I fail to see that. I have read both and found them to be very similar to a number of Sf and Mystery novels as well as a number of TV-series and Movies. In fact everything is so familiar that there is no surprises at all in the books. You know what will happen and how it will end.

Having stated that I also must say that the books are technically well written. The Story is more or less logical and the tempo is high. As a action type of story it is well done. But as often happens when you write these kinds of books the heroes and villains in the books turns out as more like brought out of a Marvel story than real life people. The US presidents are either horribly bad or weak and incompetent, the defense minister is a truly bad criminal, the girl friend of the hero in the book makes Wonder Woman look weak, the hero gets stabbed in the heart but goes into combat a few hours later since he "must", etc etc.

These books are a well done but they do not rise above a number of similar books. I will probably read the next one just to see if what I now predict will happen is confirmed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Treads a fine line between familiarity and novelty, 2 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hugely enjoyable sequel, continuing all of the original themes from the first novel. Treads a fine line between familiarity and novelty; a marginally post-teen X-men-alike tale with enough excitement to keep the reader interested. Very filmable - look out for Tom Cruise in next summer's blockbuster.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better world, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really enjoyed this book as much as the first and look forward to the next book in the saga. A must read well crafted a gripping tale with great characters and fast paced plot. Excellent
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy)
A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy) by Marcus Sakey (Paperback - 17 Jun. 2014)
£7.64
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews