This book...what can I say? It blew my mind! The story is so rich and detailed. I loved the idea of a world where more and more humans were born with special talents which made them brilliants, and how a whole web of terrorism and conspiracies was built around it. This book definitely kept me on an edge. But my absolute favourite thing was the talents themselves. They were so cool, and not at all ordinary. I mean, they weren’t superhero type of powers, but rather normal abilities enhanced, and I treasured how the world improved because of them.
Another great feature of this book where its characters. They all had their own unique personalities and it was cool to see them blend together. Some of them are really unexpected, in a way you couldn’t predict.
I adored the relationship Cooper had with his ex wife and kids, and his ability to work as a team. I loved his team mate Bobby, and the easy way Nick and Shannon's conversation flowed.
Every piece of information would come back later on as a relevant clue to the puzzle. Sometimes it seemed that too much unnecessary information was given, but in the end every piece fits perfectly and you realize why they were put there to begin with.
It did appear to me that maybe too many details were added and as an Audiobook sometimes they were hard to follow. They contributed to the sense of what Cooper was seeing, which added some effect of what his power would feel like, but I did get lost in the details. Maybe it’s because I listened to it when commuting, so I could only listen to like 10 minutes at a time, but once you reach part 2 you are already too invested in this story to care.
In sum, this book is thrilling, enticing and will definitely want you leaving more.
Regarding the narration, it’s safe to say that Luke Daniels is THE BEST narrator I’ve heard so far. He definitely added something extra to the already great story; he gave it a black & white old detective movie kind of vibe, even if the book is not much of a mystery; which made it much easier to get into this book and get enthralled by it. I’m definitely going to get the second book in the series as an Audiobook just for the pleasure of hearing him. His voice is so versatile and masculine; but the best part is not even that.
They were so many characters and he managed to give each one of them a distinct voice you could recognize the character in a second when they spoke. He even had a different voice for the narrator. Of course, about the 15th character appearance, voices started to sound alike, but that is kind of inevitable. I’m always so sceptic on male narrators doing female voices, because they tend to make them sound like drag queens, no disrespect intended. But Luke totally nailed Shannon. She felt like a whole woman to me, at least. Overall, Luke’s technique is impeccable! You should definitely watch out for more of his work.
My favorite quote. When we have "the talk" with our daughter we are going to tell her that sex is between one a man and an woman in love unless one of those is a rich twist then I will tell her to remember best effort... (I garbled the quote but I laughted out loud)
It was like X-Men. A few exceptional people begin to arise. Us VS Them always stands out....
This was a good story and a good read. I would have liked to give it four stars.
But the author doesn't trust the reader to get the point. He hits the reader over the head with it, over and over again. It's like the Holocaust (boink!). It's like making the Jews wear a yellow star (boink!). It's like the WWII Japanese internment camps (boink!). It's like racism (boink!). It's like homophobia (boink!). And then I read an article he wrote and he also says it's about autism.
By doing this, he disrespects the reader and adds a falseness to the story. He's not black. He's not gay. He's not Japanese. He's not autistic. (I don't know if he's Jewish, but even if he is, he grew up in America and never had to wear a yellow star!)
It's always risky to tell a story not your own. But, hey, that's what fiction is. But then just tell the story and trust the reader to make her or his own connections and comparisons.
The narrator was okay, but not my favorite. He only had one alternate voice other than Cooper's and it was rather annoying.
I love mysteries. I've read all Agatha Christie's and Mary Higgins Clark's books. I'm on the hunt for more great books with female heroines.
I would change all the immature references to female body parts. It sounds like it was written by a frustrated sex-a-holic who never got the girls. The author womanizes in his writing to take his frustrations out on physically beautiful and confident women. It's a subliminal theme throughout his writing. And, I personally don't care for the narrator's "Keanu Reeves-like" voice. But, I've never liked KR or his voice in films. That type of voice sounds like someone who is trying too hard to sound "tough." Not working.
Womanizing, "poor me" victim-like whining of the lead character who, naturally, would only have an EX-wife. I'm sure that this story does have an audience...maybe people who've been only labeled as "smart" all their lives. They'll connect with the idea of gifted people being victimized by all those big bad mean (popular) bullies.
I've trailed away through most of it. I love mystery and suspense but the main topic's of no interest to me. I foolishly thought other listeners' reviews were on target. My "least" favorite sentence in the book is when the lead character is just sure of the physical description of a female receptionist on the other end of the phone. Wa?
Nope...shallow, immature writing style
You get what you pay for, listeners...fair warning. On the other hand, all you "brilliants" who disagree with everything I've said above will dig the book. Go for it!
I realize that this is not my kind of book - much action, not much character development, not much dialog. I like action and swift moving stories, but have to have a bit more than sequential acts to captivate my imagination.
I don't like making comparison between books. However, I couldn't help but think of X-Men through most of the first half of this book. The Brilliants/abnorms are like the mutants; they were born with amazing gifts like an idiot savant but without the mental handicap. A man sensing patterns in the stock market makes billions, a little girl can read body language and know when someone is lying, and a woman can see the vectors of where people are looking and walking so she can walk through crowds without being noticed. The normal people fear that the abnorms will gain power over the normals. There are people on both sides stirring up talks about a war. If you're not familiar with the X-Men, then it won't be a distraction. Other than that, it's a terrific book - full of suspense, twists, and turns.
Once I started listening, I couldn't stop - totally pulled me into the story. I can see this book being made into a movie! The narrator spoke a little too fast at times, but otherwise was fine. Totally enjoyed listening to this one!
Slow starting but started to enjoy it after a while. Didn't like the main character much - why would he think his child should escape testing when no one else's does? Once I got past the pretty stereotypical characters, I enjoyed it more.
The performance was good. I don't think I would have finished it without the narrator
I would get it out on DVD not pay to see it in a movie theatre
Social media and the internet aren't mentioned so probably don't exist but I couldn't see how the official versions of events weren't counter-acted anywhere. Surely any brilliant strategiest would use media outlets (even international ones) to release different versions of events and perhaps those media would interview witnesses whose stories conflict with official versions? Pretty big weakness in the story I reckon.
Tell us about yourself!
Good guys, bad guys, brilliants, normals, isolation, inclusion. I am left wondering what to take away from this one. It's almost a dystopian story. It is believable, evidently localized to the US, and, I guess, is the forerunner to a big social upheaval.
Luke Daniels, as always, does a fine job narrating.
Why must finding a solo book (not part of a series) be so very hard? WHO is writing stand-alone-story-that-wraps-up-cleanly books? I'll buy
Brilliance is a good story, made better by the reader. (Except for the female laugh, Mr. Daniels, work on that ... make it less nasal, more throaty.) The plot gusted a bit toward X-men, but nonetheless, I was able to get into the narrative in my head, and live it along with the characters.