Great story and really entertaining
Very cool take on humans gaining powers
The end was very satisfying
Yes Wish it was longer.
Hope there are more books coming in the series
I have always loved to read. Discovering audible has been great for a multitasker! Sorry for any misspells on reviews!
This book is fiction but could be pulled from todays headlines or events from the past. Just substitute ab-normals for ? and normals for the general public. It shows how people can be lead to fear and hatred by a few who crave power. The use and success of the media to shape peoples views was a bit too realistic. It is a story of a man who believes he is fighting for whats right but then an event that strikes him close to his heart ( daughter) leads him down a path to discover and learn that everything he believed to be true was lies. I had thought the book would be a super hero type but the Brilliants (abnormals, twist) are just regular humans with an extraordinary ability of the mind that sets them apart. The story is full of action and never has a dull moment, I listened to it almost straight through. The narrator was great.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
The sci-fi premise of the book seemed promising: suddenly and with no apparent cause, people start being born who are off-the-charts brilliant at an astonishing rate. Think of it like the "autism epidemic" only with geniuses. At a very young age, the geniuses are taken away from their parents and put in boarding schools where they are placed in competition with one another (reminiscent of Ender's Game). They are taught not to trust other brilliants and to bond only to their teachers, who are not brilliants. These are really interesting ideas.
Unfortunately, the story is encumbered with a one-dimensional protagonist. The main character--a "Brilliant" who has chosen to use his special talents as a sort of special ops guy who tracks down other brilliants for the government--has just one reaction to everything. His special talent is to be able to read people's body language and know just what they are going to do next. This gives him a great advantage in a fight. His backstory adds in the tidbit that he was bullied on the playground when he was a kid. And there you have this "fascinating" (NOT) character whose only reaction to any given situation is to want to fight, hit, push, crush, and otherwise physically assault people. He has this reaction constantly, whether the person he is talking to is a threat or not. If your only tool is a hammer . . .
Other characters seem like they were cut-and-pasted from a bad detective noir novel. The protagonist's side-kick detective is also heavy with the street fighter mentality. Even the women in the book have an aggressive, male vibe--one of them says something like "Whose ball sack do I have to hold in order to get a drink around here?" No one talks like that. The constant aggressive nature of the protagonist and the terrible dialog was so off-putting that I only listened to about 1-1/2 hours of this novel.
That's too bad, because I liked the narrator. Luke Daniels did an amazing job switching voices for each character. He was equally good at doing the male and the female characters.
yes. The story was interesting. I felt like a lot of the story was really obvious, and I was never really surprised by anything that happened.
Obvious ending, but it was fine.
No, This book was very slow at the beginning. It took me several tries to get into it.
This book is worth picking up if you like stories about superhuman abilities. I like the genre myself, which I think made an otherwise stale book worth finishing.
When I first saw this book I thought the author's name looked familiar then it came to me he is the Host of Hidden City on the Travel Channel. I was also familiar with the narrator Luke Daniels for his work in The Iron Druid Chronicles so I figured I would give this book a try. This is the 1st book in a planed Trilogy with the next book planed to come out 6 months after Marcus Sakey finishes it... pretty vague I know. The film rights were bought by Legendary Pictures, you might recognize them for the Dark Knight series, Watchman and Inception movies. So we will soon see this book turned into a feature film, which explains a lot about the style of writing and the depth of characters. If you have ever read Michael Crichton books you will understand what I am talking about. The book was written to be a movie so the book to movie adaption would go smoothly.
This story takes place in the same time period we currently live in but it follows an alternate time line. In this alternate time line there is an unexplainable increase in idiot savants, rather all the capabilities of savants without the downfalls. This group of people known as abnorms or twists are identified by the government and are forced to attend academy's as children where they are renamed and brainwashed. Any abnorms not controlled by the government are hunted down and killed by a government law enforcement agency that operates outside of the law, and with no regard to peoples civil liberty's under the pretense of protection. The main character Nick Cooper an agent tasked with hunting down abnorms begins to discover things aren't what they seem. We follow Cooper in his search for the truth.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Marcus Slakey knew he was entering a crowded field with Brilliance. Asked about the obvious parallel to X-Men, he said he wanted to write about real people with special abilities. Never mind Heroes, The 4400, The Magicians, Harry Potter, I Am Number Four etc. etc. etc. (look up superpowers on Goodreads, the lists are hundreds of titles long). So you can't fault him for trying something that's been done umpteen times before -- he's hardly the only one.
Lack of originality is the least of Slakey's problems. Familiar constructs can still be fresh in characterization, dialogue, humor, world building, symbolism, subtext, and other literary devices. For Slakey, none of those elements ever rises above cliche. The plot is familiar and predictable, the dialogue laughably trite, the characters straight from central casting -- the two main characters even discuss getting to know more about each other beyond the one-dimensional reputations that preceded them. Humorless agent? I also love hot sauce, dance badly, can quote Hemingway. Fanatical terrorist? I now know a few things about you too (unspecified). Nothing like demonstrating to your readers via dialogue how badly constructed your characters are.
Then there are the superhuman abilities some people have, including our protagonist. Too bad his ability fails him so often, for no reason other than, well, the ability failing him for no reason. Not much of an ability after all. How are we tp believe these people are dangerous when their batting averages are below the Mendoza line?
Making matters worse: Luke Daniels. I've listened to him a half dozen times or so. His over the top voices can't totally ruin a good book. But they can make an average book not worth the listen. And they can only make a mediocre paint-by-numbers book like this worse. My wife likes to say you can deep-fry cardboard and it would taste good -- not even the best narrator could make these cardboard characters palatable, and Luke Daniels is not even close. Needless to say, the remainder of this trilogy will remain unread by me.
I read tons of contemporary sci-fi stories. In my opinion, Brilliance is near the best of them.
Brilliance is a thriller mixed in with a conspiracy set in a slightly alternate reality. The world here contains a minority, 1 percent of society is 'gifted' with super natural abilities. There is a clash between the gifted and the normals. Think X-Men, only instead of fire bolts coming out of eyes, think people with the ability to read patterns & by so doing, have an advantage over everyone else. I think this premise is very cool. It is not set in a comic book world where super hero's thrive, instead the world is filled with savants that have a hard time coping with those around them.
Before listening, I read some of the reviews. I disagree with several that say this is a 'slow' story. The pacing is excellent. Sakey has a gift akin to Grisham or Patterson. You are sucked in right away. Its not action such as nonstop fist fights, but action where the main character is trying to find out about himself.
Very good characters. Very interesting alternate reality. The story is well written. The narration is first rate.
I think the only fault I can find is the story becomes more than a little far fetched in places. If I were writing it, I would have gone for a slightly darker take on things. Wouldn't have reached quite so far. But over all, I have to say this is a first rate thriller/sci fi story.
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
I love Sci-Fi, especially war type stuff. This book is based in the very near future, even the present. There was a deep seated "lesson". It hits you all the time which is a slight drawback. Nice story about love of kids and people in the middle of amazing near future story about loyalty and how to look at the truth.
Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.
Probably not, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it the first time around.
Not especially. I do love easy listeners once and a while but too much in one sitting and I find myself rolling my eyes and becoming irritated during certain trite instances.
I purchased this book during the daily deal special, where they brought them all back at the sale price. I did enjoy it. But not once did I feel the desire to see if there was a sequel. It was easy going in the sense that it was a rhythm I'm familiar with. Where characters predictably make right/wrong choices and the bad guys could be seen a mile away. I'm not saying don't listen to it, just be aware that you will know what's coming and the end is very predictable.
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.