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Brilliance | [Marcus Sakey]

Brilliance

In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.
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Publisher's Summary

In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in - and betray his own kind.

From Marcus Sakey, "a modern master of suspense" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "one of our best storytellers" (Michael Connelly), comes an adventure that’s at once breakneck thriller and shrewd social commentary; a gripping tale of a world fundamentally different and yet horrifyingly similar to our own, where being born gifted can be a terrible curse.

©2013 Marcus Sakey (P)2013 Brilliance Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1097 )
5 star
 (323)
4 star
 (454)
3 star
 (226)
2 star
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1 star
 (36)
Overall
3.9 (968 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (965 )
5 star
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4 star
 (373)
3 star
 (145)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (28)
Performance
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  •  
    Mary Plano, TX, United States 04-03-14
    Mary Plano, TX, United States 04-03-14 Member Since 2014

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Snoozer"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Marcus Sakey’s story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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?


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Nope...shallow, immature writing style


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janeite Washington, DC, USA 04-01-14
    Janeite Washington, DC, USA 04-01-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Subjective review - not worth finishing"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre T. Bradshaw Phoenix, AZ 08-22-13
    Andre T. Bradshaw Phoenix, AZ 08-22-13 Member Since 2011

    A. Bradshaw

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good once it gets going"
    Would you listen to Brilliance again? Why?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Obvious ending, but it was fine.


    Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    not sure.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, This book was very slow at the beginning. It took me several tries to get into it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Chadwick Dublin, California 08-14-13
    Greg Chadwick Dublin, California 08-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Outstanding ! Great listen"
    If you could sum up Brilliance in three words, what would they be?

    Well worth your time


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the ' good ' characters and despised the villains in this story


    What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narration. Female characters can be difficult and he did a good job with them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It definitely held my interest. The last hour was thrilling.


    Any additional comments?

    Story line was excellent with interesting characters. I am checking out more of this authors work

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Parkes Winter Springs, Florida 07-16-13
    J. Parkes Winter Springs, Florida 07-16-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    "Excellent book, worth a read with one exception..."

    The reason i gave the story 3 stars...there is an academy for children in the book, the treatment of the children is evil and made me want to vomit, i was beyond disturbed to red hot anger.
    On balance the book is good, other than the obvious i enjoyed it. Perhaps i'm a little over sensitive where child abuse is concerned and if you are like me in that prepare yourself or skip the book.
    The book was great and didn't need the added drama of abuse to entertain or add to the drama. It was simply gratuitous, in my opinion.

    22 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaVonne BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 07-18-13
    LaVonne BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 07-18-13 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Frightening Future"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Brilliance to be better than the print version?

    Did not see the print


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nick, the main character, pulls all the other characters into the story with a fierce force.


    What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narrator! He handled each character with distinction and enthusiasm.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither, it worried me as to the possibility of this happening with government ever growing!!


    Any additional comments?

    Got this book on sale and one of the best in my 540 book library!!!! Want more of the author, narrator and sales!!!!!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SNOWFLAKE, AZ, United States 06-09-14
    Amazon Customer SNOWFLAKE, AZ, United States 06-09-14 Member Since 2010

    Sixth Generation Arizonian who enjoys Fantasy and Sci-Fi audios along w/ a good conspiracy theory and 'who done it' story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not so brilliant....."

    A lot of my audio rating depends on language- I prefer it clean- and this one does NOT measure the test. If you are on a trip with kids, this one is not for their ears.

    I found the concept of the story very interesting, I enjoyed the characters and thought the plot moved at a pretty good pace for a thriller novel. The story could have benefited, I felt from a little more background into what was the cause of the 'brilliant' phenomenon.

    The reader was good, but I did not care for his performance, chalk it up to personal preference.

    This is not an audio I would listen to again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Byron Holloway Fort Worth, TX USA 04-20-14
    Byron Holloway Fort Worth, TX USA 04-20-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is the X-Men... A few exceptionals emerge"
    What did you love best about Brilliance?

    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)


    Any additional comments?

    It was like X-Men. A few exceptional people begin to arise. Us VS Them always stands out....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 04-12-14
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 04-12-14 Member Since 2007

    notthe1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much detective, not enough scifi"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 04-08-14
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 04-08-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    27
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    "Just... Average"
    What would have made Brilliance better?

    An original idea.


    What was most disappointing about Marcus Sakey’s story?

    It was just so formulaic and predictable. Narration was a bit too 'trailer voice-over guy' to give the story any impact, which didn't help, but the characters are just paper-thin. There's treachery, but you see it coming. All is not what it seems, but you see it coming. It's a story that's been done many times and usually better than it's done here.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Luke Daniels’s performances?

    He's a good narrator in that he's clear and his voices are fairly distinct from one another, but he just can't wind in the 'square jawed hero' voice. Like I said, often his narration sounds like an audition for trailer voice-over work; it was a time of warrrrr.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Brilliance?

    Nothing, I just didn't click with the story. Some people probably will.


    Any additional comments?

    At least I listened to the entire story, so it couldn't have been that bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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