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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 (1414 )
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4.1 (1253 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 04-02-14
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 04-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Not to be missed, Brilliance is Brilliant!!!"
    What did you love best about Brilliance?

    Everything, especially the fact that I can honesty say I have read anything like this before. Some books may come close but not as thought provoking.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subject matter.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last few chapters.


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

    Laugh, think "what if?" and wanting to read more.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't pass up this book!!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 03-31-14
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 03-31-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I hate this"

    Who needs this story? Children born smarter than anyone else are segregated and treated horribly. I couldn't get through it. If I hadn't bought it on sale I would have asked for a refund. A writer who offers heartbreak and horror better be great. There has to be a substantial reason to plow through, and that reason is missing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 03-29-14
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 03-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Twists and turns"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Beth Maschner 03-29-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great story, amazing narrator"

    The story is great from beginning to end. Lots of action, details, realistic portrayal of people in power with prejudices against those they are threatened by. The narrator was so good, it was almost distracting. I kept being surprised by each additional unique voice he came up with. Very refreshing after having many books ruined by a really bad narrator. I'm definitely going to add Marcus Sakey and Luke Daniels to my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 03-28-14
    Tim United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2010

    I use my left foot to type my reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incinerate My Player"

    Base on Marcus Sakey's work on "Brilliance", he is not an "abnormal" or a "tier one." This scientific suspense thriller was downright bland as they come from any pop culture writer. You would think that the dialogue would be somewhat intelligent because of it's science fiction genre, but it was not at all. Marcus' writing skills must be on a 5th grade level when Brilliance got published. There is no technical background in the dialogue.

    Each night, I dread reading this book because I saw my IQ falling. At one point, I wanted to chuck my headset out of the window and ask the garbage man to incinerate my player. It was that bad.

    Maybe because the author is known for his crime fiction novels his approach to sci fi thriller was half cocked. I need to stop writing this review because I feel my blood pressure rising. The performance of the reading was ear piercing, where I wanted to go deaf. "Just read the book without being each character. Be a narrator and not an actor." I'm pissed that I had to buy this book while many others got it for free. A few nights ago, I was screaming in my house on why I was still reading this crap.

    It's like X-Men with Baldacci or Patterson and I'm not a fan of those authors either. Even more distasteful combination with Sakey.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Richardson, TX, United States 09-22-13
    Jenny Richardson, TX, United States 09-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i liked it!"
    If you could sum up Brilliance in three words, what would they be?

    good story


    What did you like best about this story?

    easy to follow, suspenseful


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    listened to it only while walking - I was always glad to hit the pavement to
    get back to the story!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States 09-11-13
    Carl Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States 09-11-13

    Books worth the money are those biographies about our Founding Fathers. Or THE LONG WALK and/or UNBROKEN Try THE LONG WALK a

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliantly laborous"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I've yet to meet him or her. Arafat might enjoy it as he whiles away time in Paradise. .


    Would you ever listen to anything by Marcus Sakey again?

    Probably not


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

    Can't think of anything.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not that I can tell.


    Any additional comments?

    How do such books find a publisher?

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 09-09-13
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 09-09-13 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mutants are people too"

    Please find the rest of this review and other at audiobookreviewer dot com

    Do you ever find a book that entrances you from the get go and you have no idea what made you choose it? That's what Brilliance was for me. From the opening scene to the final I couldn't be dragged away from my ear-buds, I had to know what was going to happen next. Like I expected this was not your ordinary super hero story. It did have to do with what I will call mutants and how society dealt with these mutants. How some were excepted and love while other were hated and controlled. But the underlying theme of how humans are so afraid of that which they don't understand. With the typical segregation and discrimination that accompanies what we are afraid of. Full of complex, interesting and relatable characters and plots twists and turns, some of which I saw coming other that I did not. If you want a fast paced, action packed, thought provoking sci-fi detective story you will not want to miss Brilliance.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cocoa, FL 08-14-13
    Amazon Customer Cocoa, FL 08-14-13 Member Since 2013

    Kente M'Bulu

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator sounds like Keaneau Reeves!!"
    Would you listen to Brilliance again? Why?

    Yes. Would love a sequel!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eric Upstein twist! The boy in the cave. . .


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    He sounds like Keaneau Reeves. I could visualize him acting in this movie.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes!! The vivid imagery after the explosion! The writer does a meticulous job giving our imagination what it needs to have been in the middle of a devastating explosion! I listened to that part twice!


    Any additional comments?

    Superbly written!! Will listen to this again!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H 08-11-13
    H 08-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting questions regarding rights & morals"
    Any additional comments?

    Brilliance is based on the premise that inexplicably, around 1980, 1% of newborns had above average talents. These gifts were evident from the mid-80s, and as the kids grew up and their above average intelligence became more apparent and began to have a larger effect on the world, tensions began to arise between Normals and the Gifted.

    Cooper works for the department of Equitable Services, which is tasked in finding those who are gifted and using their talents to gain heavily from a deck already stacked in their favor. Cooper himself is gifted with the ability to read body language and uses that to tell when people are lying or to predict their actions.

    The story takes place around press t day, so the oldest gifted are around 32 years old and many of them see the government as persecuting them and treating them as less than normal in order to quell their talents. Already there is mandatory testing for all children by 8 years of age and the gifted are separated from their family until 18 where they are manipulated to be against each other. The reasoning for this is that if the gifted do not trust each other, then they won't band together to make normal humanity their slaves.

    Currently Cooper is on the hunt for a gifted named John Smith who is an activist for the gifted's civil rights. In John Smiths efforts to make political stances he has been labeled as a domestic terrorist.

    After Cooper was unable to stop a bomb going off that killed over 1000 people, he volunteers to go deep undercover to try to get to John Smith himself and kill him. He is aware that there is a mole in the government so only his boss knows he is undercover, and as a result the bombing is blamed on Cooper and he is labeled a rogue agent so he can gain John Smith's attention and try to get his trust.

    The story unfolds from there, and is really great to listen to. It is not too demanding on your attention, either. I normally listen to audiobooks when I'm playing a game on my iphone or exercising, so I need a book that is not hard to follow.

    This books was fast-paced, exciting, suspenseful, and at times, funny. The performer did a great job in giving all the characters their own voice. I am continuously pleasantly surprised at the quality of the readers on many audible books.

    I am finding more and more that while I am not much of a fan of action movies, I do like to read/listen to action/suspense books. This is because the author is forced to make all the actions believable in a way that doesn't distract you from the story the way a special effect in a movie can take you out of the moment.

    The plot itself is new and interesting, so it is not a story that I feel like I've heard before. The themes are touching on civil rights and how those in power try to keep themselves in power, but there was one thing that I kept thinking that lingered in the back of my mind: don't we already have an elite 1% with advantages disproportionate with the rest of society?

    I kept comparing The Gifted vs Normals struggle in the story with the top 1% income earners vs the occupy Wall Street/99%-ers that played out over the last couple of years. While in real life these 1%-ers don't have brilliant minds like in the story, they have access to power, privilege, and other advantages that put them well ahead of everyone else to be successful, rich, and powerful. I am not going to weigh in on the issue, but I feel like it would be an interesting English paper topic to discuss, and it was something that kept coming through my mind when listening.

    Overall I recommend this if you like action or thriller books. Though its more action than thriller or suspense.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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