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Brilliance Audiobook
Brilliance
Written by: 
Marcus Sakey
Narrated by: 
Luke Daniels
Brilliance Audiobook

Brilliance

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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

4.1 (3554 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles USA 12-08-14
    Charles USA 12-08-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow to Start"

    I had to give this book the full "listen for 2 hours, then decide" treatment. I'm very glad I did. What started out as a really predictable and, if I'm being honest, boring intro filled with forced scenes turned into an extremely engaging listen. As the story progressed, it didn't become less predictable, but the writing and storyline significantly improved. Fast paced and entertaining.

    As most good sic-fi/alternate reality books go, this is easily read as an allegory. I am quite sure that is intentional.

    Worth a listen, without question.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Silver Spring, MD, United States 03-26-14
    Benjamin Silver Spring, MD, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2010

    Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Predictable Thriller"

    I generally liked this book. It was well characterized and read by Daniels. It has good pacing, some pretty exciting events, and a good premise. It is easy to follow. The dialogue is not bad and the characters are interesting. The plot twists are a bit weak and predictable, but forgivable. Readers of Larry Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles will recognize the superhumans-among-us, alternate history, premise.

    The major problem, and it is a big one, is the inconsistency of the fictional science. Sakey gives some of his characters superhuman powers of perception. For example, the main character can tell what people are thinking, whether they are lying, and predict what people will do next because of his incredible ability to perceive patterns in their behavior. This is what makes him such a good cop. Sakey makes special mention, numerous times, that he cannot turn his abilities off. That is all well and good until you learn that many characters in the book are lying to him at will.

    I won't spoil the book. It's a thriller, readers should expect plot twists. The problem is the main character's powers. He basically loses his ability when it is convenient to setting up a plot twist. It's just shoddy writing. The main character can tell where you're going to retire by the way you hold your salad fork, but he can't perceive a conspiracy that has been sitting in front of his face for years. A guy who can tell what people are thinking and what they are going to do should not be surprised as often as this guy is. Fix that and the book would be a lot better.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 09-29-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 09-29-15 Member Since 2016

    I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The first half is boring..."

    but then Brilliance becomes interesting. Overall the book is quite good. This is not your usual thriller; indeed, it is different concept from any other book I have read.

    The narration is excellent.

    Recommended with reservations due to the slow start and the excessive wordiness of the author in the first half of the book. I came very close to giving up, but am happy I did not.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-15-13
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-15-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Don't outsmart yourself!"
    Where does Brilliance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 15 easily. ( I listen to a book every couple of weeks, and have done so for years, so getting a top 10 slot is difficult.)

    This is a powerful book and is well worth the credits ( and the stellar reviews ).

    Be warned however, that this book clearly is the beginning of a series ( not surprisingly I suppose ) bu that was not evident until far into it.


    What other book might you compare Brilliance to and why?

    Odds against tomorrow. Similar story of "different " people being trapped in society.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The resolution was fast moving and pretty action packed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Being gifted isn't all good.


    Any additional comments?

    The consensus reviews on this book are compelling,and it does live up to those high standards. I recommend this book highly, with the provisio that the resolution is not neat or pretty, but it's still worth the credit.

    33 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-22-13
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-22-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glued from beginning to end"

    A fun listen.

    Great main character is a sort of mutant (a "brilliant") in an alternate reality to ours (where gifted mutants have been showing up for a few decades and scaring the "normal" population with feelings of irrelevance and, well, overtake). Our hero works for the "norms," hunting the "terrorist" elements among his own kind....UNTIL. And that's where the story begins. Who's telling the truth? Who's lying. Our guy (whose "gift" allows him to "read" others like a book) is all of a sudden doubting things he's been taking for granted. Lots of twists and turns (a few, well, not totally explained). Great characters.

    I have to admit I could not stop listening. Finished it in two days.

    My first novel from this author and it won't be the last. Happy to see there are previous novels at my disposal.

    35 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle (AKA PlantCrone) in the great NorthWest OREGON 12-22-15

    ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Different Future with Different People"

    This 'makes ya think' novel is not really in the dystopian future genre but rather in a different future - a future wherein a very small percentage of babies are born with "Brilliance" of some sort. Different abilities of all types bring conflict with the "normals" who are feeling like they haven't a chance to compete. After all if a B-Ball player can make a 3 point shot every time he gets the ball how does a regular tall guy with normal skills-or even Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson or Larry Bird skills compete?

    According to the story, they can't..and thats just the start. Starting in 1980, 1% of all children are born this way..from musical to mathematical to data analysis or the ability to sense what people see and just not be there-to be invisible.
    could be threatening?

    The first of a trilogy, the main protagonist is part of an organization that was developed to control and guide the "abnormals" but things go awry.

    Narrated by one of the best readers around, Luke Daniels and written by Marcus Sakey who is a new author to me I basically got this book because I enjoy hearing Daniels voice when I'm going to sleep..yep..Luke Daniels voice lulls me to sleep. However I found myself pulled into the plot and staying awake to listen.

    Well worth the credit, the 2nd volume is available now and the ending book will be out January 2016..I've already ordered it!

    Highly recommended for the person who enjoys a bit of a difference in sci/fi..future stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Clovis, CA, United States 09-18-13
    Douglas Clovis, CA, United States 09-18-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent thriller"

    Not really a science fiction story as much as a thriller set in 2013 in a slightly altered world where 10 percent of the children are born with "abnormal" gifts. Great story with interesting characters, unexpected plot twists, and good plot movement. Well-read by Luke Daniels. I enjoyed this book and hope Sakey and Daniels team up for some more.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MONROVIA, CA, United States 08-15-13
    Amazon Customer MONROVIA, CA, United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Entertaining"
    What did you love best about Brilliance?

    Great story and really entertaining


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very cool take on humans gaining powers


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The end was very satisfying


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

    Yes Wish it was longer.


    Any additional comments?

    Hope there are more books coming in the series

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 08-02-13
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 08-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Wild Ride at Breakneck Speed"

    I seem to be developing a taste for alternate reality books. First it was "The Handmaid's Tale, " which portrayed the area which had formerly been the USA after the overthrow of the government by members of an extreme right wing religious group and the subsequent oppression of women and all others except the male members of the group. Then it was the "Small Change " trilogy, which takes place in a 1940's England after a truce with Hitler leaves Hitler completely in control of continental Europe and England under similar control by the English aristocrats who engineered the truce, with similar oppression of Jews and gays.

    Now, I have fallen under the spell of "Brilliance, " showing a United States in contemporary time with a whole new group being oppressed. This is a world in which, since 1980, 1% of the babies born in the world have exceptional, almost superhuman skills in limited fields. Other reviewers have discussed the plot ; I will just say that the principal character is one of those exceptional people -- a "Brilliant, " a "Twist," an "Abnormal." After spending his entire working life defending the country and the government that he believes in as an agent hunting Abnorm terrorists, certain events cause him to question the system and to see things that don't fit with what he has always believed.

    This story is truly a thriller, which grabs you in the first five minutes and doesn't let go until the end, 12 hours later. The plot twists and turns, keeping you guessing clear up to the end. The only reason I didn't listen to the entire book in one sitting was that I had to get some sleep!

    In addition to the excellent writing of Marcus Sakey, the narration by Luke Daniels was superb. Characters were easily distinguished from each other, and female voices were very believable.

    This was one of my best reading experiences in some time. It's good to know that this is the first book of a trilogy. Can't wait to read the next one!

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 07-18-13
    Lisa 07-18-13

    I have always loved to read. Discovering audible has been great for a multitasker! Sorry for any misspells on reviews!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent listen"

    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.

    27 of 36 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    10/6/15
    Overall
    "Surprising"

    It was difficult to get into but then it held my attention, I love it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rupert
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book that draws you in"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook, it's a well constructed world that gives a new take on ordinary superpowers, it builds a vivid picture of society slowly collapsing in on itself. With twists and turns abound I was hooked and had to stay in the car just to listen a little longer!


    Any additional comments?

    Roll on book 2!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Dumbleton, United Kingdom
    12/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A really enjoyable read."
    If you could sum up Brilliance in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, engrossing, enjoyable!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot and the characters. Pace.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Well read, good characterisation of the different characters.


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

    It was a really exciting book, great plot, good idea, and read and written at a good pace. The concept is believable, and is presented in a good manner.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book. Would love a sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nikola
    Slovenia
    9/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting premise, could be developed further"

    Action sci-fi thriller which wants to be a Hollywood movie. Interesting premise - from 1981 on, 1% of children are born with special powers. Not really super-powers like flying, bending spoons, but with extreme pattern recognitions and similar. They are known as "Brilliants" and as they grow up, they start changing the world. American society is polarised and split into normals and "abnorms".

    Story will probably evolve into followups - in this one, we follow Agent Cooper fighting against "abnorm terrorists" (being abnorm himself). Story is interesting and tense, with some unexpected but also some very expected twists. However, I think author did not manage to use idea's full potential. Action sequences are interesting and characters well built, but as I see it, story is basically taken from Al-Qaida attack on WTC and then continued on basis of many conspiracy theories evolving after.

    Besides that, I would have liked to hear more about the impact on the world - authors focuses on America, and rarely spreads focus out of his main characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • CathyR
    Wales, UK
    8/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant Brilliance!"

    This book dives headlong into a very fast paced story with lots of suspense, thrills and action. I like Nick Cooper's character and the way he develops throughout the story, the conflict he feels because he himself is a brilliant yet his job is to pursue them. And then everything is turned completely upside down and Nick doesn't know truth from lies or who he can trust. A gripping plot, which is also very thought provoking, and a nail biting conclusion, along with a first rate narrator. Really glad there will be more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sam
    7/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, great narrator"

    Some great ideas in the story, which was recommended to me. the best performance of any narrator I've heard to date

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    6/11/16
    Overall
    "pedictable"

    Ok story , happy with the narrator. Because of the special powers people had I felt that they were adapted to the story as it went along. Predictable because using his children's safety against him, falling for the girl, his boss.not being the person he thought he was.... not much originality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • T
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    2/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The X-Man in the High Castle"

    Much better than a comic book, here we have a parallel world – set in present day but where history took a different turn back in the 1980’s. The different turn was the result of “Brilliants” starting to be born. These are children with exceptional abilities, such as a massively enhanced ability to read people’s body language. I found this level of talent weirdly credible, unlike the silliness of X-Men or superheroes. The book is written and read with pace, reminiscent of books by Matthew Reilly. All in all, I was very happy to swept along by an excellent audio-equivalent of a great page-turner. Great fun and I look forward to listening to the others in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. JP
    London
    7/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi"

    I can put this book down so to speak I do listening to it in the car at the office before bedtime is outstanding very futuristic very creative!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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