What I would have liked to know before I bought this book. (minor spoilers)
1. What type of book is it: adventure, action, drama, etc? This is a superhero action/thriller.
2. What is the story about, in general? The story is about Nick Cooper, now an advisor to the United States, trying to stop the multilayered plans of those who want a war between the Brilliants and normals.
3. What/Who is the target audience? The target audience is male young adult and adults. Teenagers might enjoy the superpowers, but this book is not completely targeted at them.
4. How is the proofreading? Excellent. I couldn't detect a single error. Not saying there aren't any. Simply, the story was so engrossing I didn't see them.
5. Is there character development or exploration? Yes. Though Nick doesn't evolve, the depth of his commitment and character are explored. Shannon has a compelling role within the story, but the story doesn't evolve or explore her personality much. She's very much a secondary character in this book.
The antagonists have believable reasons for their actions. They are evil in the most dangerous way possible because they embrace the one constant that is used to excuse any sort of brutality in the world: a compelling pretext used to manufacture consent. It is frightening how similar it is to today's political and media machinations.
Though all of the characters have rigid roles to play, all the primary and secondary characters have flaws and merits that make them very real. They are ALIVE within the rigidity of their roles.
6. Are the characters likable? I loved all the characters. Each one meshed like part of a perfectly choreographed ballet. You will find personalities, from all spectrum, realistically depicted. Some minor roles are cliché. Some secondary characters act with a little too much predictability, but with well written motivations.
7. Do you have to suspend disbelief? Only once did my disbelief blossom. There is -1- coincidence in this story that felt both extreme and improbable, AT FACE VALUE. There are hints this `coincidence' wasn't a coincidence, thus I am not sure what to believe about it. That's excellent!
8. Does the story keep its pacing? Yes, as long as you can appreciate the intrigue. You won't find exploding action from beginning to end, like some royal rumble. You'll find the contention of the 'chess player'. The vileness of certainty. The righteousness of elitism. The cunning of fear.
The book doesn't specifically focus on Nick but embraces important perspectives from different secondary characters that boldly enhance the reader experience.
Some readers will find the subject matter too abrasive, or similar to criticism of the state, for their socio-political sensibilities and won't be comfortable with the read. This will occur regardless of the fact this is a book in an alternate unreal Earth. I am not one of them. This book takes some solid risks and pulls them off.
The only aspect that I am truly critical about is the ending. It reads as a cliffhanger, even though the story does conclude a reasonable chapter within the Brilliance Saga.
9. Is the book worth the asking price? This book is very good and its only a $2 read.
In conclusion: This is one of the smartest, most well written, bits of superhuman sci-fi I have ever read. All the characters have believable merits and flaws. Even the most static secondary character had moments of humanity. All the antagonists have stratified reasons for their actions: both good and bad. Even the mentally unsound were written BELIEVABLY mentally unsound. There were NO major coincidences and I did not feel the `hand of the author' pressing down on the story to force my attention down unbelievable paths. The only sloppy part I can see was the badly written ending, because it portrays a strong feeling of being a cliffhanger. It isn't. The author did complete what he wanted to, but the ending was very abrupt and lacked the subtle brilliance of the rest of the read. The price is super cheap at $2. The proofreading is excellent. I am not sure it's everyone's cup of tea, but I strongly recommend this book.