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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

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  •  
    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!

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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.

    28 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY 02-02-16
    Dubi New York, NY 02-02-16

    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.

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    "Limited Abilities"

    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.

    4 of 5 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

    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

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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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre T. Bradshaw Phoenix, AZ 08-22-13
    Andre T. Bradshaw Phoenix, AZ 08-22-13 Member Since 2012

    A. Bradshaw

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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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 07-23-13
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I am John Smith."

    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.

    29 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 09-29-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 09-29-15 Member Since 2017

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

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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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 12-09-16
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 12-09-16 Listener Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

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    "Tons of fun"

    Wow I had put off getting ‘Brilliance’ for a while not wanting to start another series but I wish I hadn’t. The book was well written and kept me going from start to finish with very little down time. The characters were great, if a bit typical (ruthless bad guy, true hearted good guy, etc) and interesting and their dynamics make it tons of fun. The plot is interesting and fast paced and unique which makes it all the more interesting. I can’t wait to move on in the series!

    Luke Daniels does an amazing job. I've only heard him do more humorous stories in the past but he can surely do non-stop thrill rides as well! Her really brings the story to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    clifford United States 01-18-16
    clifford United States 01-18-16 Member Since 2016

    akitonmyers

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    "A sweet sci-fi thriller"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DocJim Low Prices,Great Service - Please Keep it that way! 10-01-15
    DocJim Low Prices,Great Service - Please Keep it that way! 10-01-15 Member Since 2013

    Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist

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    "Good near future Sci-Fi drama with some fun twists"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissRed Aurora, Colorado, United States 09-16-14
    MissRed Aurora, Colorado, United States 09-16-14 Member Since 2013

    Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.

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    "Easy and predictable, but enjoyable"
    Would you listen to Brilliance again? Why?

    Probably not, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it the first time around.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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