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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Disappointed

Interesting plot line and well developed characters. Overly "hyped" with a fragmented story. Narration "grating" at times. I read this following Afterlife and feel let down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Story not as interesting as the tag line

An interesting concept and a pretty good first third. After that it devolves into a very straightforward/very predictable government thriller.

Cooper's abilities mostly vanish in the back of the book and he comes across as a typical quasi military operative. The idea and impact that a world with "brilliant" people doesn't feel thought out. You could substitute agents and terrorists into the characters and the story and its end would mostly be the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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interesting premise, but

enjoyed the first act. good action scenes, good introduction to an original plot. after awhile, the narration started to irk me. picture a military documentary from the 1960s. that's the voice I heard. every single sentence had an urgency to it, and not in a good way. the narrator used particularly annoying voices for male side characters. there were a couple plot twists in later chapters that I enjoyed. I would have preferred the author spend much more time expanding on the powers and how they would interact in society. what we got was a so so hunt/Chase story for last act. <spoiler> and of course everybody was saved and no one was hurt.
conclusion: an ok book, wouldn't recommend it though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fun super hero story

A story about a pending civil way of the ultra smart vs the normal crowd, reminiscent of Amped.

My only complaint is with the narration. All the male voices had similar accents. Was that the Chicago gangster or the primary bad guy?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 10-11-13

What is your point?

Good guys, bad guys, brilliants, normals, isolation, inclusion. I am left wondering what to take away from this one. It's almost a dystopian story. It is believable, evidently localized to the US, and, I guess, is the forerunner to a big social upheaval.

Luke Daniels, as always, does a fine job narrating.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Luke Daniels, awesome performer.

Brilliance is a good story, made better by the reader. (Except for the female laugh, Mr. Daniels, work on that ... make it less nasal, more throaty.) The plot gusted a bit toward X-men, but nonetheless, I was able to get into the narrative in my head, and live it along with the characters.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica
  • Donaldsonville, LA, United States
  • 03-22-14

Mary Sue Alert

This is another one of those books that was obviously originally written as a screenplay. No studio wants to buy an X-Men rip-off, so Marcus Sakey gets it published as a book, probably because his father plays golf with someone important.

Marcus Sakey's Mary Sue is some guy named Cooper (Twin Peaks marathon during the editing phase). Cooper is so awesome, you guys. He's so smart and so special and so, ahem, brilliant that he can totally intuit everything you're thinking and planning just by your body language. I mean, I know there are FBI and CIA guys who do stuff like that according to that Discovery Channel thing that was playing in the background during the brainstorming phase of this novel, but Marcus Sakey, oops I mean Cooper is so much better than those losers. I mean, he's a step above everyone else on the evolutionary scale, you guys.

Marcus Sakey would also like everyone to know that Cooper is so intuitive and so OMG awesome that his super-powers make him like, super good in bed, ladies.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful