Brilliance by Marcus Sakey (5 out of 5)



A truly gripping book that will have you starting to read it at 10:44pm and then when you’re still up at 2:55am finishing it with work ahead of you in 6 hours, sleep be damned. About 1% of American children born after 1986 are brilliant. As in off the charts brilliance. Some of these children become what could likely be called international incidents. Some of these “abnorms” are capable of causing great harm, wars, and overall mayhem. Enter Nick Cooper, a former soldier and now working for Equitable Services. Nick Cooper is one of these abnorms, except he’s working for the government and hunts down terrorist abnorms to stop shit from getting too real. Our head terrorist has the done-to-death name of John Smith behind a major attack in Washington, D.C. and planning several more. Smith’s agent and fellow terrorist Shannon, has an uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere and disappear as quickly. Nick’s children come under fire, and he has to execute a perfect plan to not only keep his kids safe and out of this ongoing melee with the terrorist abnorms, but to do so without getting taken out in the process. He reluctantly and deceitfully teams up with Shannon, pretending he has ditched the job. Things get topsy turvy real quick, but for every undercurrent of danger, there’s also some fun lurking somewhere. Yes, fun. Action packed and people croaking left and right, yes, but there’s humor in this book also. Nick Cooper is probably my favorite lead character so far this year. And seeing I read quite a bit, that’s quite a feat. 

What did I get from this? As I just said, Nick Cooper, a great character. Marcus Sakey has elements to this novel that attest to calamity in the modern times: trust, racism, the ways of humanity vs. technology. A very real book that has elements present and accounted for in today’s society, but I don’t think I’ve read a book like this in a long while, if ever, to be completely honest. I’m sure there will be someone who nay-says this and says the concept is done to death. Perhaps the common feeling may be that it is, but the telling of this story, definitely has not been executed in the way that Marcus Sakey has done so here. Does truth or power win out here? Read on and find out. 

You could say you knew that Nick and Shannon were going to end up doing that ages old dance of flirtation and forbidden dangerous passion. I could say that I had a hunch it would head in that direction, but despite that, I still bought into it. Why? For the simple reason that this novel is awesome. I’ve already said I dig the character of Nick. I didn’t trust Shannon one bit, but something about the dynamics of the two of them as a “team” (quotes because of the side of the playground he’s really playing in) made me believe it. I thought I was going to have a hard time getting into a book that had so many intricate undersides to it, but that wasn’t the case at all. Sakey writes the crap out of this plotline, and has the character chops to bring it home to the table. It’s beyond a page turner. Not many books would be able to keep me up until the early morning hours these days, but this one definitely brought home the bacon.


~ by generationgbooks on August 15, 2013.

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