Monday, July 14, 2014

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

First impressions

I remember hearing about this book through BookRiot, thinking, well it sounds like a fun concept. It remind me a bit of X-men sure, but I was still willing to give it a try. I was not disappointed.

Final thoughts

The premise of the book is that ever since the 80’s there has been more and more kids born called brilliants since they show particular heightened skills, in mathematics, pattern recognition and others. They are at first considered gifted, but as so happens often when something threatens a status quo, soon society starts fearing them and when a bloody attack by one of the brilliants activist, the fears seems to be well founded. Academies meant to educate brilliant kids only pop up all over and intend to form this kids to be “well behaved citizens” that will use their “gift” for their government…but they will be taken away from their families in the process, lose their original identities and learn to distrust other brilliants…all to protect our society as it is. The main character, Nick Cooper is a gifted agent, working for the government, trying to stop the bad guys. Until a particularly aggressive attack makes him go undercover to try to catch the most dangerous man alive.

This was a very good thriller. Yes it took me almost a month to listen to it, but mostly because other books came up that I had to finish first (don’t they always?). Anyway, first of all, kudos to Luke Daniels, I believe he has an amazing voice for this type of books. Great voicing of very different characters.

Now, the book itself was very entertaining. At first I was afraid that is was going to be a bit too much like X-Men and I think it is inevitable to have the stories compared if you are familiar with one another. However, Brilliance’s characters are mostly people who are good at reading a certain set of patterns that is already there. The way it was described made me think of people with Asperger Syndrome minus the social interaction difficulties (this mostly present with non-brilliants and due to rejection) or the nonverbal communication.

The book touches, unsurprisingly, political behaviours towards minorities as well as taking some big twists to show that no one is who you might be led to believe they are. My favorite character was Shannon, she was such a bad-ass, sassy, sarcastic…a very memorable and enjoyable character.

The pacing was fantastic, again, don’t be fooled by the fact that it took me so long to finish it; I don’t normally listen to audiobooks once I am at home with Alex, but the truth is that I just couldn’t not finish the book once it got to the last third, and so I spend hours on our bed, not talking to anyone, looking at the ceiling saying: oh wow, did not see that coming, ouch,…anyway. You get my point. I can’t wait to read the sequel. 

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