Review: Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

I listened to the Audible Audio version of this book, narrated by Luke Daniels. Let me say at the start that I really enjoyed Mr. Daniels as a narrator. The way that he chose to voice the various characters was engaging and really added to my enjoyment of the story. What I did not like about the book as an audiobook really relates to how the story was written. It is clear that the story was written to be read visually – not audibly. There were quite a few places where it was a strain to understand the overall meaning of what was being said – either because it was written in conversations and then, of course, read in conversations, or because things were just written in such a way that the meaning became ambiguous because it was being spoken and not seen.

All that aside, though, I think the story was pretty great. This book is not a dystopian, but more just an alternate universe to ours. The story deals with what life would be like if there were people called “brilliants” who had what are kind of like super powers, but not quite. Some people, on the lower tiers can just add lots of big numbers in their heads…the kind of stuff that some people can probably do already. But on the higher end, people can “walk through walls” (read the book to understand) or read patterns in people’s lives to determine every move they are going to make next – which is what Cooper can do.

Cooper works for a government agency that hunts down Brilliants who get into trouble. He and his agency police the Brilliants in a way, to make sure that if any get out of hand, they are taken off the streets.

Cooper and the other characters in this book are fantastic. They are life-like, and likable…until some of them aren’t. And if they aren’t, sometimes you grow to like them. There are definitely some grey areas in this book.

There is a lot of action in this book, as well, and the action moves quickly. There is A LOT of detail in this book. It seems like every time you turn around, Cooper is describing his surroundings AGAIN, but it was only mildly annoying, and didn’t really take too much away from the story for me, aside from the fact that I definitely noticed it.

All-in-all, I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers who want something fairly fast paced and exciting. I would probably recommend trying to read this rather than listening to the audiobook, though. It was enjoyable, but probably would have been less confusing in parts had I been reading the book instead.


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