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.
What I liked: There are two reasons I bought Brilliance. It sounded somewhat different and THE narrator of my choice. Yup, totally bought it because Luke Daniels is the narrator. I got a bit more than I expected too. I had never purchased a book with Brilliance audio before and didn't know I was getting the Kindle version with the audio or visa-versa. (From my order I can't tell if I bought the audio first or the Kindle version) Anyway I ended up with both and to my surprise all I had to do was hit play and the app did the rest. I didn't have to flip pages, the app did it when Mr. Daniels got to the end of the page. But, if I did flip the page, the narration went right to that spot in the book. It was a bit surprising to say the least. Okay, enough about my tech ineptness.
Even with the outstanding narration, I almost gave up on Brilliance. It was slow in the beginning but I hung on and about a third of the way through was carrying my phone or iPad around with me just to see what happened next.
This is one instance the synopsis of the book doesn't necessarily work. It hits on a couple of points that, to me, didn't deal with the real story. In addition to being labeled "brilliants", the highly evolved individuals are also called "abnorms" The lead character, Nick Cooper, is an adnorm working for a government agency that tracks down abnorm terrorists. Why would there be adnorm terrorists, you ask....well, first of all the norms feel the adnorms have an advantage in ways the normal people can't compete. For example, imagine an individual who can play the stock market so well he becomes a billionaire, and the only way to stop him is to completely shut down the stock market. Yup, not good. These adnormal people, while in the minority, have skills the majority can't compete with so they devise a system to identify the gifted and train them to only work for the good of the majority and not for their fellow gifted. The adult gifted do not want to be discriminated against and find ways to sabotage all the efforts of the majority. Convoluted I know but the story is much better than what I just described.
Did I mention that all suspected gifted children are tested at age 8 to determine their gifts and level of skill. Nick is married to a norm and has two children, a boy who is a norm and a 4 year daughter who is gifted. Nick is idealistic enough to want the world to be a better and safe place for both his children and feels hunting the terrorists is the best way to accomplish his goal. Therein is the rest of the story.
Mr. Daniels does an absolutely amazing job voicing the different characters and brings Mr. Sakey's story to life. While a little drawn out, I fell into the story.
What I didn't like: At first I was a bit annoyed with the female voices Mr. Daniels chose but soon realized I had the speed on the narration too high. Once I lowered the speed a notch, the female voices flowed better.
As I said, the story was slow in some places. Not exactly an info dump but the basics were spread throughout the story. Some I felt didn't need to be addressed but the further into the story I got, I realized I had no idea what Mr. Sakey was going to do with the rest of the series and maybe what he included would need to be known for subsequent books.
Very glad I took a chance on Mr. Sakey by way of Luke Daniels.