Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Brilliance (4.5)

I don’t know why everyone isn’t reading this book. Brilliance is basically the book that Michael Crichton would write about the X-men. Several of the reviews I read were like “blah blah blah, it’s basically about the X-men, blah blah blah not creative,” if that’s your criteria, technically Harry Potter wasn’t that groundbreaking. Technically, it’s just a book about a wizard, coming of age, and going on a hero’s journey. Technically that stories been told.

Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey takes place in the modern day of an alternate future, where 1% of people born since 1980 are ‘brilliants.’ Brilliants don’t shoot lasers out of their eyes or control the weather or anything super cool, they’re just really, really smart. And that manifests itself into minor powers. A little girl who can always tell if someone’s lying, a man who can sense patterns in the stock market,  a woman who can go invisible by being where no one is looking, and Nick Cooper (our hero) who can read what people are going to do by the tiniest movement of their muscles. Ok, maybe this isn’t Crichton-level science fiction, but it definitely makes sense.
not that I'm knocking these guys
Nick Cooper is a brilliant working for the government to find and track brilliants, namely John Smith, a terrorist who has killed hundreds already and is working on something even worse…

What I loved about this novel was the social commentary that came along with the action-packed plot. There were news articles, copies of speeches, and even advertisements in between some chapters. Not so many that it distracted from the story, but just enough to create a fully realized world.

It started a bit slow, so don’t let that fool you. I was reading it at the same time as Atonement, which complimented it well since Atonement is all about characters with some action and Brilliance is all about action with some character development. I also finished it in the middle of a thunderstorm so I LITERALLY jumped out of my seat a few times. 

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