Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “Brilliants”.
A small portion of the world's population are different, they are the evolution of the species, they excel in ways normal people cannot even begin to comprehend. But what happens to the rest of us that cannot compete with such brilliance? That is the crux of the story and it is a roller-coaster of a ride which follows a Federal Agent, who is also a Brilliant. It is full of twists and turns, some of which you see coming, others that genuinely took me by surprise. Just think Lee Child's Reacher series combined with a sci-fi evolution of the species.
The main character is trained and smart, he knows his job and I liked the fact that he was at the top of his game partly because of his ability. If anything the sci-fi aspect made the superlative skill more understandable.
However, no matter how evolved they might be, they're still human and still have problems that any person can relate to. They fear for their families, they want to protect their countries and they realise that never is anything but black and white.
Some of the characters seemed limited and two dimensional, though this more than often highlighted the difficulties of being different. Imagine how child prodigies must feel when being around those of their own age, but far beyond them in their capabilities.
One issue I had is the book seemed to focus a little too much on the Brilliants, the counter point of the 'normal' population always seemed a little distant as a whole, whereas the individuals often appeared extreme in their perceptions of Brilliants.
A thoroughly enjoyable book that explored the problems of society in an interesting manner. Look deeper beyond the fast paced action and it does summon questions of how we treat others around us.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
This Brilliance book review was written by Lewis King
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