For those of you who are into political thrillers, THIS is the book you need to have in your life right now. Like, just order it because I said so.
Brilliance - 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," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in - and betray his own kind.
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.
Oh, how do I describe this? It's like The Matrix meets The Recruit meets The X-Men, but it has the writing and the futuristic feel that I get from Fahrenheit 451. We have people who are just.. .really freakishly good at things, called "brilliants" or "abnorms". I guess I would describe them almost like high functioning autistic children? They are just really freakishly good at something and that something makes them a danger to modern society. So the Government has formed an agency that essentially finds these children, "tests" them, and puts them into academies which kind of feel like concentration camps except they aren't really killing them in mass murders. It's all really messed up, basically.
Nick Cooper is an abnorm but he's also an agent within this agency. Once he realizes his daughter is a tier one abnorm, one of the more "dangerous", he sets on a path to prevent her from being put into an academy once he discovers what really happens within the walls. That sets him on a mission to find the elusive Erik Epstein, who because of his abnorm qualities, the stock exchange as we know it has been replaced with something else because Erik can manipulate it and make billions. He also is searching for John Smith, who seemingly is the one orchestrating the normal versus abnormal war. Cooper believes if he can kill John Smith all will fix itself out.
But will it? Once Cooper goes undercover he learns that everything he knows and believes is a lie. It's now up to him to sort out who is telling the truth, who is not, and why.
I absolutely could not put this book down. It was incredibly fast paced, kind of horrific when you really think about the consequences of something like this happening, and sickening when you realize that the American government probably operates like this already and we just don't know it. This is easily one of the best political thrillers I have ever read and usually they bore the hell out of me because it's your standard conspiracy theory. There is nothing standard about this book at all. I'll be reading book two, and reviewing it for you, soon. I do know that this book is going to be a movie, and that would be absolutely kick ass. I don't know if I view the "abnorms" as superhereos so much, but it's kind of amazing regardless because if you think about what it would be like to have some of the qualities mentioned in this book? Endless opportunities. Nothing about the world would be the way it is now. Incredibly fascinating.
Anyways. If you are looking for a really great book that's different than what I usually review, grab this one up. If you are looking for a really good book for a guy who only reads Lee Child and the like, this will be a great new author to explore. Easily. If I can like a political thriller, you know it's an excellent author.