My Pick This Week: Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
““The radio host had said there was a war coming, said it like he was looking forward to it, and Cooper, coatless and chilly in the desert evening, was thinking that the radio man was an asshole.
He’d chased Vasquez for nine days now. Someone had warned the programmer just before Cooper got to the Boston walk-up, a brick rectangle where the only light had been a window onto an airshaft and the glowing red eyes of power indicators on computers and routers and surge protectors. The desk chair had been against the far wall as if someone had leaped out of it, and steam still rose from an abandoned bowl of ramen.
Vasquez had run, and Cooper had followed.”
~ p. 1
“The heavy door of interview room four muffled the shouting within, rendering the words indistinct. But through the window Cooper could see Dickinson leaning over the table, one hand planted knuckles down, the other up and pointing, inches from the face of a man with the same cheekbones and brow line as Alex Vasquez. Dickinson was stabbing the air with his finger, jamming it back and forth as if he were pushing a button.
Using the shouting as cover, Cooper gently opened the door and slipped inside, catching it with one hand as it closed and easing it shut.
“—had better come clean with me, do you hear? Because this isn’t some speeding ticket. It’s not an eight ball of blow. You’re looking at terrorism charges, my friend. I will vanish you. Just,” Dickinson straightened, held his hands out in front of him and stared at them in mock bewilderment, “where’d he go? Wasn’t there a guy here a minute ago? Some twist lover? Poof, he’s gone, no one knows where, never seen again.” He leaned forward again. “Do you hear me?”
“I hear you,” Cooper said.
The agent whirled, one hand blurring to his empty holster. Man, he’s fast. When he saw Cooper, he looked briefly sheepish, but that faded quickly, buried by naked dislike. “I’m in the middle of something.”
“Yeah? What?” Cooper spared a glance at Bryan Vasquez, saw no sign he’d try something stupid, so turned his attention back to Dickinson. “What exactly are you in the middle of? Which case? Who’s the target?”
Dickinson gave a wolfish smile. “Just following a lead. Never know where it’s going to go.” The other agent squared up to him. “Until I get there. ”
~ p. 56
Chapter One gets right into the story. Not a lot of pretense; not a lot of setup. It just takes off like a movie; that's an approach I prefer. Right from the start, the concept of Brillance intrigued me. I like that beyond that one trait that each Brilliant had they were normal --- some smart, some average and not "idiot savants" as mentioned in the story. That makes me even more curious about the science of it, and like the people in this dystopian world, wonder why those specific people were given the power. I like that it's random and "possibly" not a result of genetic modification. But something that happened in nature; possibly the next step in human evolution. I'm new to Sakey's work, and I love it already. His storytelling is rich and thought provoking. And it's only chapter one...
Also Luke Daniels was amazing. He has a prefect "movie voice over" voice that he does for the narrative and gives each character, minor and major, depth and their own POV when it comes to voice. Love it!!!
Title: BrillianceGenres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Mystery Thriller, SuspenseFormat: Audiobook (Audible)Length: 12 hrs and 35 minsRelease Date: July 16, 2013Book Club: November Book of the Month -- Nerds and Novels (SoCal Chapter)
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.