A BETTER WORLD by Marcus Sakey


From the "Brilliance Trilogy" series, volume 2
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The second part of the Brilliance trilogy, in which Sakey (Brilliance, 2013, etc.) turns the action up to 11 and blows lots of things up.

To recap: we live in a world where 1 percent of the world’s children are born with superhuman gifts; some of these “abnorms” or “twists” are good guys and some of them are bad guys. Federal agent Nick Cooper thinks he’s a good guy, using his gift for predicative response to track down terrorist John Smith. But his discovery of a government conspiracy to demonize abnorms by blaming them for an act of terrorism led him to toss his boss off a building at the end of the last book. Now Cooper, along with his companion Shannon Azzi, is tasked by President Lionel Clay with helping him hold the fraying world together. Unlucky for Cooper, there are lots of new players on the scene, all of whom have different visions of the "better world" of the title. Out in the desert, a wealthy abnorm named Erik Epstein builds an Israel-like retreat for his people called the New Canaan Holdfast. In middle America, a new terrorist faction called the Children of Darwin is starving out Tulsa, Fresno, and Cleveland by blowing up food stores and murdering truck drivers. Dr. Abraham Couzen, a mad scientist, has disappeared with what may just be the cure for brilliance, a potential wrinkle that is far more dangerous than it seems. It sounds like a lot to juggle, but Sakey’s execution of a complex plot combined with cinematic style is superb. Sakey even manages to produce a James Bond–level villain whose “gift” is experiencing the passage of time faster than those around him—which makes him the perfect, deadly foil to Cooper. “His name is Soren Johansen,” says Smith by way of introduction. “He’s the most dangerous person I’ve ever met....And my oldest friend.” This is a top-notch entry in a franchise that’s already destined for the movies.

Wicked smart sci-fi action on a Wagnerian scale.

Pub Date: June 24th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4778-2394-1
Page count: 390pp
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
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