Brilliance by Marcus Sakey is a unique combination of Sci Fi, Urban Fantasy, and Thriller. In a world where one in a hundred children are now being born with extra gifts, with no explanation for why this has started happening, the regular population is now nervous about what this means for them. When a ‘Brilliant’ can see the patterns of the stock market and completely crash the system, or another can read you mind, or determine in the blink of an eye what will happen next in any given situation, where does that leave the ungifted population?
Agent Nick Cooper is a ‘Brilliant’ working for the government to find, and sometimes even kill other brilliants who are working to hurt innocent civilians. When he learns of a planned bombing at the newly re-opened stock exchange, his attempt to stop it takes a turn he never in a million years imagined.
Suddenly partnered up with a brilliant he’d been trying to take down because of her part in another recent bombing, he learns more about this hidden world than he’d ever known. He’s in a race against time to get to and kill the true mastermind of all the chaos while also fighting to keep his own young daughter out of the state run schools for brilliants, which he finally learns are nothing more than government run labs to turn them into brainwashed soldiers. Everything Nick thought he knew about his world, and his personal motivations for why he works so hard to keep his country safe from the bad brilliants is thrown into a tailspin.
This was a really interesting, well written book with plenty of cynical humor, well thought out world building, and interesting characters. Romantic elements are thrown in and you hope that there will be more in Nick’s new relationship in the next book in this series. The twists and turns of the story along with the snips of news coverage thrown in make for a very realistic world where the average citizen is kept in a state of fear about their fellow man being something they don’t understand and have a need to control. Highly recommend this Marcus Sakey book for anyone who enjoys thrillers with a sci fi / urban fantasy twist.