Thursday, September 25, 2014

G399 Book Review of A Better World by Marcus Sakey

Name of Book: A Better World

Author: Marcus Sakey

ISBN: 978-1-4778-2394-1

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Part of a Series: Brilliance is the prequel

Type of book: Speculation, 2000s, brilliants, political thriller, trying to make a world a better place, Wyoming, chaos, missing person, secret invention

Year it was published: 2014


The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.

Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose—because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.

And to reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.

From Marcus Sakey, “the master of the mindful page turner” (Gillian Flynn) and “one of our best storytellers” (Michael Connelly), Book Two of the Brilliance Saga is a relentless thrill ride that will change the way you look at your world—and the people around you.


The author did attempt to go into more details about the characters as well as switching points of view, but I did feel that perhaps I didn't spend enough time in their thoughts. The main character is Nick Cooper, a former DARS agent who becomes an advisor to President of United States and begins to discover some very ugly facts about someone he helped previously; other characters from the first book such as Nick's ex-wife and children also show up along with Shannon, John Smith, Nick's best friend Quinn and the Epstein brothers. But its also not just old characters, new characters that end up being fascinating also appear, such as Ethan and Amy Park along with their daughter and Soren, John Smith's best friend.


Things aren't what they seem


The story is written from multiple point of views in third person narrative, and unfortunately there aren't chapter subheadings to when point of view switches, but strangely enough I didn't feel lost and enjoyed seeing things from different characters. The strengths of the book lie in the action and dialogue. Just like the previous book, I couldn't sense depth of the characters, but perhaps felt as if I am looking at their surfaces instead. I can definitely imagine this as a movie, and yeah, I do hope it will be a movie, and just like in previous book, there are advertisements and whatnots to help us get deeper into the world.

Author Information:
(From the email)

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Times Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novels Good People and Brilliance are both in development as feature films. Marcus is also the host of the acclaimed television show "Hidden City" on Travel Channel, for which he is routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs. Prior to writing, he worked as a landscaper, a theatrical carpenter, a 3D animator, a woefully unprepared movie reviewer, a tutor, and a graphic designer who couldn't draw. Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.


Umm first of all, when is the third book coming and why did the author have to leave me at the cliffhanger?! Yeah, I loved reading it and did find it exciting. The action is nonstop, the people are not who they seem and I really enjoy this type of speculation/science fiction. (Makes me wonder why I wasn't exposed to something like this when I was taking a science fiction and literature class?) It also reminded me very strongly of Immortality by Kevin Bohacz, and the author does a good job at continuing to keep the tension from the previous book and rise it up even more. I do feel its necessary to read the prequel to understand what is going on and to feel that one hasn't missed anything.

Thanks to! 

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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