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A Better World by Marcus Sakey

A Better World

by Marcus Sakey

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Since 1980 one percent of the population has been born with special gifts. These abilities have created a divide among society with a faction of gifted who are terrorizing the nation. Nick Cooper, now advisor to the President, is one of the gifted but he has sought to fight for a world of unity. ( )
  creighley | Jul 18, 2017 |
Nick Cooper, former Department of Analysis and Response agent with the Equitable Response Unit, continues his “save the world” quest, hoping to stop the coming war between the brilliants and the normals. His efforts have unexpectedly landed him in the position of advisor to the president of the United States; unfortunately, the situation is rapidly deteriorating and chaos has become the order of the day. But suppose a way existed for the normal to become a brilliant? Could that gift change the world for the better?

New characters seamlessly fold into the existing narrative as the frenzied pace of the story keeps the pages turning. The continuing conflict between the two groups, fueled by behind-the-scenes maneuvering for individual gain, ramps up the suspense and keeps the pages turning. Readers will find the complexities of the conflict make it difficult to set this book aside before the final reveal [and a cliffhanger to be resolved in the third book of the trilogy].

Readers should note that “A Better World” is the second book in a trilogy; the first volume is “Brilliance” and the final volume is “Written in Fire.”

Highly recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | Jun 10, 2017 |
A strong second part to this trilogy about the challenges that occur when 1% of the population is born with special gifts. As the tensions between Brilliants and Normals rise, Nick Cooper finds himself working for the President of the US to try to prevent war from breaking out. Another fact-paced story with lots of action. ( )
  porch_reader | Dec 9, 2016 |
4.75 stars (seriously get with it GR!) This book, the second in the Brillance Saga, was equally as thrilling as the first. These books are thrillers for thinkers; people who don't want to be spoon-fed (hmm,hmm I won't call out any authors, but you know who you are) and who want an engaging read with plausible scenarios. Yes I know it is science fiction, but the premise is not so off the charts as to be completely fantastical. Great summer read. Highly recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Imagine a world of mostly mundanes, and a minority of talented mutants. Set them into conflict with each other. Have the 'good' mutants try to integrate themselves into a society which regards them with suspicion. Have the 'bad' mutants start a new civil war so that they can take their rightful place as the leaders of the new world, a superior race.
That’s pretty much the backdrop to A Better World… and it feels an awful lot like X-men to me, too.

This is the second book in a series, and maybe I would’ve engaged with it better if I’d started with the first. However it wasn’t too tricky to catch up with the general plot – there’s a sizeable chunk of recap in the opening chapters – and the conflicting factions and their representative characters soon take shape.
The best parts are undoubtedly those where the Brilliants – the new breed who all have different talents, ranging from Tier One uberhumans to almost-normal lower Tiers – flex their talents. The best of the Brilliants is the bad guy who functions at super-speed or, rather, he perceives normal time at a snail’s pace. This gives him huge advantages in action against even other Brilliants, but means he’s numbingingly handicapped in every other aspect of life. He’s one of the few character in the book I would have liked to spend more time with. (There's more thoughts on the plot and characters at MurderMayhemandMore.net)
So A Better World does include some fascinating, original concepts which I’d have enjoyed exploring at the author’s leisure. However, the plot which serves them is considerably less fulfilling, and the sequences where ‘an ordinary guy’ comes to terms with martial law and the collapse of society are pretty humdrum, more ‘so what?’ than ‘what if?’. Ditto the pasty POTUS and the evil manipulating Chief-of-Staff intent on war-war-war: it’s just all been done before. If the writing had been razor sharp then that could have made up for the meandering plot… but it kinda trudged along through the middle third.

The relationships between the Brilliant characters and the threat of the seriously bad dude were enough to keep my interest engaged to the end. However, A Better World didn’t inspire me to seek out the book which preceded it, nor to look out for the follow-up.
( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
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"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"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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