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A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy) (edition 2014)

by Marcus Sakey (Author)

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1731768,650 (3.97)1
Member:realfish
Title:A Better World (The Brilliance Trilogy)
Authors:Marcus Sakey (Author)
Info:Thomas & Mercer (2014), 390 pages
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A Better World by Marcus Sakey

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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.
7/10
( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
Luke Daniels
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
A Better World by Marcus Sakey is the very highly recommended and highly anticipated second book in the planned trilogy of the Brilliance Saga series.

In A Better World the tension between Norms and Brilliants has escalated to a breaking point. The government is planning to implant a tracking device in every "abnorm"or Brilliant in America. "They talked about the tagging that was slated to begin next summer, the government’s plan to implant a tracking device against the carotid artery of every abnorm in America. Starting with tier ones like Shannon. Like himself. Near as anyone could figure, the abnorm phenomenon started in early 1980, though it wasn’t detected until 1986, when scientific study revealed that for unknown reasons, one percent of all children were born 'brilliant,' possessed of savant abilities. These gifts manifested in different ways; most were impressive but unthreatening, like the ability to multiply large numbers or perfectly play a song heard only once. Others were world-shifting." Location 138

The reaction to the prejudice breaking out in the political realm is reflected clearly in a subversive group who calls themselves The Children of Darwin. The Children of Darwin are coming close to declaring an all-out civil war and they are making their point by burning truckers alive in an effort to stop all supplies from entering three cities. They are essentially cutting the cities off and starving the citizens.

Nick Cooper is a Brilliant who is an adviser working for President Lionel Clay. Nick is trying to fight the subversive group from within the government. He just wants to secure a better, safer world for his family, but as in any effort of this magnitude political intrigue and subterfuge abound. Clearly the efforts of several of the characters place a target on them. Promises to protect brilliants have resulted in enslavement and gross abuse.

Sakey also introduces several other characters in this complicated in-depth plot. This truly is an action-packed plot that also contains several twists and turns. The timely, poignant focus on the pitting of groups against each other seems appropriate in today's political climate. The characters are all wonderfully developed and complex. The writing is superb.

For those who haven't read Brilliant, you probably will want to before reading this second book in the planned triliogy, but, truth be told, you don't need to read Brilliant in order to enjoy A Better World. I have Brilliant and hadn't read it yet (shhhhh...). I was planning to wait and read all three installments of the story after the third book was out. Once I received an advance reader's copy of A Better World, time constraints had me forging ahead and reading it before the first book. I enjoyed it immensely. Sakey provided the entire back story I needed to quickly get up to speed. Do yourself a favor, though, and get both books right away.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 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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