Monday, June 16, 2014

A Better World

A Better World by Marcus Sakey
Thomas & Mercer: 6/17/2014

ebook 390 pages
ISBN-13: 9781477823941
Brilliance Saga #2

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.
My Thoughts:

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.

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