The Brilliance Trilogy by Marcus Sakey


This is more a wrap-up of the entire trilogy than just this book since I never reviewed the first two books.

The first book in The Brilliance Trilogy, Brilliance is about a small percentage of people in the world who are labeled as “brilliants”, as opposed to those who don’t and are considered “norms”.  Brilliants have extraordinary senses which can be used in good ways or bad.  Nick Cooper, who is a brilliant, uses his skills working as an agent to help the U.S. government track down other brilliants that use their extrasensory powers to commit evil acts.  Nick and his partner find themselves tracking a terrorist who has bombed a restaurant, killing many innocent men, women and children.  As the investigation unfolds and government secrets come to light, Nick finds himself questioning whether he works for the good guys or the bad guys. 4/5 stars

In the second book in the series, A Better World, Nick became an advisor to the President of the United States.  The world’s growing fear of brilliants has escalated due to the activities of a terrorist known as John Smith.  Nick works with the government to bring down John Smith, but it’s still questionable which side Nick should be fighting for in order to keep his family and the rest of the world safe. 4/5 stars

Written in Fire is the final book in Marcus Sakey’s trilogy.   The White House is in ruins.  The President has been killed.  Cities have been taken over.  The brilliants have become feared and are being persecuted by normal people everywhere.  The United States is close to civil war.  Nick has lost his job and come close to dying.  While working to end the terrorism and stop a war, Nick must find the one person who may have a solution to bringing peace to the nation.  3.5/5 stars

Nick Cooper is a good hero and the dynamics between Nick, his children, his girlfriend, his ex-wife, his co-workers and even the terrorists are wonderfully written.  We care about Nick because he genuinely cares about what is best for all of them.  Nick isn’t always right and he doesn’t always come out on top.  We get glimpses of how the government, the populace and the bad guys think and what defines their actions.  There is always that gnawing question of which side is right.  Does either side have all the answers?  In the world today, we are experiencing terrible acts between people more and more frequently, whether it is over race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.   The Brilliance Trilogy can be applied to any of these as an example of what can happen between two disparate groups of people and how far out of control it can become.

While the first two books were amazing, hold-on-by-the-seat-of-your-pants thrillers, this third and final installment failed to excite me in the same way.  Most of the great action already happened and there is nothing original added here.  It seemed like the storyline grew tiring at this point.  However, the series as a whole is definitely a worthy read and even though it’s labeled as a trilogy, the author did leave us with one hanging tidbit that may lead to another book.

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