Now, here we have an action packed thriller with a twist. Brilliance is the first in a series of books by Marcus Sakey that is very much in the mutated humans, i. e., individuals with special “enhanced” abilities here called Brilliants. In contrast to many other mutant fiction (be it inhumans, meta-humans, or the like), the mutations are not about super powers like flying or telekinesis or telepathy but rather increased mental abilities like strategic planning, recognition of body language, and so on.
The main theme of book one is a fight between such Brilliants and “normal” people, an everlasting topic in human history that is, once again, mapped onto a (fictional) attribution distinguishing human beings. So, while having a moderate political background, the story is still focused on thrilling action of the protagonist caught in the middle of others’ agendas.
Our hero is Nick Cooper, a guy working for a special task force hunting criminal Brilliants. He’s a Brilliant himself, able to recognize behavioural patterns, which, amongst others, makes him a more effective fighter. It all starts out in hunting a Brilliant terrorist, made responsible for killing innocents on his way. After a major blow, Cooper goes undercover to get closer to the culprit. And this is where his whole world turns into a tempest of eye-opening events and actions. He learns that nothing is at it seems to be.
I loved this book. It took me a bit to get into the language, but then it was fast and the story peppered with twists. My suspicions were all wrong, which was a pleasant surprise especially as I didn’t felt fooled or tricked by the story. And the story’s arc played well on me as well. Very much recommended.