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A Better World (The Brilliance Saga Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Sakey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (529 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
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Book Description

The highly-anticipated sequel to the Edgar nominated Brilliance

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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review: Set in a near-future America tragically accustomed to terrorism, Edgar finalist Sakey’s stellar sequel to 2013’s Brilliance holds the reader in thrall until the final crack of an unthinkable doom—then offers more. U.S. President Lionel Clay, a man temperamentally and intellectually better suited to the classroom than to national leadership, desperately needs the help of Nick Cooper, one of the “brilliants” born since 1980 with special gifts that outstrip 99% of humanity. The members of a shadowy group, the Children of Darwin, are burning truckers alive, starving three American cities, and threatening all-out civil war. Cooper’s fight against this foe demonstrates the importance of decency, principle, and love in a world where politicians’ promises of “protection” lead to the bitterest enslavement. Sakey skillfully juggles a complex backstory while setting up an intricate foundation for this apocalyptic trilogy’s conclusion.

From Booklist

Starred Review: Grumps will say they’ve seen this movie before. Or they read something like it ages ago by Robert Heinlein. The heck with them. This is one fine, thumping thriller. It’s book two of a series Sakey began with last year’s Brilliance, and, like the earlier book, it mixes science fiction with slam-bang crime-fiction suspense. For about three decades, a tiny percentage of the population has been born with gifts that border on the paranormal: sensing invisible patterns, predicting the future, even turning invisible. One of these “abnorms” is holed up with followers in a compound suggesting high-tech Branch Davidians. Another could be a billionaire Bond villain, using his spooky computer powers in a pitch for world dominance. The hero, Nick Cooper, is a fed with startling talents of his own, but as he dopes out the solution to the chaos, so do the bad guys, and the race is on. Sakey’s series has been taken as an allegory of America devouring its own. Could be. But recommend it, too, as a first-rate actioner forever pulsing forward, told in vivid, even poetic prose.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5313 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 17, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IA7N7C8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,925 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Marcus Sakey surprised a few people --- actually, a whole army of readers --- in 2013 when he published BRILLIANCE, a science-fiction thriller that was promised to be part of a series. He previously had earned his author bones by publishing a number of stand-alone works that together could be loosely classified under the crime fiction umbrella but were very different from each other. Sakey adroitly turned from one genre to another, seemingly without effort, but utilizing the same tools in the skill set that made his previous efforts so memorable: those would be his perfect storytelling pacing and his uncanny ability to keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next.

A BETTER WORLD, the second installment in the Brilliance series, continues with the themes that its predecessor initiated while progressing the story line in frightening and unexpected ways. Sakey’s brilliant storytelling abilities are on full display here; within the first 16 pages, not only does he grab readers by the throat and drag them into the story, he also provides a quick yet vital summary of what has gone before.

The premise of Sakey’s world --- very much like our own --- is that a small but significant minority known as “brilliants” within the population possess skill sets of different types and degrees. After the existence of the brilliants is detected in the early 1980s, a screening examination is administered by fiat at eight years of age when a child is thought or suspected to be a brilliant. Those children who are found to be brilliants are shunted off to “academies” --- glorified institutions --- for the stated purpose of more fully developing their talents. The logic behind this is that the people so identified have the potential to be dangerous far in excess of their numbers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THIS! June 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A Better World by Marcus Sakey is the second book in the Brilliance Saga, which is both gripping and entertaining. Many of the characters from the first book are back, and those who read it will very well remember the Epstein brothers, Cooper and Shannon – irreplaceable characters each distinctive in their own way. Sakey has added zing to this second installment by introducing several memorable characters. The most notable among them is Ethan Park, a scientist by profession, and a doting father to a young baby and a compassionate husband.

The story is wonderfully paced, and those who are coming late into the series need not worry as it can be read as a standalone. While it may be debatable whether this second or the earlier first installment was better, it may be pointed out that the answer will solely depend on the taste of each individual reader. Personally, this second installment is as good as the first, if not better. For the sake of appraisal, new readers may like to try out the first book.

What is most remarkable about A Better World is the build up to the explosive climax, geared toward which, the author takes readers on a thrill ride from start to finish. With edge of the seat plot twists and turns, and the brilliance of Sakey’s writing, A Better World is one you wouldn’t want to miss.

#Received an uncorrected proof advance reader’s copy of the book for honest review.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To Be Continued July 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed "Brilliance" and was pleased to find out that it's in production as a movie. I was even more pleased when this second installment was published... right up to the point where the book ended abruptly without a single completed story arc. I'm surprised the author didn't just end mid-sentence. I will probably download book three if the price is cheap enough, just to find out what happened but I'll do it reluctantly. (For the record, I'm a sucker for serial novels from Mildred Dunnit to Elizabeth George to Arthur Conan Doyle but I want a whole story told with each installment.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Two perfect follow up! August 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliance Saga is wonderful sci-fi, great human stories with futuristic good guys and one main great guy Nick Cooper who struggles with his past as a government agent and an abnorm himself. The country is turning against abnorms, stripping them of their rights, incarcerating abnorm children, changing their names and isolating them from their families while the academies treat them cruelly and coldly for their own purposes depending on their specific ability. Brilliant and rich Erik Epstein has created a region in Montana he owns and is filled with abnorms, advanced technology and a fortress where people have flocked to be with their own abnorms, live in peace and without fear. The technology is advanced and utilized to run the cities in the compound.
Are they sitting ducks if Sec. Leahy gets his way to take power from the new President he thinks is weak and inept.
Nick learns people lie, people trick and those who he believed in are monsters. Now he wants to fix the mess he made. He ultimately trusted the wrong person, unleashed a damning video and feels he needs to right his wrong. Worst of all he was manipulated and that fuels his action. Anarchy in the streets, cities attacked by a terrorist group. Who funded them, who trained them and why? And, Nick is after John Smith who he knows manipulated him to unleashing something that has changed the course of history and may have doomed the country! Cities in turmoil, cut off from food supplies and the government is not helping.
There are so many stories within the story and all compelling and drawing yo in and close to the characters. Some you root for and others are pure self serving evil.....ok, I NEED book three!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Better World
The first book of series was better than the sequel, which seems a bit drawn out to me and didn't hold my interest like the previous book of series
Published 19 hours ago by Linda C. Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars great book- couldn't put it down
The story continues and I read every word of it and was left wanting more. A lot of action and an awesome story line. Will definitely read the next book.
Published 20 hours ago by Batina
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on the near future sci-fi
At first glance this is a good near future sci-fi crime adventure. But like most good sci-fi the underlying themes are much more far reaching than a simple shootout story. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Ame M.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
I could not stop turning the pages. This is an excellent sequel to Brilliance and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Published 7 days ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!!!!!!
When is the Brilliance Saga Book 3 coming out. I want to read it now. One of the best series of books I've ever read.
Published 10 days ago by EMB
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first book
Wasn't worth any more then 3 stars for me .
Well I sure hope there is a 3rd book coming as this ended badly in my opinion ! Read more
Published 12 days ago by Darrell Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Double WOW
Not the sequence of events that I expected... But a truly spectacular twist. Can't wait for Book 3. Hope Sakey has it completed soon.
Published 13 days ago by MississippiMom
4.0 out of 5 stars A Better Book
Clearly Marcus Sakey is an entertainer. A fun and easy read, sure to one day be a motion picture thriller!
Published 15 days ago by William Childs
5.0 out of 5 stars Sakey keeps you on the edge...
Sakey keeps you on the edge in book two. The twists and turns so unexpectedly knock the proverbial wind out of you. I challenge you to read part 2 without flinching!
Published 16 days ago by Theresa bayman
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Story So Much!
This is one of my favourite books. I've loved everything in volume one and two and I really hope there's more to come. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Tracey Pedersen
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More About the Author

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Time's Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novel GOOD PEOPLE was made into a movie starring James Franco and Kate Hudson, and BRILLIANCE is currently in development with Legendary Pictures (Inception, The Dark Knight.)

Marcus was also the host of the acclaimed television show "Hidden City" on Travel Channel, for which he was routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs.

Prior to writing, he worked as a landscaper, a theatrical carpenter, a 3D animator, a movie reviewer, a tutor, and a graphic designer who couldn't draw.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. His website is, or follow him on Facebook ( or Twitter, where he posts under the clever handle @MarcusSakey.

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