- Audiobook Review
- Author: Marcus Sakey
- Performed by Luke Daniels
- Released: January 2016 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Contemporary, Sci-fi, Alternate Reality
For thirty years humanity struggled to cope with the brilliants, the 1 percent of people born with remarkable gifts. For thirty years we tried to avoid a devastating civil war.
The White House is a smoking ruin. Madison Square Garden is an internment camp. In Wyoming, an armed militia of thousands marches toward a final, apocalyptic battle.
This has been a fantastic series, starting with Brilliance, followed by A Better World and now Written in Fire. It portrays a world in a near, but alternate, future where an extremely small percentage of the population are born with individualised intellectual and physical abilities way above anything previously known. Normals see the abnorms, or brilliants, as a threat, and therefore people to be feared and persecuted.
Nick Cooper, himself an abnorm, has been fighting a terrorist network led by John Smith, also a brilliant. But so far Nick’s efforts have been in vain and, after the final indignity of a proposal to microchip all abnorms in order to control them, America is on the brink of the civil war Nick feared, but hoped would never happen. Written in Fire picks up the story immediately after the massacre of thousands of troops, in A Better World, by a computer virus put into effect by abnorms.
As the hostilities intensify at a terrifying rate, Nick and Dr Ethan Park are hot on the heels of Dr Abraham Couzen, who has disappeared along with a formula he and Ethan have recently discovered. The Brilliance Replicator. Nick has spent the majority of his life fighting, for his country and his family’s safety. Now he faces his long-standing enemy and everything and everybody hangs in the balance.
Out of the window, the city scrolled past. The same New York he’d visited countless times, and yet, not the same at all. There was an uneasy tension to everything, a nervous twitchiness. America could take a punch, but the last year had been a series of haymakers. The stock exchange bombing in March, resulting in more than a thousand dead. Abnorm terrorists seizing control off Tulsa, Fresno, and Cleveland, the last of which burned to the ground in the ensuing riots. The destruction of the White House and the massacre of seventy-five thousand soldiers. Not to mention the erosion of the social order: shuttered financial markets, basic services falling apart, growing mistrust of the government, increasingly violent tribalism.
A complex and very imaginative story line with equally complex, memorable and well defined characters, both good and bad, who drive the story forward. They, and their objectives, are described in such crisp and believable detail it’s easy to see both sides and view them as real people, not just characters in a novel.
The underlying analogy of inequality, inferior versus superior, has been woven cleverly into the narrative from the beginning and culminates in madness, confusion and complete lack of order with all the main players’ lives at stake. It’s a perfect combination of fast moving action and gripping plot structure. All the separate strands are brought together wonderfully well with a great twist which leaves the end open to interpretation. A terrific series and a seamless, incredibly intense and powerful performance by Luke Daniels.
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.