A Better World (The Brilliance Saga #2)

AudiobookReview

  • ABetterWorldAuthor: Marcus Sakey
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: On Audible June 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense
  • five-stars

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.

The second book in the Brilliance saga picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first, throwing the reader/listener straight into the ongoing conspiracy and opening with a chilling scenario….

When the pain was finally done, he collapsed. His thoughts were slippery and he struggled to process what had just happened. The ground was cold. And moving. No, he was moving, being dragged. His hands were behind him and something held them together.

Then liquid splashed his face. The cold made him gasp and he sucked some of the fluid into his mouth. It was foul. A pungent chemical presence he’d never tasted but had smelled a thousand times, and that was when panic swept out the last vestiges of pain, because he was handcuffed on the side of the road and someone was pouring gasoline on him. 

“Oh God, please, please, don’t, please don’t -“

Chapter one begins three weeks before that terrible incident. Tension and suspense build again gradually and consistently as we meet old and new characters. The most notable of the latter is Dr Ethan Park who, along with Abe Cousen and their team, have made an unimaginable discovery.

Nick Cooper continues to fascinate as the strong and utterly determined main protagonist, complex and extremely resourceful, and although he doubts the wisdom of his previous actions based on their outcome he is still, now more than ever, committed to sorting through the backlash, figuring out what is going on and preventing a national catastrophe.

There’s so much incredible depth and detail to this and the previous story I was glad to have the recap of events from Brilliance woven into A Better Story and in such a way that it wasn’t a straight rehash. The tension between ‘normals’ and ‘brilliants’ is escalating and a terrorist group, The Children of Darwin, are set on provoking a war. It’s quite harrowing listening to accounts of the devastation as America goes crazy and cities are taken over and their populations left without food and utilities.

The writing, gripping story telling and alternate reality world building are exceptional as are the well-developed and believable characters. I enjoyed the interspersed flashes of newscasts and ads, I especially like the personal ones, as they continue, in a fantastic way, to update the narrative. There are some unexpected, moving and breathtaking twists in what is an excellent second instalment.

At the risk of repeating myself, and I probably will do again more than once because Luke Daniels’ performances are so consistently outstanding. I’ve listened to a lot of his narrations in all sorts of genres with an equally vast array of characters and he handles each one with ease and individuality.

Upcoming Audio Releases

Not long to go…  🙂

ShatteredPublisher’s Summary

For nearly 2,000 years, only one Druid has walked the Earth – Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company.
Atticus’ apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy.
And Owen has some catching up to do.
Atticus takes pleasure in the role reversal, as the student is now the teacher. Between busting Atticus’s chops and trying to fathom a cell phone, Owen must also learn English. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki – or merely a pain in the arse.
But Atticus isn’t the only one with daddy issues. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing a crushing defeat.
As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.

 

 

SpellorHighWater

 

Publisher’s Summary

The adventures of an American hacker in Medieval England continue as Martin Banks takes his next step on the journey toward mastering his reality-altering powers and fulfilling his destiny.
A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn’t be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.
Thankfully, Martin and Philip are invited to a summit in Atlantis for all of the leaders of the time-traveler colonies, and now Martin thinks this will be a chance to try again with Gwen. Of course, this is Martin Banks we’re talking about, so murder, mystery, and high intrigue all get in the way of a guy who just wants one more shot to get the girl.
The follow-up to the hilarious Off to Be the Wizard, Scott Meyer’s Spell or High Water proves that no matter what powers you have over time and space, you can’t control rotten luck.

 

 

Vanished

Publisher’s Summary

When an 11-year-old is abducted on her way to school, the FBI doesn’t waste a moment, sending agents to scour the area and embedding Special Agent Ava McLane with the distraught family. In the eye of the storm is local detective Mason Callahan, whose life is crumbling to pieces – he’s related to the victim, and his longtime confidential informant has just been murdered.
Both he and Agent McLane hole up in the victim’s family home. Every second counts in a kidnapping case, and the stakes keep rising the longer the girl is missing. As Ava and Mason struggle to hold the family together in their darkest hour, the two investigators find themselves drawn to each other.

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

ABetterWorld

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.