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Die Abnormen (2014)

by Marcus Sakey(Favorite Author)
3.85 of 5 Votes: 1
1477822631 (ISBN13: 9781477822630)
Brilliance Saga
review 1: The "us vs. them" trope is nothing new, but this IS a well-written action novel with interesting characters, plot twists, and a whiff of governmental intrigue.The parallels to X-Men (or Heroes, etc.) are obvious, but if you enjoy those stories, Brilliance is the first book in what promises to be a satisfying new trilogy.A small portion of the population (1%, to be exact) have been born with savant abilities for the past 20 years -- they're coding geniuses, stock market players, and can move through crowds without notice. Some, inevitably, used their abilities for selfish reasons, and now the government has created an agency to neutralize the "problem."Brilliance's main protagonist is a puzzle because he IS a Brilliant, working for the agency that assassinates Brilliants. (... moreWeird.)Predictably, there are more sides to the story and our hero (?) finds himself caught between two worlds where he has to choose -- should the actions of a few dictate the future of an entire population? Is this novel, well, novel? Nope. But it IS entertaining and I would recommend it if you're looking for something quick and mindless to read. We all need those book sometimes, right?
review 2: Jack Reacher creator Lee Child says on the cover of this book that this is a story unlike anything ever seen before. That is essentially true, but only if you have never heard of the X-Men.The basic idea is one out of every one hundred or so births is a "brilliant," someone with special gifts. Nothing flashy, usually just special mental facilities that allow for fast thinking in certain areas. And unlike the X-Men, the closest there is to an Xavier School is run by a Bolivar Trask type.That said, it's actually a good, fun read. Nick Cooper is a federal agent for the agency charged with stopping violent brilliants, sometimes lethally. He himself has a gift, namely the ability to predict body language and how people will react, a gift that makes him an excellent tracker. One on one, he can't lose a fight, and can generally tell how people feel and when people are lying to him. When a disaster hits, he comes up with a radical plan to find the mastermind brilliant that's acting as a Malcolm X/Magneto figure, and who may be behind the deaths of over a thousand people.The book combines the basic sci-fi plot with a fine potboiler of a plot that wouldn't have looked out of place in a dozen or so different spy settings if the spies were gifted with the ability to see patterns of behavior or slip around where people aren't looking to become effectively invisible. As expected, not everything is as it seems, and Cooper has to figure out how to protect his family. The plot may be a cobbled together series of cliches of various genres, but darn if Sakey doesn't make it work. less
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I enjoyed it even though it jumped back and forth between past and present.
Jason Bourne meets water-downed X-men. Cooper's plight becomes your own.
Very good
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