Audiobook Review: Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

Posted October 10, 2013 by Felicia S in 2.75 Wine Glasses, 2013 Read, Audiobook, Reviews / 13 Comments

Audiobook Review: Brilliance by Marcus SakeySource: Audiobook Review, Provided by Brilliance

Format: Audiobook
Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins

Date Read: October 2013

Genre: Fringe Thriller, Thriller

In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way.

Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in—and betray his own kind.

From Marcus Sakey, “a modern master of suspense” (Chicago Sun-Times) and “one of our best storytellers” (Michael Connelly), comes an adventure that’s at once breakneck thriller and shrewd social commentary; a gripping tale of a world fundamentally different and yet horrifyingly similar to our own, where being born gifted can be a terrible curse

More Information:
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Thomas & Mercer

My Thoughts on


Listened for Review (Brilliance)
Overall Rating: 2.75
Story Rating: 2.00
Character Rating: 3.50

Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Brilliance read more like a screenplay than a novel.

Story Thoughts: Let me start with what I liked in Brilliance. The characters were good, the pacing was really good, and the story was easy to get lost in. This wasn’t a bad read but it wasn’t very original. This is kind of where the story went bad for me. I kept thinking I was listening to a screenplay for a season of Alphas. The only difference is that everyone knew about the Alphas. Also, I pretty much got annoyed every time the author threw in the following (not exact wording) “kick to the solar plexes, hit to the head, fall to the ground”. I wanted to say it barely works on screen while watching Robert Downey Jr, it doesn’t work in a book. I have a feeling that this book was written to be taken to movie or television screens. There wasn’t a lot of descriptive terms and the paragraph structure was choppy. Oddly enough I think this would work well on screen and I would go see it. I just wish the book had been written for novel readers.

Character Thoughts: Characters are where I think Brilliance shined. I really liked Cooper and was rooting for him from beginning to end. His partner Quinn was fantastic also and I liked their working relationship. I can’t really go into the rest of the characters without giving anything away. Let’s just say that I was impressed with many of the character arcs (even the ones that I was thrown by).

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated By Luke Daniels / Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins

Luke Daniels was awesome! Seriously I think he made me enjoy this book more than I would have otherwise. He put in emotion (even though it wasn’t noted) and gave the characters depth. I was super impressed with how much he brought to the story. As always please listen to a snippet of the audio before buying as narrators always work differently for each listener.

Final Thoughts: I’m not sure if this is a series but it is setup to be that way. There is no cliffhanger but the ending was open to other books. I’m not sure if I would continue though.


FTC Disclosure


Felicia S
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Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read.

During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

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What are your thoughts?

13 responses to “Audiobook Review: Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

  1. This concept was great but I could not listen to something that sounds like a screen play. You made me laugh with the “kick to the solar plexes, hit to the head, fall to the ground” – yeah I don’t think this one is for me. Great review though 🙂

  2. I love Luke Daniels! He does such a fabulous job with the Iron Druid Chronicles, but sometimes even a great performance can’t over come the writing; although I agree, an excellent narrator can make an average story enjoyable.

    • He was excellent in the Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham too! Honestly, he was great here and I would have liked the book less without him!

  3. sounds like such a promising read, sorry it fell flat. I would listen to it too despite your quibbles because I adore Luke Daniels!

    • I think most people have liked it! It might be that I just got through watching Alphas—it just felt to much like that for me to think it was original 🙂 Luke rocked it!

  4. Well that’s too bad Felicia! I’ve read one or two that definitely seem to be written for the screen and there’s something missing with them usually for me. I want them to write to bring the characters and story alive, not with a different endgame in mind. Hope your next book is amazing!

    • My next one was a DNF but the next one was pretty good 🙂 This one was super flat but it wasn’t overall horrid. I would watch it if it ever made it to the screen!

  5. Sometimes I like stories that read like movies/TV but most of the time they fall flat, because they just don’t have the depth that I need. Great characters can make up for it a little bit, too.

    • I tend to like them if they are based on TV shows but this one just felt flat 🙁 Oh well–I am still probably going to read book 2 just to see what else happens (maybe)