Gillian Flynn is an American author and former television
critic for Entertainment Weekly. As of 2013, she has published three
novels: Sharp Objects (2006), Dark Places (2009), and Gone Girl (2012).
Let me first begin by saying, Marcus Sakey is a friend of
mine. He’s a friend because I read his whip-smart thrillers years ago (The Amateurs is one of my favorites) and
loved them so much I decided I had to meet the twisted mind behind them. So I
was a fan before I was a friend. After reading Brilliance, the scales may have tilted: I may now be more fan than
friend—it’s that ridiculously good.
Brilliance is the
kind of novel that makes you grin at its high-flying feats of imagination, and
then grin harder because it sticks the landing. It’s thrilling and funny and
disturbing and sharp as hell. It’s my kind of book. It’s set in an eerie,
alternate reality in which a tiny portion of children are born with
disproportionate powers—strange and dazzling skill sets. They’re called "brilliants."
The first wave of those extraordinary children are now
all-grown up. Agent Nick Cooper is one of them—and not. He’s both a brilliant
and a man sworn to hunt down his own kind as the country teeters on the brink
of civil war. He has a mission to stop a "brilliant" terrorist, but he soon
finds out he knows only a fragment of the freaky kaleidoscope that is the whole
truth. As with all of Sakey’s work, it only gets more intricate and involving
Sakey has created a stunning world, a world packed with
politics, prejudice, moral ambiguity, manipulation, repression, revolution. A
world that resonates. It feels real. That’s what I love about it. It’s our
world, today, with a twist. And with twists. Sakey is the master of the mindful
page turner—he likes to keep you on your toes, wide awake, thinking, thinking,
I was addicted to this book as I read it. And forgetful: It’s
a forget-to-pick-up-milk, forget-to-water-the-plants, forget-to-eat blissful,
total immersion experience.
What more can I say? It’s brilliant. Call me a fan.