I’ve spent the past few months reading Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance trilogy. It’s been a helluva trip. Set in the unspecified near future – maybe tomorrow? – it’s a story that could have come right off the front page of a major newspaper. Sakey has character development that makes a writer pine and a plotline that’s terribly engrossing.
This is a trilogy, so it’s three full length novels: Brilliance, A Better World, and Written in Fire. You can get a plot briefing on Amazon, but the brilliant aspect, for me, is the brilliants. Sakey posits an event occurred some thirty years ago, that humans with extraordinary powers – in a word, brilliance – were unsuspectingly born. Over time, average mortals have grown largely resentful of the brilliants, and some have decided to assure they will never have the power and position of their inferiors. One interesting aspect of this is that the brilliants aren’t particularly interested in having power and authority and would prefer to simply be left alone in their own city, named Tesla, in their own New Canaan Holdfast, tucked away in the Wyoming desert. All except for one, and it is around him that the plot takes shape.
What got stirred up for me is how cleverly Sakey develops a kind of parallel theme with our present political and social system, the one percent vs the 99ers. The idea grows even more prescient when you consider the presidential race and its players. Yeah, Sakey turns it all on its head, but that’s okay – and it’s even okay that it’s not a perfect thematic opposition with our America, but the lessons are there to learn nevertheless. If you read political and terrorist thrillers, you’ll find Sakey a bit more intellectual and a lot better writer than most. His story is rich with visuals, with real emotions – the real stuff.
As you read, you’ll discover them for yourself and decide how you feel about them. They really are your issues and your perceptions. These books will have you thinking about them long after you close the third volume’s cover.
How did Marcus Sakey come up with the idea for the Brilliance trilogy? Read all about it here.