The Bottom Line: The second outing in the Brilliance Saga series manages to be even more riveting than the first. An ingenious hybrid of pulse-pounding conspiracy thriller and science fiction that is easily once of the year’s must-reads.
Sakey’s series takes place in a near-future America where a small percentage of the population develops mental abilities that put it heads and shoulders above the rest of the population. The fields of science and engineering in particular are soon dominated by Brilliants, leaving the rest of mankind to wonder what place they have in the world. Brilliants soon establish a homeland in Wyoming in order to create a safe haven from widespread government monitoring and general persecution from an insecure populace. Things get even worse for Brilliants – which are disparagingly called “Twists” – when a small but potent faction turns to terrorism.
A Better World manages to be much more than a thoughtful meditation on a post-9/11 world in which Americans have been forced to trade privacy for security. Reading it, you’ll find yourself wondering how prepared you really are for the next natural disaster or terror attack, asking yourself how well you really know your neighbors, and hoping those in Washington are truly prepared for the worst.
References to the first book are copious within A Better World. Definitely read them in order.