Full disclosure: I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 / 5
A Better World is the follow up to Brilliance (my review of it here), and it hits the ground running. I don’t know how well A Better World is as a stand alone, but I highly suggest reading Brilliance before diving into this installment, as much of the groundwork is laid out in the first book. In the late 1980s, it was discovered that 1% of the children born were abnormal in that they had special abilities. Although the abilities are non-violent, a chasm was slowly created between the “abnorms” or brilliants, and the normals. As a result of the tension, the world’s richest man, Erik Epstein, also a brilliant, founded a settlement, the New Canaan Holdfast, in Wyoming, where abnorms could live amongst each other. Not much is known about why some people are born normal and some are born as brilliants, but a measure to implant a chip in the necks of all abnorms has been gaining traction. In response, a small terrorist group, the Children of Darwin, has literally shut down three American cities. America’s best bet in brokering a deal between normals and brilliants is Nick Cooper. Cooper is weary, though, since the last time he tried to help he didn’t realize he was being used as a pawn in someone else’s ulterior motives.
A Better World is action-packed, which makes reviewing it difficult without giving away spoilers. What I can say is that A Better World picks up where Brilliance left off, and is equally as compelling and engaging as Brilliance. I was a bit skeptical with Sakey’s ability to continue to storyline, as so much happened in Brilliance, but A Better World perseveres, with more character development and more action without the “been there, done that” feeling.
It is so easy to classify the Brilliance series as a thriller since on the surface it is a book that moves quickly, with war, fighting, government, and politics. But dig just a little deeper, and it’s a book that will get you thinking about the broader implications of the “us versus them” mentality, and treating people differently based on disparities rather than working together to embrace their differences.
A Better World is a continuation of the thrill ride that began with Brilliance, and I honestly cannot wait for the third book.