A Review of Written In Fire by Marcus Sakey

It is safe to assume that somewhere in Hollywood, Michael Bay is at this exact moment trying desperately to convince a studio executive to let him direct the movie version of Written In Fire. Did we have to have a book three in the Brilliance Trilogy? I guess we had to figure out exactly how blown up the New Canaan Holdfast was going to get. And whether our hero Nick Cooper ends up with his tough-as-nails, brilliant girlfriend, Shannon, or with his suddenly very interested ex-wife, Natalie. And whether the slimy Secretary of Defense Owen Leahy gets what’s coming to him, finally. And we do.

Gunfire and explosions, vehicle crashes and daring escapes abound as former DAR agent Nick Cooper, now presumed dead by the administration, goes solo and tears around killing bad guys and trying to stop the imminent civil war between norms and abnorms. If it isn’t very predictable, it’s all predictably unpredictable, and for readers of Brilliance and A Better World it’s much more of the same. 

After surviving an assault by the U.S. military, Epstein Industries and the New Canaan Holdfast are now in the process of being invaded by an aggrieved militia of disciplined norms known as the Sons of Liberty. The President has ordered the military to undergo a retrofit which will render the organization immune to hacking by abnorm computer geeks, but unfortunately this means they have become both hack-proof and totally ineffective as a modern warfighting organization. So they’re out. The ultimate showdown in the Wyoming desert will be between groups of armed civilians. 

Fans of Ethan Park, don’t worry. He’s back and trying to replicate his previous work on the serum that can turn norms into abnorms. Nick failed to find Dr. Abe Couzen before terrorist mastermind John Smith could. Smith has quit writing his memoirs and returned to trying to start the war, so the hunt is back on! 

Will Nick neutralize John Smith in time? Will the New Canaan Holdfast survive? Will Nick and Shannon get some snuggle-time? You know how to find out.


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