As of one minute ago (assuming I set the publish time right) my brother’s bestselling Brilliance trilogy of novels comes to a shocking conclusion with Written in Fire. I am aware of three ways you can access this book.
- Buy it. The most obvious approach, but no less effective for that fact. Successful implementation of this strategy is almost guaranteed, provided you focus your efforts on retailers that sell books. You are unlikely to find Written in Fire for sale at pet stores, home improvement warehouses, restaurants, or other establishments that primarily deliver non-literary services. For best results I suggest Amazon.com. Written in Fire is available in Book Form (made of paper) and Kindle Form (made of electrons).
- Lease it. Written in Fire should be available at your local library. You’ll probably need a “library card” in order to access the book, but these are readily obtained: just enter the building, approach the desk, announce yourself, and say, “I wish to borrow Written in Fire, the third and final novel in the bestselling Brilliance trilogy, by Marcus Sakey. Please provide me with a ‘library card’ so as to facilitate this process.”
- Take a copy from the huge box in his basement. Go all the way down the stairs. If you’ve done this correctly, on your left you should see a low rise with some framed photographs and a large cardboard box. Inside that box are many copies of Written in Fire. He is unlikely to notice if one is missing; at least one copy disappeared from that box over Thanksgiving and there’s been no alarum raised.
Written in Fire is the sequel to A Better World, itself a sequel to Brilliance, all three published by Thomas & Mercer, a prestigious imprint founded in the late 1800s by Horatio Thomas and Eldridge Mercer. Originally farm veterinarians, this pair discovered that they had tired of spending days elbow-deep in cow vagina, and established a publishing business instead.*
Praised as “Utterly compelling,” (Booklist) and “A decidedly adult, disturbingly feasible spin to the dystopian future” (Chicago Sun-Times), the Brilliance novels are intriguingly speculative thrillers with a slight undertone of science fiction. The trilogy’s near-future Earth has passed through the tail of a comet thought to originate from beyond our very galaxy. The comet’s unnatural radiations have given domestic animals the ability to speak fluently — made them “brilliant,” as it were — and humanity faces a new crisis as its pets start revealing private intimacies and secrets best left hidden. Deftly painted protagonist Mr. Puffles — a domestic shorthair cat — embarks on an adventure that darkly mirrors our own society’s troubles.†
The end of A Better World left readers gasping in suspense: Geraldo von Cottontail’s agents have critically injured Puffles, leaving him helpless and possibly dying in Dimension X, even as von Cottontail’s shadowy Night of the Lepus organization prepares to seize control of the U.S. government. Fans of the series had to wait more than a year to learn whether their beloved Puffles would survive. († ib.)
Written in Fire is his eighth novel. Marcus has a strict work ethic, except around Dark Souls release dates, so he’s already beavering away on a new book — but he’s done with Brilliance, at least for now. I think you’ll find Written in Fire to be a sweet conclusion to the (actual plot of the) series. If you haven’t read any of them, you should start at the beginning. They’re pretty fast reads. His other books are more traditional “crime fiction” and have garnered rave reviews from fellow authors and book critics since he began this career in…
…um… I don’t remember. 2004 maybe? He’s been at it for a while.
Go! Go buy!
*The story of Thomas & Mercer’s origins is apocryphal and may contain factual inaccuracies, at least insofar as I made it up so as to justify use of the phrase elbow-deep in cow vagina.
†Literature, like all art, is open to the interpretation of the reader. Thus it could be reasonably argued that this and the following paragraph do not, in fact, accurately describe the plot of the Brilliance trilogy.
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