With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

Brilliance is the first of a trilogy about Nick Cooper, one of the 1% of the people in the world who have been born since 1980 and are Brilliant. In this case, being Brilliant means they are just that much better than normal human beings. Each Brilliant person has an individual talent, but they can think faster, strategize better, discover people’s intentions just from body language and any other number of skills. The Brilliant are few, and the normals are scared.

Nick Cooper works for a government agency that polices Brilliant terrorists. He has seen what they can do, and he’s trying to protect his world that includes his ex-wife and their two children, one who is already showing the signs of being a very gifted Brilliant. His journey will take him from Washington, DC to Chicago to a Wyoming all in a hunt for the truth behind the conspiracies of what have been happening to society and to the others of his own kind that he has been hunting. As with any good conspiracy, the corruption goes right to the top and in places our hero feared to expect.

This could be considered a science fiction story, but it would have broad appeal even to those who are not sci-fi fans. Nick is the kind of hero we don’t see much any more. If it were a straight-up western, he would be played by John Wayne. Nice Cooper believes in his ideals, and he holds on to them no matter how the world seems to shift around him. He truly believes in what is right, even though he has tough choices to make.

The book reads like a thriller interspersed with realistic media bites that show how a world with Brilliants would be. This story will appeal to those who like spy stories, conspiracies and a battered hero who stays true to his morals no matter what.

Brilliance is followed by A Better World.

If Brilliance interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.