March 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads)

legionLegion by Brandon Sanderson


I feel like I haven’t read enough by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve read eight of his books, enough to know that I dig his style, but since seven of those are the Mistborn books, I feel like I’ve only touched on the depths of what he can do as a writer. Legion is the start of me breaking out of that rut.

Legion is the nickname given to Stephen Leeds, a man with dozens of hallucinatory personalities that live in his house. He has a history (not known, but hinted at), and is well-known, enough so that when a research facility has a camera that can take pictures of the past go missing, they contact him for help. Since he has so many personas, each their own expert in their field, he’s well-versed in almost every aspect of the mission that he agrees to take.

There are two different main ideas in the story: that Stephen has these hallucinatory personas, but isn’t considered a schizophrenic; and that there’s a camera that takes pictures of the past. Both are pretty heavy ideas that could be examined in a full-length novel themselves, but here they’re smooshed together into one story, one that’s so short (88 pages) that neither idea is given much room to breathe. I get that Stephen needs to have a story for focus — who wants to read a book that’s nothing but some dude talking to his other personas? — but we only get to see a handful of those personas featured in this novella. This is the first book in a series, so I expect that we’ll see other personas featured in future stories, but we barely have time to get a handle on these in the time allotted.

Legion is intriguing enough to keep me reading (there’s another, longer book in the series), though I wish it had been a little more fleshed out. If nothing else, this is a Brandon Sanderson story that’s not a part of the Cosmere, and doesn’t involve any magic (yet), so that makes it notable.

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