Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Stephen Leeds is a man who suffers from a unique medical condition; he is able to generate hallucinatory entities that grant him access to specialized knowledge and skills. Each aspect has a unique personality and Leeds is well aware that only he can see them. Leeds has used his condition to become something of a problem-solver/detective which has generated him a small fortune. One day Leeds is approached by a woman named Monica who represents a powerful cooperation and they want Leeds help in securing a prototype camera that can take pictures of the past.

Despite being best known for his sprawling door-stop sized novels Sanderson has produced a decent amount of shorter works and Legion could be the best to date. Sanderson's humour can be a bit hit and miss at times (specifically in his Infinity Blade novella) but it works very well here and did not distract from the plot. The novel is well-paced resolving the central plotline about the camera and building an interest in the wider storylines introduced. The story is told first person from Leed's perspective who is an intriguing character in his own right, Sanderson also does an excellent job in creating interesting and believable personalities for the various aspects in a very limited space. There is a surprising depth to this piece with questions of the nature of faith and how people with mental illness are classified considered.

Overall Legion has an intriguing concept, an interesting lead and is well-placed. It is Sanderson’s best novella to date. 8.25/10.

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