Thursday, June 6, 2019


Rating: 4/5 stars

I have reviewed each of the three novellas separately. I liked reading them one right after the other though because it felt more like one continuous story in three parts rather than three separate stories about the same characters.

Legion—4 stars
I like a good thriller, and I like Brandon Sanderson, so to read a thriller from my favorite fantasy author was a treat.

Stephen has many hallucinations, or aspects of his mind, that he interacts with that only he can see. I like how each of his aspects has distinct personalities and interests; they each know different facts about different subjects to aide him in his investigation.

This story follows the idea of a camera that can take pictures of the past. There are so many angles to explore with this idea, and I found it interesting that the focus was for a religious group to prove that one religion was or was not true. I always love to see how Sanderson handles religion in his books because it is a huge part of who he is as a person and that melds right into his stories. I loved at the end when SPOILERS: [they do see the picture of Christ from the past that he was looking right at the camera, like he was omniscient and knew what would happen in the future and looked right there for that picture. Chills.]

There wasn’t a lot of backstory here; it was primarily a character-driven story about Stephen in the here and now and the current case he’s working on. It didn’t bother me not getting a lot of external information, especially since the setting is the present-day world we live in.

While I really enjoyed this story, it did feel too short. I know it’s a novella, but it was just getting interesting and exciting right as it ended. There was so much more to explore with the mystical device, so many implications not touched upon, and I would love to see more of that story and the story of Sandra in future installments.

Legion: Skin Deep—3.5 stars
I’m glad the camera and Sandra were at least mentioned in this novella; it made the novellas feel like one continuous story rather than three separate stories.

This story is more of a typical detective story following Stephen trying to track down a missing body. I enjoyed it, and it was nice to see some Sanderson flair added, the way he leaves clues throughout for the readers to find but the revelation is still shocking.

I liked that Stephen’s aspects play a critical role in the stories and aren’t just background characters; Stephen wouldn’t be able to do what he does without his aspects. I think it would be really cool to actually have different hallucinatory aspects of your mind because then you would have a variety of friends who already know you and think like you. I really enjoyed exploring the idea of psychology as a superpower in this book.

Legion: Lies of the Beholder—4 stars
I love how during the other two stories Stephen never questions his sanity. “I’m sane but my hallucinations are crazy” sort of thing. But in this book that all changes, and that was so interesting to explore.

I always love reading stories about the plausible future of technology and its implications on society. This last story does interesting things with the idea of how to manipulate what someone thinks with virtual reality and what is real versus what is not.

There were a few things I still don’t understand, and part of that might come from my general lack of understanding stories deeply rooted in advanced science and technology, or it might come from me listening to the audiobook instead of reading the book with my eyes. Either way, I think I’ll need to reread this eventually to wrap my brain around how the aspects all work in the brain and to understand how SPOILERS: [they are able to die when it seems to me that Stephen should be able to recreate them. Or at least retain the knowledge from an aspect lost because that’s still his knowledge. That whole situation still doesn’t make sense to me.

Also, can we talk about how the images at the start of each chapter started to look like a brain scan and then it just got crazy from there and turned into looking like a bunch of people? They were Stephen’s aspects. That idea was brilliant because they are part of his mind and it kind of shows that in a way, and then they started to fade toward the end because . . . well . . .]
“Yes, it’s all in my head. But pain is all in my head too. Love is all in my head. All the things that matter in life are the things you can’t measure. The things our brains make up. Being made-up doesn’t make them unimportant.”

No comments:

Post a Comment