Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Blessed with the ability to file away perfectly all information he receives and then conjure up an imaginary avatar or ‘aspect’ for it, Stephen Leeds, aka Legion, makes the perfect expert in everything. With no limit to the number of aspects that can be created, he can absorb and channel latent information quickly and easily.

As always is the case, there is a slight drawback as Leeds treats all of these creations as real people. He knows they’re in his head and that nobody else can see them, it’s just that given they’re part of him and help him so much, he offers them the same respect he would any of his friends. This does lead to some awkwardness, especially as Leeds lives in a 47-bedroom mansion to comfortably accommodate all of his mental creations and requires up to six seats on a plane when taking a case.

These intricacies aside, Leeds is highly sought after in the medical and detective world and he is soon charged with the task of finding a camera that can take a photograph of a location at any point in history.
A shadowy organisation that helped fund the creation of the camera want it back, realising the implications for privacy, the judicial system and the political benefit.
In 86 pages, Sanderson manages to really make you care about what happens to Leeds and the characters in his head. The hard-boiled detective style makes it a fast read and with eight or two main characters, depending how you look at it, the dialogue is pacey, almost screwball.

Leeds’ interactions with his aspects are cleverly done. The character’s acceptance of his condition and situation are refreshing, without being too clumsy. The only angst that exists in his life is over a lost love that doesn’t want to be found, adding to the pulp noir feel of the story.

The author knows his subject well but doesn’t brag and he may be responsible for destroying time travel as a plot device for me forever with one simple, throwaway comment. I wouldn’t dare repeat it here, but it’s so ingeniously obvious, it’s impossible to argue with it.

It’s a short read but an excellent one. Hopefully, this will lead to a whole series of ‘Legion’ stories as there is so much to be mined about this character or is it characters?

Aidan Fortune
May 2012


(pub: Subterranean Press. 86 page small deluxe hardback. Price: $20.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-59606-485-0)

check out website: www.subterraneanpress.com


Once called a "fountain of useless pop culture knowledge", Aidan is an unashamed geek, grateful that he is allowed share his opinions on a global scale. A journalist by trade, Aidan is a massive fan of comics and recently set up a comics group in Brighton in order to engage more with like-minded people. His home is subject to a constant battle of vintage paraphernalia and science fiction & fantasy toys.

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