Review: Legion

Legion Book Cover
Legion Legion Book 1 Speculative Orion Publishing Group Audiobook 2 hours 6 minutes Audible

This novella is narrated by Oliver Wyman who also narrated Gateway which I listened to back in 2013. His style works with this type of detective novel, and Stephen Leeds (our protagonist) is brought to life effectively through his narration. The character voices are all varied and he gets most dialects right (which is a tall order as Leeds’ aspects are drawn from a global pool). The story is pure speculative science fiction and it’s great to explore quantum physics alongside this new take on psychology. Recommended.

Stephen Leeds, AKA ‘Legion’, is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.

As the story begins, Leeds and his ‘aspects’ are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith.


Being a novella, this is short – about 2 hours long – so it’s a quick ‘read’. The story is well edited and moves along with good pacing, peeling away layers of the mystery as we follow our new protagonist and slowly understand more about what makes him tick. I hear that Legion is being made into a TV series, and it’s easy to see how this could easily become an episodic mystery series, like Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century, with a twist.

There is the backstory of Leeds’ former girlfriend who suddenly left him and has remained invisible since which forms a longer-term arc which continues into the second book (Skin Deep). There is his condition, which could be some form of multiple personality disorder, but with a distinct twist. Then there is the case of a quantum camera which can take photos of history and the clandestine organisations and corporations who are vying to recover it. Lots of good narrative on all points from modern life to psychology to speculative science fiction.

Overall, excellent and will read more of Legion as well as keep an eye on the TV series development.


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By Edward

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    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!