Next stop on the Read Everything Brandon Sanderson Has Ever Written train: the novella, Legion. It’s a short read (as implied by it being a novella), but an interesting one. So interesting, actually, that I don’t think the story was well-served in this shorter format. I had too many questions upon finishing. Luckily, a sequel is being published later this year, but for now it’s really my one complaint with the story.
Legion follows Stephen Leeds, nicknamed ‘Legion’ (who saw that one coming!) because of his specialness, which is either a power or a psychosis, depending on who you talk to. Basically he has a really advanced form of multiple personality disorder (except he’s completely functional and aware of his condition) where he hallucinates entire fully functional people who know different things than he does, and have different skills as well. It’s heavily implied that the reason for his condition is that he’s some kind of strange genius — that it’s really him learning and feeling all these things, and then siphoning them off into different versions of himself. But again, it wasn’t explored very far, and what exploration we do get is doled out a little at a time, as the focus of the story is that someone has enlisted his (and his hallucinations’) help to track down a missing scientist who has stolen a very valuable piece of technology. (It can take photographs back through time!)
It was really fun to see Stephen and his hallucinations interact with each other. Sanderson treats them all like individual characters, and they all contribute to the central mystery. It’s also fun to see Stephen having to deal with people who don’t know about his hallucinations, or do know and just can’t see them. (He has a butler he pays to pretend his hallucinations are real, and he makes him pretend to go get drinks and stuff for them all too.) Also, also the camera they’re trying to track down is SERIOUSLY cool.
I’m excited for #2 to come out later this year, although I do hope it’s a bit longer than this one.