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Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Legion (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Brandon Sanderson, Oliver Wyman (Narrator)

Series: Legion (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3523031,026 (3.76)21
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Other authors:Oliver Wyman (Narrator)
Info:Subterranean (2012), Edition: audio from Audible.com
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, mystery, suspense, r2012

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Legion by Brandon Sanderson (2012)



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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Continuing my Brandon Sanderson marathon, I listened to the audio of Legion today. Legion, a novella published thru Subterranean Press, follows Stephen Leeds (Legion), who has the unique ability to create multiple personalities when he needs them to fill a particular roll in his life or he needs to learn something new: for instance, Stephen needs to learn a new language? Suddenly he has a new hallucinatory personality that will teach him French. These personalities are unique individuals who interact with Stephen and each other, yet no on else can see them. Stephen even goes so far as to live in a huge mansion, with enough rooms for each of his personalities to live in.

Because of his unique ability (or psychosis), he has been studied by the medical community and has used his personalities to help those that can afford to hire him. When Balubal Razon, the inventor of a camera of unique and potentially devastating consequences, goes missing, Stephen is hired to help find him. This search takes him on an adventure around the world, and the result of his search proved to be one that I expected, but didn't see coming the way it did.

What was amazing was the questions that Sanderson brings up in such a short work: questions of history, time, morality, politics, and faith. This is an ingenious little piece of writing and a character that I hope Sanderson will work with again in the future. ( )
  tapestry100 | Aug 18, 2015 |
ABR's full Legion audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

What do you do when you have 47 personalities who act separately from you and with each other? Solve crimes, of course. Stephen Leeds does not have personality disorder (at least according to him), he is completely aware of his many personalities, knows they are not real, yet interacts with them as people. Essentially they are different aspects of his brilliant mind that each have unique skills. He can call on them to help him with cryptography, handwriting analysis, chemical engineering, even languages, and come in pretty handy to solve the most challenging mysteries.

Steven Leeds and his several personalities (you don’t meet all of them, about 10) are funny, neurotic, helpful, strange and just fun. Written in the first person, you get a myopic view of Stephen Leeds’ life, but one couldn’t imagine doing this another way.

The book is very short, not much longer than a lengthy short story, even less than a novella. That is fine, it works, though if you used one credit on Audible, you might be a little disappointed how quickly it goes. The plot and the supporting characters are ridiculous and forgettable. The point of the story is the personalities and how they interact with each other and the world. It’s good fun and worth the two hour listen.

Oliver Wyman does a fine job with the narration, keeping the characters clearly defined in your ear. His pacing is good and he remains “transparent” throughout the book, leaving the story for the listener to imagine.

Don’t look for earth shattering revelations or philosophical enlightenment from Legion, just a couple of hours distraction. Overall this is a fun listen and you’ll get through it quickly with a smile on your face.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Apr 15, 2015 |
“My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.”

So starts Legion, a novella by the illustrious Brandon Sanderson.

As the opening lines hint, the main character has hallucinations. However, his hallucinations are what he refers to as “aspects,” which are experts in different fields of study. With the aid of his hallucinations, Stephen Leeds is a genius.

In Legion, he is approached by a company who’s developed a camera which can take pictures of the past – the only working prototype of which was stolen by one of there scientists. Stephen and his aspects are hired to track down the scientist and retrieve the camera.

I liked Legion, but it didn’t compare to anything else I’ve read by Sanderson. I felt that novella length was really too short to explore the premise, although if this turns into a novella series, that issue may be solved.

Unless you’re really dead set on reading something that’s more science fiction oriented, I’d suggest picking up The Emperor’s Soul instead, which does a better job of creating characterization and plot in a limited page amount. ( )
  pwaites | Jul 11, 2014 |
Continuing my week of being disappointed in Brandon Sanderson, I chose to listen to the audiobook of Legion, which was available for free on Audible. I was between review audios and wanted something short to listen to, and this fit the bill. Though I don’t think Legion is bad, it’s really not the sort of story that interests me, especially since it focused more on the aspects I don’t care for, namely the mystery.

There’s nothing wrong with mysteries, and I get the appeal for other sorts of readers. However, I’m heavily character-focused, and, in general, mysteries tend to slack on the characterization. To me, Legion was no exception. The characters have the capability of being endlessly fascinating, but the focus is more on the plot than on them and their complexities, which is what I wanted to know about.

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | May 9, 2014 |
3.5 stars Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

I??m a fan of Brandon Sandersonƒ??s vivid imagination, so I was happy to get a copy of Legion, his new 88 page stand-alone novella. Itƒ??s about Stephen Leeds, a man whoƒ??s been diagnosed with schizophrenia because he sees and hears people who donƒ??t exist. The thing about Stephen, though, is that unlike most schizophrenicsƒ?? hallucinations, the people in Stephenƒ??s head actually help him. They all have their own talents and areas of expertise (and their own mental illnesses) and if Stephen needs to know something they donƒ??t know, some other ƒ??aspectƒ? is likely to show up to offer some help. This makes him valuable to anyone who needs help ƒ?? itƒ??s like hiring a ƒ??legionƒ? instead of just one guy. Therefore, Stephen is highly paid and lives in a mansion with enough rooms to house all his special friends.

Stephenƒ??s current petitioner is unusual. Monica, and the people she works for, have lost a camera that can take photographs of the past. It seems to be an inside job and they need Stephen and his aspects to find the guy who stole it. Intrigued, they take the job when they realize that the thief hopes to produce photographs that will change the world, or at least the worldview, of millions of people. They know the photos will have a huge impact, but they donƒ??t know if it will bring world peace or world war.

As I mentioned, I love Brandon Sandersonƒ??s imagination, and he doesnƒ??t disappoint in Legion. Stephen and his crew are unique characters ƒ?? each of the aspects has its own personality and is a character in his or her own right. Due to the shortness of this novella, they donƒ??t get developed as much as weƒ??d like, and some of their dialog is a bit stilted, but I certainly hope weƒ??ll be seeing more of them in future stories. Theyƒ??re all interesting and the hallucinatory nature of Stephenƒ??s aspectsƒ?? existence offers plenty of opportunities for humor.

I donƒ??t want to give away any more of the plot, especially in so short a story, but I will say that, like Stephen and his friends, I was intrigued and excited by the possibilities the camera offered, though I had to work harder than usual to suspend my disbelief because I couldnƒ??t figure out how the camera could take a picture of the exact historical person or object desired when there would be so much ƒ??noiseƒ? from all the history that a single place would hold.

Legion asks us to consider past and current world events (especially in the area of religion and politics) and our own personal religious beliefs. What would our world be like if we had scientific evidence to back up our faith? Or if religious beliefs other than our own could be empirically verified? And if we could prove our beliefs, what is the meaning of faith?

Legion is a quick exciting read. This concept and plot is worthy of many more pages, though, so I sincerely hope that Brandon Sanderson will be writing more stories about Stephen Leeds and his legion. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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Wyman, OliverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.
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"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 specialized 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"--From publisher description.… (more)

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