Legion is a new novella by Brandon Sanderson who is best know for his epic fantasy novels. I’ve been quite impressed by his storytelling but usually his novels also have epic page counts. So when I first saw this novella I wondered how he would perform in a medium where you don’t have hundreds of pages for character development. Right now the audiobook version on Audible is available free for members, though the Kindle price is about right for a novella.
The story follows Stephen Leeds a man with multiple personalities that somewhat live together. He acts as a detective of sorts and converses with his inner characters who all have different skill sets. These personalities also seem to have their own problems and phobias and communication difficulties among them. For those familiar with Michael Flynn’s Spiral Arm series that started with “The January Dance” the character of Stephen Leeds reminds me of Flynn’s character Donavan in many ways. Leeds is quite aware that he is not sane and that these inner personalities are not real, he has just learned to use his problem to good effect. His understanding of his problem and how he interacts with others also provides some light humor throughout.
Part of the plot involves a scientific method that is to be used to prove/disprove Jesus’ resurrection. This plot line has certainly been seen before in regards to time machines going back to Jerusalem, though this plot does not involve this method. When I first realized the direction the plot would be heading I wondered just how annoying it was going to be. The subject of faith and science does come up in a bit of a ham-fisted way, but it seems this was more out of a problem articulating this than a sock-puppet attempt to lay the anti-science meme. I was happy to find that I was not annoyed by how this was resolved.
The novella certainly left me with wanting to hear more from this character and the ending certainly lead to further development. Though also I just want Brian Sanderson to put away all of his numerous side project and just get to work on the next book in The Stormlight Archive which is suppose to come out next year.