Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds
By: Brandon Sanderson

Quick-take: Sometimes being crazy can be helpful.

Dan's Review

Stephen Leeds "suffers" from a different kind of schizophrenia. He is not technically crazy nor he is paranoid. He just happens to have tons of imaginary friends. However, the are just normal friends. They are extremely useful. They are experts in various fields and helps Stephen solve problems. As manifestations of his own conscience, this appears outwardly to normal people as an essentric genuius.

The book follows this thought train quite well. Stephen is going about his day trying to solve problems and he consults with his oddly charitacture abstractions. This single volume is actually 3 novellas, with the third completing the story.

Legion Stephen Leeds is hired for a case. This is the book that introduces him and his odd mannerisms. The ongoing discussions happening between himself and his imaginary friends is entertaining dialogue, and it is made more enjoyable from the fact that for the other people there Stephen seems to be just talking to himself.

This story had a bit of a fantasy element to it that I am just not certain worked out. I guess Brandon Sanderson couldn't help himself. A mystery grounded in reality could have been chosen that not distract from the overall story.

Legion: Skin Deep Stephen Leeds is on a more dangerous case. Each sequeal has to up the stakes. While grounded in reality, this one was still a bit unbelievalve. However, something that did pique my interest: The book talked about about open source software, and it touched a bit on cryptography. As a developer in each field, I found that interesting. As a bonus: the explainations regarding it was accurate. Does Brandon Sanderson have a computer science background or get an advisor? Very cool.

While nothing particularly remarkable was revealed about Stephen Leeds that wasn't already known in Book 1, the story itself was a bit of high-stakes whodunit that I actually enjoyed more than book 1.

Lies of the Beholder

The final book in the series is not so much solving a crime. It is more introspective and personal. His aspects start behaving strange, and old relationships re-emerge. I feel like this book could've been the sequel to either book 1 and book 2. Book 2 was competely episodic.

The finale was mildly interesting. My complaint is that it simply was not a good ending. I won't go in to details, but seems like there are lot plot arcs to close, and it just was not very satisfying. This book was the weakest entry the series.

Overall Score: 4/5

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