Legion is an interesting piece. A modern-times novella written by an author famous for his Epic Fantasy novels. In some ways, it almost feels like a peek into an alternate reality, “what if Brandon Sanderson took to writing Thrillers”.
The strangest thing, though, is that it doesn’t feel like an early attempt from a writer clearly more comfortable in another genre. It feels capable, clever in many places, and almost reminiscent of Dean Koontz. It’s a quick, easy, fun read, with two supernatural elements that feel well thought out and well executed. Leeds is an interesting character, and it will be fun to see where he goes in future works. The plot is capable, and ends on such a note that is both relatively satisfying and calling for a sequel.
That isn’t to say that it’s perfect. Brandon has the habit of creating characters that are memorable, but are in some ways charicatures, defined by only one or two traits. This is taken to its furthest logical conclusion here, although it’s intentional, and to his credit, Sanderson does give some characters enough incidental quirks that they have some depth. The ending was ok, but nothing special. While I liked the resolution, I was torn out of the story by a few small details that felt unrealistic to the extreme. And in places, exposition becomes the rule of the road. The main character spends the majority of the novel either explaining things to another, or having them explained to him. We once again return to a certain lack of subtlety, a recurring problem with his work that he has acknowledged himself.
Ultimately, the question of the main character’s sanity, and his own definition of sanity, becomes the most engaging part of the novella. I would have preferred a little less time expositing, and a little more exploring the inner workings of the man. But then, that’s what the sequel is for, or so I hope.