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January 30, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

legion skin deep

Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson
November 30, 2014
Subterranean Press
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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 new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there’s a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous…

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. Legion: Skin Deep is speculative fiction at it most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most intelligent—and unpredictable—voices.


First sentence: “What’s her angle?” Ivy asked, walking around the table with her arms folded.

They are backkkkkk. And boy, oh boy. Legion: Skin Deep continues to be as awesome as ever!

For those who have not read the first novella, which you should read, the Legion novellas follow Stephen Leeds, a detective of sorts who sees hallucinations (or aspects, as he calls them) that have specialized skills and help him in investigating unique problems. In Legion: Skin Deep, Leeds and his aspects are hired to recover a missing corpse that contains secrets embedded in the body’s cells. They use their expertise to track down the corpse before it gets into the wrong hands. Along the way, danger comes around, like it usually does when Leeds is involved.

Now, the job that Leeds is hired to do is quite interesting. The company that hires Leeds had been working on a way to store information in the human body’s cells and was trying to figure out a way to extract it, and of course, the person who was leading this turns up dead. This was resolved in a way that I hadn’t expected, but it was welcomed. It’s always the thing that you’d least expect that surprises you.

However, what makes this novella so awesome are the characters, the humor, and the world. All the characters have such an interesting dynamic with each other. I love seeing Stephen’s struggle to control his aspects and the difficulty of have to imagine things for them, and his aspects struggling to accept that they are hallucinations. Despite hiccups that Stephen has to deal with, he and his aspects work.

And the humor, guys! Oh the humor! It’s so wonderful. The characters bickering, J.C. calling himself an Interdimensional Time Ranger, just everything. I’m continued to be blown away by it.

It’s just such a fascinating world; I can’t help but want more! Go read the first novella and then this one! WORTH YOUR TIME!

My question is: when’s the next one out?