“My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.”
Many Lives… gathers the three Legion novellas together in one volume. I received the first of these, Legion, from NetGalley, and it worked: I was hooked, and had to go grab the full book and remaining two stories.
The first installment impressed me with the level of backstory that was revealed and/or hinted at in a very compact form, while still telling a very interesting story – that of a camera that can take pictures of the past.
The second novella, Skin Deep, sees Stephen aka Legion, the man with many ‘aspects’ giving him expertise in anything he needs, approached to find a missing corpse. Twist? The dead man was a scientist working on using human DNA to encode data, like the world’s biggest and most ‘handy’ computer storage drive. Again, this is a fairly short story, but feels much much longer, just with the amount that is crammed in.
The final installment, Lies of the Beholder, gives the keen reader (ie me!) a little more of a personal slant. Aspects ‘die’, Stephen is in crisis, and we might even get to find out a little more about the mysterious Sandra…!
The novella form works brilliantly for these stories. Each is a fairly slim case for Stephen, but the hints and teasers about the man’s life and amazing brain are keeping you hooked as much as the plot. Brandon Sanderson’s preface talks about his idea of “Psychology-as-superpower”, which is absolutely fascinating.
Thoroughly enjoyed this, and I hope there might be more Legion stories to come.
HB: 340 pages / 45 chapters over 3 novellas
First published: 2018
Series: Legion books 1-3 omnibus
Read from 22nd-10th October 2018
My rating: 9/10