Book of the Year 2012 (see all)
While Brandon Sanderson can hardly be called a lazy writer, one wonders how much further along in his The Stormlight Archive we’d be if he didn’t spend so much time running around in his other Cosmere shards and non-Cosmere universes.
That being said, I wonder if that’s what I actually want from him.
Legion: Skin Deep is the latest from Brandon Sanderson, a non-Cosmere novella following the adventures of Stephen Leeds, also known as Legion, a man with a plethora of personae in his mind that make him one of the most skilled detectives around.
And also one of the most unstable.
Skin Deep is a relatively self-contained book, with very little referencing the first novella, and with almost no cliff-hanger to finish on (with the one underlying current of just who and where is Sandra?). Leeds is hired to find a body – a dead one, still filled with secrets that could destroy … the world? Or just a company? No one is quite sure until the very end, but it’s a brilliant chase to discover the answer.
And in the meantime Sanderson takes us deeper and deeper into the singularly unique mind of Stephen Leeds, and the multiple personae that make up his mental world. Leeds is evolving, that much is clear, but whether that means he’s also becoming insane is surely one for the medical journals to answer – because no one here is quite clear. We get some brilliantly funny scenes between Stephen and his personae, not to mention some brilliantly clever scenes that really shape our view of Stephen’s world.
Legion: Skin Deep is an absolutely fantastic read, and while I’d like more and more of it, I think I understand why Brandon Sanderson has kept this to be a series of novellas. Maybe, in time, it will be expanded to full-length status (though that would require a lull in the author’s absurdly busy schedule of books to write), but in the meantime, I’m content to read these gems whenever they make an appearance.
Review by Joshua S Hill
1 positive reader review(s) for Legion: Skin Deep
Tim from Australia
Great review of a fantastic novella. Skin Deep is a huge improvement on the original novella and expands this world in exciting new directions. I agree that the length of these books are perfect, and while it would be nice to have a full novel length story in the future, what we currently get is obviously excellent in its own way All that said, the opening paragraph of this review is very disappointing. With the barest of research, the reviewer would have found a number of reasons why Brandon Sanderson works on projects like this in between Stormlight books. Sanderson frequently states that in order to produce the best Stormlight books possible, he needs to write different books in different worlds to refresh his mind. I'd rather have the best Stormlight books that Sanderson feels he can produce rather than have a series rushed to its conclusion to appease fans
9.5/10 from 2 reviews