2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Wasted Concept,
This review is from: Legion of the Damned (Mass Market Paperback)
The premise of William C. Dietz's "Legion of the Damned" - which others have adequately outlined here - is a good one. But that's where the "good" in this book ends.
It is remarkable how Dietz could write a book with a good story and a narrative that in itself is complete and workable, and so completely fail to make an interesting book out of it. Here we have a story which not only involves a war against an alien race, but also a civil war between the cyborg Legion and a corrupt Imperial government. Such a story should have plenty of action and suspense, yes? Indeed, other reviewers have said that it does. But in fact, when you actually start to look for a major action set-piece in this book, it's basically impossible to find one. The final conflict, which was being built towards from the first chapter of the novel, is virtually over once it's begun, and the longest battle in the whole book is maybe three or four pages long. The problem is that Dietz tries too hard to work "characterisation" and oodles of unnecessary sex into this book, which is not what military sci-fi is meant to be about. By all means, include those things, but if you're going to write a book that promises a war between cyborgs and an alien race, that's the very least you should deliver. Dietz only provides it in an indirect manner, glossing over most of the juicy bits, it seems, and ultimately providing an anti-climactic, unsatisfactory novel which never gets out of first or second gear.
I'm hoping that the sequel, "The Final Battle", will be better.