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Two different and exciting novellas,
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This review is from: Legion and The Emperor's Soul (Paperback)
This is a collection of two unrelated novellas previously published as ebooks and limited additions in the last couple of years. Both contain some very original and inventive ideas that could easily be expanded upon beyond the short novella format.
Legion, as you might guess from the title, concerns a man, Leeds, who ahs the ability to create multiple imaginary friends (or manifestations of his own personality that only he can see and interact with) that seem to hep him solve various situations. This is not essentially what the story is about, however. Instead the subject is the theft of an experimental camera that, without giving too much away, seems to possess some form of time travel capability and Leeds reluctant employment to track down the thief and the item. There is the suggestion that Leeds has used the abilities and knowledge of his hallucinations to succeed in such endeavours in the past. The novel feels a bit like a pilot and there is certainly potential for a future series based around the idea. The character of Leeds definitely has plenty of possibility and there is ample room for future development. I for one would like to see more.
Anderson returns to the more familiar territory of a fantasy world for `The Emperor's Soul' rather than the modern setting of `Legion'. It is loosely set in the same world that as Sanderson's first novel, Elantris. For such a short work it has some very strong and believable characters. Shai is instantly likeable and sympathetic. There is also included yet another very well though out and developed magic system which definitely needs much more space than the confines of this novella. At the heart of the story there is a very original and intriguing concept in attempting to re-construct someone's soul. It is an idea that maintains the reader's interest throughout and carries the story well.
Both are strong engrossing stories that leave the reader wanting more. However, because they could be so much more the book feels a little unsatisfying. It is also relatively short considering the price tag.