This is the second novella in Sanderson’s Legion series. I managed to grab both as they were temporarily available as free downloads through Audible when first released, but they’re worth spending a credit or two on as well, if you’re fine with the short length. He has a third planned, but no release date announced yet.
I love the premise of these stories. Stephen Leeds is a problem solver for hire. If you have a problem, he has the knowledge and the skills needed for a solution, as long as you’re fine with him conversing with people you can’t see. He does this because he has an entire team of hallucinations in his head, all with distinct personalities. Many people know this and consider him to be mentally unstable, but these are actually caused by his mind trying to deal with his genius.
Each hallucination, he calls them aspects, embodies a set of skills or area of knowledge. When he needs to learn a new language or skillset, he can skim through a few books and a new aspect will soon join the team. It’s a neat idea, one that could be awful in the wrong hands, but Sanderson executes it perfectly. He takes the idea in directions that are really surprising, and the hints at what will happen in the third story really have me interested.
These are the only Sanderson stories I’ve read, so I popped over to his Wikipedia entry to see what I should read next, which really didn’t help. He published his first novel in 2005 and since then has written, as far as I can tell, twenty-four books. That’s more than two books a year, and while a few are short novellas like this, some are massive. He wrote the three final Wheel of Time novels, for God’s sake.
There’s something wrong with this man.
I’ve seen a lot of mentions of both Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive, so I guess one of those are probably a good next step, although I’m also leaning towards his Reckoners series. They’re young adult books, but the premise sounds really interesting. And the books are shorter too, which I know is an awful way to choose what to read, but I really have to brace myself for a thousand page brick these days. If anyone has a recommendation of where to start, I’d be interested to hear it!