This is a short story/novella by Brandon Sanderson, a writer who manages to create a brilliantly original 'magical' system.
In this book there is no magic. Well, no real fantasy magic-y magic. The idea is still brilliant and original.
Stephen Leeds, the main character, has hallucinations. He sees and interacts with other people, people who aren't there. They live in his mansion and every one of them has a unique specialty. One is a history buff, one a gung-ho gun-nut, one a megalomaniac photographer and one of them is a schizophrenic . And there are many many more.
To Stephen "Legion" Leeds these people are very real, to the rest of the world they don't exist. He isn't schizophrenic though, nor is he suffering from DIS. He is just a normal, sane, man, but his hallucinations are a whole different ballpark.
Together they are for hire to solve complex mysteries. And that's where the story starts.
I usually don't read short stories anymore. Mainly because they aren't in audiobook format, and often because they just don't interest me anymore. Anything written by Brandon Sanderson interest me though, so I dove into this novella. It is very short, only 18.000 words. I finished it within an hour, I think. From the first paragraph it captured my attention and wouldn't let go until the very last words. I hated that it was finished, this is a story that left me begging for more.
Stephen is a very interestingly written person. His hallucinations are terrific and Brandon managed to create a surprising depth in the most important ones.
The plot itself isn't brilliant. To be honest, I couldn't exactly retell it if I tried :-) That doesn't matter. It was immensely entertaining, and that's what I think is the most important thing in a book. The concept of a camera well, flash actually that captures the past is nice and interesting. He neatly deals with the physics making something like that possible.
I really hope Brandon will one day return to this story and make a full book out of it. Or a series of books. And with 'one day' I obviously mean 'yesterday', because I want to read more about this interesting person. Well, only if he at the same time hurries a bit with Words of Radiance, of course, because that's one of the books I'm most looking forward to.
This book receives a full five stars. It's fresh, original, engaging and most of all, really leaves me wanting more, which is always a good sign.