Friday, September 11, 2015

Legion: Skin Deep

Earlier this year I read the novella Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson. The story involved one Steven Leeds a sane and clever man whose life slowly became focused on solving some rather curious mysteries. I chose the descriptor "sane" in the previous sentence, but Steven has a rather serious case of schizophrenia, where he imagines and interacts with other "aspects" as he calls them. These aspects are actually fully fleshed out people that live with him and are part of his life. They each have a special skill that Steven relies on as he investigates and works through whatever case he is involved with.

For a time, Steven charged exhorbitant sums to the myriad research groups that hounded him. As a result he became a very wealthy man. He was heading down a path of jaded self-destruction, but in time he came to embrace his condition and slowly his natural curiousity and aim to solve puzzles and mysteries took over. The sum of all of the legion of personalities that comprise him makes for a very entertaining and complex man, with an IQ that defines him as a genious.

In this story, a biotech hot-shot desperately seeks Steven to take on a case involving the missing body of one of their recently deceased scientists. The odd angle of this case is that the scientist was leading the effort on some advanced research that allowed the cells of the human body to become, in effect, a computer system of unlimited capability. The scientist had stored the keys to this research in his own body and it is believed that a rival firm has used their spies and their connections to steal the body in their attempt to learn the secrets of the research. As Steven works to figure out who might be involved and how to access the key that will unlock the data stored in the scientist's body, he meets with a deadly foe that knows him better than he could have guessed. Can Steven survive this adventure and solve the case cut off from his most valuable aspects? A fun read that I much enjoyed.