Review: Skin Deep (Legion Book 2 of 2)

Legion: Skin Deep - Brandon Sanderson

I actually finished listening to this on Monday. I usually post reviews within 24 hours because I like to write them while everything is fresh in my mind, but this has been one crazy, busy week. I listened to this as an audio book during a couple of the 3.5 hour road trips I’ve had to take lately for my job. The audio book is about 4.5 hours long. When I first started listening I was driving home in the middle of the night after working a 16 hour day, so this audio book served a very important purpose – keeping me alert and awake. It did a good job of holding my attention and it kept me focused so that I didn’t feel too sleepy.

 

This is a sequel to Legion, a two-hour audio book I reviewed a couple weeks ago. We’re once again reading (or listening) from the perspective of Stephen, a genius who has a unique sort of split personality disorder – his other personalities manifest themselves in his mind as actual people that he can see and talk to, even though he’s aware they aren’t real. He calls them “aspects”, and each aspect has a unique personality and skill set that helps him solve different mysteries and problems. In this book, Stephen is asked to help recover a dead body that’s been stolen. I’m not going to try to explain the reasoning behind this objective, or much else about the plot, because I feel like it would spoil the fun when the story is so short to begin with.

 

I enjoyed this, and it served its purpose of entertaining me while driving, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book in the series. I can’t really point to a specific reason why, and it could be in large part just because I was both physically and mentally worn out when I listened it. A lot of it may be because the first book seemed incredibly unique to me, and I was eagerly listening for every detail about the main character and how his personality disorder worked. This time around, I already knew the premise behind the character so it didn’t feel quite as original and fascinating. With both books, I think I was more interested in the character himself (or themselves!) than in the actual mystery being solved.

 

However, just because I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as the first doesn’t mean I didn’t still enjoy it. We learned more about Stephen and the way his disorder works in this book, and we also met quite a few other aspects we hadn’t met in the last book. One of the new aspects we met participated in a large part of the story and was pretty interesting. I also enjoyed seeing the familiar aspects from the previous book again. I think the first book made me laugh more than this one did, but there was still a good dose of humor in this book too.

 

The narrator, Oliver Wyman, was the same one who narrated the first book. As I mentioned in my last review, I don’t have a lot of audio book experience, so I can’t expound on the pros and cons of his performance as compared to the average narrator. He really seems quite impressive to me though, because of the way he manages to give unique voices for each character. I can tell exactly who is speaking even before the name of the speaker is mentioned. He also does a good job of using his tone of voice to convey the humor and sarcasm being used throughout the story.

 

Although this is part of a series, each book has told a complete story. However, there are some underlying plot threads that have carried through both books and haven’t yet been resolved, so I imagine this means more books are planned. I’ll likely listen to the next one at some point, if another is published.