Queer Representation: cis lesbian (literally no gender other than cis female)
Rating: eleventy billion stars (but no living planets because they're creepy AF)
Zan has no memory of her past. She awakes on a ship (also a planet) with a mass of injuries and a deep attraction to a woman who may have betrayed her. All she knows is that she once threw away a child, and she must penetrate the membrane of world known as 'Mokshi' so that her mother can take control of its resources to save their own dying planet. But as Zan's memories slowly return, she is haunted not only by her growing feelings for Jayd, but snippets of her past life, her dying world, and a hidden plan to save the Legion.
Just...wow. I am not a fan of military sci fi but this book picked me up by the collar on page one and did not let me go until the very end. Forget everything you know about military sci fi. This isn't Battlestar Galactica, this is female military sci fi, which means a lot less... well, men. The lack of men and their (stereotypical) goals and obsessions makes this book an exploration of community and war, of birth and gore. It's amazing.
Fast paced without being rushed. Even in the middle of the book, where it shifts from military to 'journey' book, the plot did not lag. Every chapter had relevance and character building, and following Zan through the layers of the world as she regains her memory was a delight. The tension stemming from not knowing the in-world plot really drove my interest, to the point where I almost mourned the end of the book.
In contrast to Hurley's THE MIRROR EMPIRE, LEGION delivers a solid, tight plot without the wandering and massive POV list. Where MIRROR was a slog with occasional tension, LEGION is polished to a high gloss.
The ending was perfect. Too often with books I love I feel let down when the ending lacks punch, or resolution, or leaves me with a syrupy sweetness that makes me want to brush my teeth. The ending to LEGION wrapped the book and the emotions up but left me with that melancholy happiness I need to really feel fulfilled .
Although we have two POV characters--Jayd and Zan, Zan really drives the narrative. Jayd serves as more of a device (both as a character and for the plot). The mothers/rulers of the two warring worlds have an interesting dynamic as well, and Rasida was one of my favorite characters (the warlord ruler of the 'antagonist' planet who more or less buys Jayd for her childbearing capabilities) along with Das Muni, the woman who gives birth to some sort of healing squid creatures. Read the book for Das Muni if for no other reason. She's been recycled too many times. She deserves it.
You can experience THE STARS ARE LEGION (and hopefully not give birth to a healing squid creature as a result) in paperback here and ebook here.
REVIEWED BY J.S. FIELDS