Legion is a decent novella. It’s a quick fun read, however I has a couple of problems. The first being that there are far too many open threads left dangling unanswered. Things get introduced in the story and never really wrapped up, so that the novella feels like the start to a longer story. However what I really wanted to talk about was the religion stuff. Legion is pretty clearly Sanderson’s attempt to work through the faith vs. science dilemma that plagues modern believers. Though couched in a story about a man with many personalities, the main question I got from the story is; if you could prove without a shadow of a doubt that one religion was the true religion, would you. And are the ramifications of that proof worth it? See, someone has created a camera capable of taking pictures of the past, and as a faithful Catholic this person has decided to try and prove that Christ really did rise from the dead by taking a picture of him shortly after the resurrection. And yes we’re supposed to ignore the idea that though we don’t have an exact date for the crucifixion, somehow just having a picture of the resurrected Christ would be proof enough that he did in fact rise from the dead.
One problem I had with the story is that the main opponent to this idea was an extreme Muslim group. The Muslim group wanted to use the camera to prove the opposite, that Christ did not rise from the dead. And since this was a violent Muslim group the climax of the story pitted American Christian (or atheist), prisoners against violent Muslims, in the Holy Land no less. So, so problematic. And I think Sanderson knew that himself because he tried to explain that this group was an extreme splinter group from a more peaceful group of Muslims. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the only Muslims to actually appear in the story were terrorists and extremely violent ones at that. Add in the fact that the Jewish claim to this question was ignored entirely and well… there’s a big problem there.