The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Stars Are Legion is refreshing on so many fronts. Firstly it’s a stand-alone not a trilogy, so not weighed down with all that entails. Secondly the world building and technology is visceral – literally: bio-organic spray-on spacesuits, walls and floors on the ‘spaceship/worlds’ of the Legion that feel moist to the touch, petal-like doors that unfold, cephalopod guns, willing dolphin-like attack craft that you sit ‘on’ rather than ‘in’, interchangeable wombs that grow people and ship parts – it’s as if Cronenberg wrote an SF novel. Thirdly the writing is fresh and tight and the characterisation and plotting is intriguing.
Zan wakes with no memory on the ship/world of the Katazyrna. But she has been here many times before, and she’s told by Jayd, daughter of the Katazyrna leader, that she has failed once more in a plot they share to gain control of the free ship/world of Mokshi and must try again. It’s up to Zan to learn what is true and false in the worlds of the Legion and what really matters.
Paranoia and treacherous intent build beautifully under Hurley’s tight control and the worlds of the Legion get weirder and weirder as Zan discovers the truth of the spaces they inhabit and what has happened during her countless previous failures.
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