I read The Stars are Legion immediately after The Light Brigade, and it was kind of a letdown for me. I didn’t really resonate with either of the POV characters and the story felt like it was missing something. If I had read this before The Light Brigade I might have felt differently, but I didn’t, so I guess that point is null.
On the outer-rim of the universe there are a group of decaying world-ships, the Legion. Each world has been at war to control the Legion for generations, but the worlds continue to die, paving the way for desperate plans. Zan wakes up on a world-ship with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She is surrounded by people who call her family, and with no other choice, she trusts them.
The Stars are Legion is a split POV, spending time with Zan and her love interest Jade. Both Zan and Jade were pretty blah for me. Jade spent a lot of time whining, and she was also a manipulative, toxic character. Zan was pretty boring. She was quite naive, which I guess could be attributed to her missing memory. Both Zan and Jade fell flat for me and I didn’t find that they had very much chemistry to drive their romance.
However, I did love the concept of the world-ships. The world-ships themselves are a sort of living creature, almost a god in the way the world forces asexual reproduction on it’s people. Yep, those living on the ship get inexplicably pregnant with whatever parts or pieces the ship needs. And if you think a woman giving birth to a living gear is gross, get ready for tentacles, fleshy floors and walls, giant arteries of nastiness, and general viscera. I enjoyed how gross the whole world was, but beyond being gross, it is also just a really neat piece of worldbuilding.
The overall plotline didn’t hold me very well because I wasn’t interested in the characters, but it was solid. On looking back, the plot definitely follows a version of the hero’s journey. I didn’t like the memory loss side of things – not just in this novel, but generally. It feels like a convenient plot point that isn’t realistic (yes, I’ll rant about realism while reading SFF, lol). How does memory wiping even work when the character still keeps all of their memory of language and fighting (not to mention just walking and talking). I guess it just bothers me on a medical level.
I think that Kameron Hurley really excels at writing war, and while war was still an element of this book, it lacked the strategy, politics, and motivations of her other work.
Overall, I still enjoyed The Stars Are Legion. It fell right in between a 3 and 4 for me. So, not bad, but not something I would read again.