By Brandon Sanderson
Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It’s his hallucinations who are mad.
A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people—Stephen calls them aspects—to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems…for a price.
His brain is getting a little crowded, however, and the aspects have a tendency of taking on lives of their own. When a company hires him to recover stolen property—a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past—Stephen finds himself in an adventure crossing oceans and fighting terrorists. What he discovers may upend the foundation of three major world religions—and, perhaps, give him a vital clue into the true nature of his aspects.
This is ingenious. I love the idea of having a P.I.-like hero with hallucinations that help him solve cases. This novella was so down my alley. It’s a mystery with an intriguing hero who you’re not quite sure if he’s got some mental illness or if he has some secret power—and who’s to say they can’t be both? Certainly not Stephen! His aspects are equal parts humorous and clever as well as distinct individuals. The byplay between his aspects and himself (because he’s the only one who sees them) is so funny and witty on Brandon Sanderson’s part. This is one of those books that felt like it was meant for cinema as well. I could visualize things clearly and saw it as an action movie/mystery. If you like police or detective shows like Monk, NCIS, Castle, or the like, this is the novella for you. Loved reading it and am so excited for the second book.
4.25 out of 5