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The Stars Are Legion

Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Summary

Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution. As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation - the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan's new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion's gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion's destruction - and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and Dune, The Stars Are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about tragic love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre's most celebrated new writers.

©2017 Kameron Hurley (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"This gripping book is both hard to read and easy to appreciate." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome world-building

The universe that Hurley conjures in this book is incredibly rich and totally original. This is where the true magic of the book lies - think Mad Max but in a moist, breathing, birthing land instead of a desert. The story itself is engaging but not groundbreaking and the characters are sometimes at little simplistic - archetypal rather than realistic. However, overall I definitely recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

This was a good concept. Took a while to get into but enjoyed the two storylines.

The narration was a little wooden but not enough to detract from a good story

I was a little overwhelmed at the beginning but it pays off in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprising plot, fascinating settings

Ships are living worlds in this novel, made up of layers of tissues and fluids, hosting a number of different beings (yet all women), and assigning to such beings the task to birth what is needed for their maintenance, as nothing is wasted and all is recycled. The main characters are involved in a complicated plot, aiming at regenerating and healing a world and possibly its whole legion. Their plan and path so far are only revealed at the end, and readers mostly discover the past as well as the present bit by bit, together with the amnesiac main character, while the other main character hints at past decisions that would put the story and characters in a different light. The quite imaginative settings and ecology of the ship-worlds are as gripping and fascinating as the plot and characters' mysteries. The interpretation is sometimes too dull and monotonous.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Painful listening !

I listened out of curiosity but was left willing the end so I could move onto another book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

overall poor

poor story line horribly connected. no real answers given about anythinf really. the performance is the only thing good about this audiobook

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Vincent Jeffries
  • Vincent Jeffries
  • 09-07-17

Ohhh... All the Body Fluids

Leckie's Ancillary series is a recent favorite of mine, and if you like those books, then there are plot conceits and themes this story has in common with "Ancillary" that you should find interesting. Every character identifies as (and is biologically) female while the protagonist struggles to understand her purpose and identity itself. The fundamental difference between "Legion" and "Ancillary" is the former's throbbing, "organic" universe compared to the "artificial" element to the latter's machine-assisted existential origins.

The world-sized "ships" in "Legion" and their inhabitants are fleshy things that excrete blood, mucus and feces at the slightest provocation. Why the author chose to slather almost every paragraph with so much bile, intestines and afterbirth is not completely understood by this reader. The important themes and a realistic topography could have been conveyed with less than half the gore.

It's not that the blood and guts are hard to stomach (which some readers will struggle with) but that the descriptions of puss, cancerous sores and shit are just so repetitive. Perhaps it's necessary constantly be reminded of the relationship between human and ecological bodies as systems through this scaler extrapolation? It certainly caused this reader to think about the relationship between biology, creation and determinism, but that may just be one person's projection? Plus, this is what good story telling can and should do, so while I'm wary of the necessity, there is a purpose being served through the muck.

The political story and basic plot points are built upon multi-layered betrayals and motivations. This makes the characters interesting, if a bit unlikeable. But the protagonist's journey and development are compelling enough to propel the story.

There's little science in this fiction and none of the bizarre forces and "technology" at work here are given even a perfunctory hand-waving. Fans of military, hard or even heavily abstracted sci-fi may be disappointed by the fantasy-in-space feel. The word "magic" isn't used, but the monsters and physical forces at work in this universe are deeply fantastical. But genre non-purists, especially those that factor diversity and convention-busting gender explorations should enjoy many of the ideas and characters presented in "Legion".

I may not be extremely attracted to the ever-increasingly explored themes in "Legion". Yet, to Hurley's credit, the author manages to cut through the tonnage of gore to present ideas that matter with characters that can be cared about.

Oh, a final audio-only comment about the book; the narration by both performers is excellent. I will look for stories featuring these narrators again.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Amy Jesionowski
  • Amy Jesionowski
  • 22-05-17

Excellent!

Kameron Hurley has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her books are filled with original storylines, strong female characters, and a much-needed feminist perspective in the genre. Hurley has managed an intriguing story and an immense undertaking at world-building so intrinsically enmeshed withing the story there is no separation of the two. I simply can't wait to devour more stories from this author. Thank you, Ms. Hurley!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael G Kurilla
  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 25-12-17

Parthenogenic amazons in space

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley offers an intriguing slant to a universe operating under different rules. A population of humanoid-like entities, all of which identify as exclusively female (although why sexual identity occurs when there isn't more than one sex is never explained). The entities live on multiple world ships that are quasi-organic and have evolved distinct societies that are competing with one another for either overall control or resources to leave the legion. Two women have a plan for gaining the upper hand (and there really is a hand or arm to gain) over two particularly powerful cliques fighting to gain control of the former out-of-commission flag ship of the force.

Most of the sci-fi elements involve the massive worldships where everyone lives. The texture of the environment is biological with all sorts of human-like fluids oozing and percolating about. In addition, although there is sexual behaviors, women become pregnant randomly without any specific action on their part. In addition, they birth a variety of things that the world decides it needs (the odd gear or cog for example). The mystery of the tale is that one of two main plotters has lost her memory, ends up being recycled into the ship and reprises a journey from the deepest bowels (literally) back to the surface, collecting an odd collection of misfits along the way. There is constant betrayal, along with lots of battles and fighting, adding to the natural gore of the place. There's the distinct sense that the worldships were envisioned as a metaphor for current society.

The choice to employ two narrators was a wise decision as the story flips back and forth between the two main characters and their unique perspectives and motivations. Both narrators perform an admirable job with excellent character distinction by each. While the story itself drags a bit (there are so many levels to climb), the pace and mood were nicely aligned.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Sam
  • Sam
  • 31-05-17

A truly amazing and original book!

Kameron Hurley has done it again! Another innovative sff novel that is gripping, emotional, and just plain awesome!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yoly
  • Yoly
  • 28-04-17

Great story

The story is great (and a bit weird at first) and the narrators are just perfect.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 16-09-19

Straight no chaser

If you like the horror in your far-future horror quest fantasy delivered straight no chaser, this may be the book for you. The reason I'm giving it 4 rather than 5 stars is that it seemed for a spell that it was about to become China Mieville meets Margot Atwood, which would have been cool, but that didn't happen. I came to care about the characters, without which I can't finish a book. Along with compelling characters there is plenty of intrigue, duplicity, betrayal, loyalty, hairy escapes, in other words, just what you read this kind of thing for, because gross creepy monsters can't carry it on their own.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laurent Griot
  • Laurent Griot
  • 29-08-19

Robotic voice

Storyline is hard enough to follow, but the monotonic robotic voices reading it makes it even harder to remain attentive.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-08-19

the settings are unusual and imaginative

What will. always stick with me are the descriptions of the levels. Hurley's use of light is enthralling.
I didnt instantly love the narrators but i did get used to them and appreciate their distinctiveness.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for B.
  • B.
  • 08-07-19

An excellent take on the archetypal heroes journey

This is a very well written book, with deep characters and sub-plots, exploring themes of discovery, despair, hope and redemption.

There is a lot of violence and treachery, but it all serves the story and makes tremendous sense once you move forward into subsequent chapters.

The characters are seldom simply “good” or “bad”, much as with real people. And that too makes the messages in the book meaningful.

It’s a long book but it’s very much worth a listen for fans of science fiction, fantasy, or any exploration of the human mind and spirit, all told from an entirely female perspective.

Fascinating work and I hope the author writes many more books in the future.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jessica A Baker
  • Jessica A Baker
  • 26-06-19

Strange

The concept of the story is alluring but ended up going nowhere in my opinion.