Legion of the Damned

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Mass Market Paperback Legion of the Damned Book

Title: Legion of the Damned

Author: William C. Dietz

Published: 1993

Publisher’s Summary: When there’s no hope for the terminally ill or a condemned criminal they have one last chance to survive. And that’s to join the Legion and become a cyborg. Both more and less than human, these warriors are the most elite fighting force in the Empire, they are the Legion of the Damned.

Genre: Action/ Science Fiction

POV: 3rd person omniscient, Over 12 POVs

Theme: Life is preserved when the Legion doesn’t give up and defeats the alien invasion

Object of Desire: The Legion wants to survive; The legion need to save the human race

Image: www.thriftbooks.com

Obligatory Scenes

  • Inciting attack by the villain: The aliens with their human traitor start destroying human world settlements in the outer rim
  • Hero sidesteps responsibility to take action: the emperor orders the legion to stand down and not protect the outer rim
  • Forced to leave ordinary world, Hero Lashes out: The legion does not evacuate and defends their homeward
  • Discovering and understanding the antagonist’s MacGuffin: The aliens want to destroy humanity
  • Hero’s initial strategy against villain fails: though the Legion wins the initial attack, they are depleted for the subsequent attack
  • Realizing they must change their approach to salvage some form of victory, Hero reaches all is lost moment: the aliens attack on over 300 doppelgänger’s zones, the legion evacuates its command post and fights a guerrilla war, but they don’t think they can win.
  • The Hero at the mercy of the villain event; the central event of the action story, what the reader is waiting for. Hero’s gift is expressed in this scene: Booly defends key terrain against the traitor Baldwin and over 300 aliens (outnumbered two to one), but he uses the known terrain and the human forces take out the air support and his forces win in the end. Booly’s gift is tactics and use of the locals who know the terrain.
  • The Hero’s sacrifice is rewarded: Booly becomes the king of the Naan’s, humanity wins, Legion gets their homeward back.


  • Hero, villain, and victims must be clearly defined: Hero: the Legion (Booly), Villain: Aliens (and Baldwin the traitor), Victims: humanity, Naa, legion
  • Hero’s object of desire is to save the Legion and humanity
  • Power divide between the villain and the hero is large: the aliens had the firepower and numbers but were surprised and outmaneuvered in the end
  • Speech in praise of the villain: the aliens can not be negotiated with, they only want to destroy the human race

Act 1

Aliens attack the human race with he help of a human traitor. The emperor of the human race debates with his military chiefs whether to defend the worlds of the outer rim, or withdraw all military units to protect the center of the empire, then he finally decides to withdraw, leaving those in the outer rim to fend for themselves.

Act 2

The Commander of the legion (based on the French Foreign Legion of old, made up of criminal and terminally ill who are remade into cyborgs) is taken prisoner before she can initiate a coup because she disagrees with the strategy the emperor has chosen. The Legion’s hombres comes under attack and they successfully fend off the aliens to everyone’s surprise.

Act 3

The Emperor and his lead military chief initiate an attack on the legion’s homeworld, but have to withdraw when a band of rich businessman, calling themselves the cabal, hire elite security forces to the Legion commander and all of her imprisoned legion soldiers to begin a coup. The emperor’s forces are deposed, but the emperor escapes with his senior military commander.

Act 4

The emperor attempts to negotiate with the aliens but is immediately destroyed and the aliens again attack the homeward of the legion. Meanwhile, the human race launches a space attack against the alien fleet, denying their ground forces air support. The legion and the human race fleet defeat the aliens and take many prisoners.

The SF Site Featured Review: Legion of the Damned

What I didn’t Like

1. I read the digital/ Kindle version – there were many different scenes in each chapter, and the book did not divide the scenes with ***, but only an empty line. Because of this, it was difficult for me to determine when a scene was changing and was somewhat frustrating.

2. Omniscient POV – I remember a lot of science fiction being told in 3rd person omniscient back in the 1990s. There are so many POVs in this book it is hard to empathize with any one of them. I think that if this was rewritten, I would advise to select a few specific POVs to tell different parts of the story from the ground, the politics, and the fleet in order for the reader to settle into the characters.

3. Plotlines note fully developed – there are some plot lines that don’t have a beginning, middle and end. There are two separate love stories that develop super fast. Dietz put a lot of technology, love stories, politics, and war into this book and some of the scenes are great and the ending is great, but the middle build is a little hard to understand sometime.

Image from: https://www.sfsite.com/00a/lo406.htm

Legion of the Damned by Rotaken : ImaginaryWarhammer

What I liked

1. The action scenes are top notch!

2. The technology is super interesting.

3. The Legion history and honor is very well written and believable.

Image from: www.reddit.com

Check out other books in the Legion of the Damned Series!

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