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Title: Legion of the Damned
Author: William C. Dietz
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.
These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.
For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.
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