Buddy read with Armina
, Kat Stark
, and Rhea
Stephen Leeds is an interesting guy. For those unfamiliar with the first book the best explanation would be he is schizophrenic who imagines different people around himself. These imaginary people are really good at something, like scientific research, criminal investigations, foreign language proficiency, etc. It is possible to call the guy a genius, but from his own point of view his imaginary people are geniuses, while he himself is only good at imagining a person with the right set of skills at a given moment.
This time the tale starts with Stephen on a date with hilarious comments from his imaginary helpers. The date gets scared and leaves, but Stephen receives a call from his friend in a big trouble asking for help. Stephen becomes involved in a corporate conspiracy with a mix of espionage and everything else it implies including a hit-man (a hit-woman is this case). Fun ensures.
I just mentioned fun: this is exactly how reading this book feels. It is actually more fun than a barrel full of monkeys - and I am saying this while not being the biggest fan of the author.
I thought I would give the novella 5 stars, but decided to settle on 4. There are several reasons for this. Stephen Leeds as a character is very bland - there is no nicer way to say it. He is made such intentionally as some of his imaginary friends are really good and colorful. Still, a novel with a so-so main character feels a little off, no matter what the reasons are.
Speaking about the imaginary characters, one of them really makes this novella: J.C. He is a military survivalist (think Rambo, but with interesting personality) and his speeches and actions are brilliant. It is no coincident that the only time I felt the story became slow and boring was exactly when J.C. was preoccupied. I did not really like this (albeit small) part, despite the mentioning of infinite Batmans - this was awesome.
I am judging the novella a little harsh and had it been written by a new author I would have given it 5 stars without a second thought, but Brandon Sanderson is a well-established and highly regarded writer. It is still recommended to everybody who thought the first book was at least passable; read and you will not regret it.
This review is a copy/paste of my LeafMarks one: https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/users/10968/books/905576/review