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Legion of the Damned
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Legion of the Damned (Legion #1)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,260 ratings  ·  77 reviews
In the future, the terminally ill can prolong life by surrendering their consciousness to a cybernetic life form that is then recruited into the notorious Legion of the Damned, an elite fighting unit charged with protecting humanity.
ebook, 352 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Ace Books (first published March 8th 1993)
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Before I begin my mostly positive review, a quick "open letter" to SCIENCE FICTION...


TOO MUCH BAD SEX. I don’t mean filthy, kinky or nasty sex (you should know me better than that by now). No, I mean clunky, horribly written schlock that makes your loins shrivel (GUYS...who needs that). Lately, I am finding that this is pretty much par for the course and that finding a writer who can do an effective sex scene is rarer than governmental honesty...YET YOU KEEP TRYING...JUST STOP ALREADY.
Dietz has a lot of ideas in this book, but none of them were particularly well done except the action - when he actually wrote it. As a fun, quick space opera, it's not bad, though. If he had made this into a trilogy, he could have made it quite a good story. As it was, there just wasn't enough meat to really be satisfying. He'd jump from one place to another, do a quick flashback on what could have been an awesome scene, but it was just a quick synopsis. Maybe that was my big problem - a lot of ...more
You can read the full review over on my blog:

As with last year, it seems that at the moment I’m doing well enough with my “25 Series To Read In 2014” reading challenge, where I pick out the aforementioned number of series in a variety of genres and attempt to read at least the first books in each. One of the books that I read for this challenge earlier this month was the first novel in William C. Dietz’ Legion series, Legion of the Damned. Bill is an autho
Mike (the Paladin)
Good idea and good book (if you like straight up military science fiction, which I usually do). The synopsis pretty much gives you the idea the novel (and it's sequels) are built around. Condemned criminals, among others will have their brains transplanted into mechanical bodies. These cyborgs can range from appearing human to being giant military machines tanks etc. with human brains.

And there is very little need for the human looking cyborgs...get it? Generally you end up plugged into somethi
Cathy (cathepsut)
Disappointing. Still, two stars instead of one, as there are a lot of good ideas and the beginnings of some interesting plotlines. However, none of them deliver. I was hooked enough to want to know the end of the book and ended up skimming the majority of it, as I just couldn't stomach reading it properly.

My issues with this book, in no particular order:

Very short paragraphs, that jump from one storyline to the next and never allow you to properly develop a connection to the story or the charact
Andrew Ziegler
Awesome! Great series until the 5th book..then it just gets silly.
I have to be honest here, I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. I'm more of a fantasy lover. Yes, there is a difference in my opinion between the two subjects. This book was therefore grudgingly accepted from my boyfriend when he was looking for something for me to read instead of spending more of my tight budget. At first it took some time for me to figure out what was going on because, as I mentioned, this isn't my typical genre of choice; however, by the third chapter I was hooked. I thought ...more
It's been a long time since I read a military sci-fi book. The last one I can remember is probably the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. I wouldn't say it's my favorite genre but it always manages to pull me in because of its introduction of many worlds, many faces, many battles, and consequently many stories.

I've heard about this series since Dietz is a pretty prolific writer and there are several in just this series alone. I was sucked into the first three chapters for all the reasons I listed a
That was a bit pants really. All in all, it was rather two-dimensional. Two-dimensional characters, invariably in positions of power and either at a party, having sex or engaged in grand tactical warfare. Hollow ill-conceived future-tech. And a plot as thin as the atmosphere on Mars (as depicted by Viking rather than Burroughs).

If you still have spots, wear short trousers and are a virgin you'll probably like this. If your brain cells have reached double figures, reach for some decent writers in
Patrick Hayes
I've read the Titan Books edition of this book and I really enjoyed it. It's been reprinted to be in the same size as the recently published Andromeda's Fall, which is a spin-off from the original series.

I'm not a military sci-fi fan but this was very easy to follow with several plots/battles occurring simultaneously. This book was published originally in 1993 but it contains a similar plot thread that was used in Avatar; though this one is actually a story.

Earth is run by an Emperor who is bor
Gavin Gates
When the terminally ill are on their last legs or murderers get executed a couple of centuries in the future they get the chance to redeem themselves in a way, they can be resuscitated as cyborg’s and become troops for the Legionnaires, what was formerly the foreign legion, this troop is commonly known as the legion of the damned. These cyborg’s are basically the brain of a human stuck on top of a robot body and armed to the hilt with some pretty extreme fire power.
Sound interesting? DAMN STRAI
originally posted at:

Earlier this year I started reading the Prequel Legion series of William C. Dietz, two of the three books, Andromeda's Fall and Andromeda's Choice have been published so far with Andromeda's War to follow soon. I am a big fan of military SF, who doesn't like modified soldiers with heavy guns battling it out against hordes of aliens? When I read Andromeda's Fall William C. Dietz story inspired this to the fullest but also gave a lot mo
SciFi good read. Great Author. I was just telling my wife I tend to review the author and their skill more than the actual book. So when I've already reviewed some of the authors books before; subsequent reviews such as this are shorter. Regardless, Dietz's skill is unquestioned. I really enjoyed this book and pretty much anything he has written.
Legion of the Damned took me a Damned long time to read for such a relatively short book. It looks like it is now the first book in a series - I'm going to choose to ignore that, and just avoid the rest of the series. Life's too short for even "ok" books.
Tom Rowe
I neither liked nor disliked this book. I am completely neutral to it. I don't care one way or another. It makes no difference to me. Stuff happened in this book. I remember some of it, but it is not important enough for me to comment on.
What if an elite military outfit of cyborgs protected the galaxy? COOL! Now what if a mediocre writer wrote about them? Not so cool. Fun in a pinch, but expect Star Wars/Dungeons and Drgaons serial book level talent.
I loved the idea of a future "foreign legion" comprised of misfits and/or criminals turned to cyborgs, who become an army to fight alien invasion. I have read most of the sequels, and will finish the series.
Top notch military sci fi. Some character development issues, but very enjoyable overall. Dietz has been added to my short list of must read sci fi authors.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Decent military sci-fi; enjoyed it a lot when I was 15, it is quite fascist in hindsight.
Michael Harley
I'm a sucker for military sci-fi and I like Dietz style. I really enjoyed this book.
Brian Turner
This probably warrants 3.5 stars - good characters, decent action, but the plot is a total cliche.

Set in the far future, the French Foreign Legion have grown to incorporate cyborgs as well as human warriors.
As with most of this kind of novel, they're frowned upon by other forces due to envy, and hampered by the higher ups being incompetent/cowardly/insane.

Unlike most books of this type, this appears to have been a one-off, rather than the launchpad for a whole series basically covering the same
Boulder Boulderson
Below-par work of military SF. Sadly the author doesn't seem to understand the military or SF, which has left him somewhat floundering. He's trying to use the romantic notion of the French Foreign Legion without, I think, truly understanding the reason the Legion is such a romantic notion (unlike for example Jerry Pournelle in the fantastic Falkenberg stories). The book is trying to be too many things (space opera, gritty military story, romance, first contact story) which hasn't helped either.

Fred Hughes
In this military science fiction series, of which this is book one, we have the legendary Legionnaires as our protagonists.

Humanity has flowed out from mother planet and has invested in mining and populated other worlds. While there has always been minor conflicts between some of the settlements and other species this pales in comparison with the Hudathan who are sweeping through humanities settlements without significant resistance.

The Hudathan battle strategy is simple. Bombard the hell out of
finished Legion of the Damned sci-fi/warfare about a future when you don't die- your brain is downloaded to a case- and installed into cyborg warriors- they are the Legion-a future foreign legion- and stationed on a planet Algeron. This idiot playboy emperor on earth- instead of using his resources against an enemy (Hudathans-giant frogs) he turned divisions (marines) to fight the legion- and lost. And the legion led by a little businessman Chien-Chou + a soldier (Booly) who engaged the Naa(anot ...more
Mel Brown
I have to be honest here, I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. I'm more of a fantasy lover. Yes, there is a difference in my opinion between the two subjects. This book was therefore grudgingly accepted from my boyfriend when he was looking for something for me to read instead of spending more of my tight budget. At first it took some time for me to figure out what was going on because, as I mentioned, this isn't my typical genre of choice; however, by the third chapter I was hooked. I thought ...more
Robert H
Picked up this book since I'd been playing an iPad game based on the events of the book, and wanted to see what the source material was. Also discovered that this is listed as one of the better military SciFi books out there - or at least someone had it in a list of that genre of books.

Overall the story was pretty good, though I was somewhat surprised at the amount of sex throughout the book. It seemed that pretty much every character from the Emperor of the Human Empire down to the lowest priva
Hmmm, I'm not sure what to say about this one. About half-way through I was convinced the entire book was going to be one long setup for a "To Be Continued" ending. I was wrong about that. The amount of loose-ends that got tidied up in the last few chapters was pretty phenomenal, although there's still plenty of scope for the sequels. Without straying into spoiler territory let's just say I was surprised at who was and wasn't standing at the end.

My main issue with the story is that it's a little
Jonathan Cate
Legion of the Damnedby William C. Dietz is the first installment of the completed nine book series of the same name. The book is set in a far future version of our universe where humanity has colonized parts of the galaxy militarily typically tries to subjugate any indigenous sentient species and exploits the planet's natural resources. But there are other powerful technologically advanced races out there and the humans are about to encounter one of them.

The earth military is broken into three
May 31, 2011 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci fi fans, Military SF fans, French Foreign Legion fans, conservatives
I have been meaning to rewrite this review for a long time now... but I am never going to get around to it (until I read the book again), so here is what I did write shortly after reading it...

I learned of Legion of the Damned by reading about the French Foreign Legion. I liked the idea of the Legion put in a science fiction setting, and the author’s name rang a bell. Later I would remember that William Dietz also wrote a short series of books based on the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight video game
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William Corey Dietz grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a corpsman, graduated from the University of Washington and worked as a surgical technician, college instructor, and news writer. Later he worked for US West in a number of different marketing communications and public relations related positions, before leaving to accept a job as Director of Public Relat ...more
More about William C. Dietz...

Other Books in the Series

Legion (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Andromeda's Fall (The Prequel Legion Series, #1)
  • Andromeda's Choice (The Prequel Legion Series, #2)
  • Andromeda's War (The Prequel Legion Series, #3)
  • The Final Battle (Legion, #2)
  • By Blood Alone (Legion, #3)
  • By Force of Arms (Legion, #4)
  • For More Than Glory (Legion, #5)
  • For Those Who Fell (Legion, #6)
  • When All Seems Lost (Legion, #7)
  • When Duty Calls (Legion, #8)
Halo: The Flood Mass Effect: Deception (Mass Effect, #4) Heaven's Devils (StarCraft II, #1) The Final Battle (Legion, #2) Soldier for the Empire (Star Wars: Dark Forces, #1)

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