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Skin Deep

(Legion #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  19,012 ratings  ·  1,363 reviews
Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the lo ...more
Leather Bound, Signed Limited Edition, 208 pages
Published November 30th 2014 by Subterranean Press (first published November 24th 2014)
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Joni Yes, it comes out on the 18th of this month! (9-18-18)
James Kehr 208 pages according to the Amazon pre-order site... so a short novel. Short for a Sanderson book at least.

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,012 ratings  ·  1,363 reviews

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Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
A nice continuation of the series.

Longer than the first story, this answers some questions from the first story, expands our understanding of the main character and the mystery surrounding him, but it still leaves room for the the story to breathe. Without ambiguity, a story gets awfully stale.

I've really been enjoying these novella/short novel length pieces lately. I've never been a huge fan of shorter fiction before, but it looks like Sanderson and Scalzi might win me over to this new type o
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. Legion is a great character. Is he a genius or a crazy person? Is he a hero or is he out for himself, and who is in control Steven Leeds or his Aspects? One thing he is not is boring. The book and plot are extremely well thought out.

The story finds Steven trying normal things like a blind date, they trouble is Steven is never alone and normal is not one of his qualities. The interaction between his and his aspects is great, and their own flaws simply make him/them more interesting
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
More fun with J.C., Ivy, Tobias and the gang! I like Stephen Leeds and I totally adore his gang of imaginary sidekicks, especially J.C., the ex-Navy SEAL security and weapons expert who has a hard time dealing with the fact that he's not real.
"Not zombies," I said, feeling cold. "Cancer. You created a virus that gives people cancer."

"It was an unintended result that is perfectly manageable," Laramie said, "and only dangerous if used malignly. And why would anyone want to do that?"

We all stared a
Aug 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, novella
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this novella! I read it in one sitting and I think it was an improvement from the first instalment. Reading about the multiple aspects is interesting and the whole story had a nice mystery addition, which I found believable (view spoiler) Sanderson never disappoints in delivering solid stories at
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Stephen Leeds and his hallucinated hallucinations are back. Abandon your sanity ye who enter here.

You can now forget about eating, sleeping, drinking, socializing or whatever meaningless occupations you usually have. Don't plan on putting this book down until you finish it. You won't be able to.
“I’m not crazy, I’m compartmentalized.”
Stephen Leeds, 47 hallucinations, the most sensible guy you'll ever get to meet. Occupation: solving strange mysteries. A genius? No. He would tell you his aspec
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Buddy read with Armina, Athena, Gavin, Desinka, Robin, 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
Nimrod Daniel
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Another good novella by Sanderson!

This one is longer than the first story, which is good, because one of my criticism of book 1 was that it was too short. This one is about twice as long.
It’s a detective/mystery/thriller/crime story with interesting premise about biotechnology embedded storage device that has gone missing.

The story is a quite good, well-paced, and expands our understanding of Stephen and his different aspects. The different aspect of Stephen are all well-drawn, and they have an
Buddy read with Desinka , Kat Stark , Robin , Athena , Rhea , Evgeny , Gavin .


The investigation and search for a stolen corpse in an alternate present-day USA is the focus in this sequel to Legion. Yol Chay, who owns Innovation Information Incorporated, sends Stephen Leeds, our beloved protagonist and genius extraordinaire, in search of Panos Maheras, a researcher and supporter of open source technology ideas, whose body may hold the key to stopping a well-inten
Robin (Bridge Four)
4.5 I'm Not Crazy Just a Touch Insane Stars

Buddy read with Athena, Armina, Gavin, Kat Stark, Evengy, Rhea and Desisnka Starting on Tuesday Nov 25

Legion Skin Deep Group Thread

You know that imaginary friend you had as a child, what if you grew up and you had 47 of them and each one was an expert in their field perspective field of study. Meet Stephen Leeds who isn’t so much crazy as insane. He has a very active imagination and in it live a collection of aspects that help him in his daily life.
Deborah Obida
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brandon Sanderson never ceases to surprise me, even though this book is a 100+ pages novella it still has amazing world building, great characters, amazing unpredictable plot. These three things is what I love in books, and add writing which I normally pair with the world building, how he does it I know not. Here are some of my favourite quotes in the book.

“What?” I asked him. “Is there something wrong?”
“He’s just paranoid,” Ivy said. “Remember when he thought the postman was a terrorist?”

Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am infinite batmans.

Despite that epic line coming from this book, I wasn't that impressed with it.

The story was good, but it wasn't great like I normally expect from Brandon Sanderson. And while I am still a huge fan of his, I was hoping for more from the follow up to Legion.

A corpse has gone missing that holds data within its cells, data that could be dangerous in the right hands. Legion or Stephen Leeds has been hired to attempt to recover the body, along with his aspects, imaginary people w
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5 stars] Both Legion novellas were absolutely delightful. The concept was unique (a brilliant man whose “not crazy”, but harbors several human aspects who help him store information and solve crimes), the mysteries were interesting, and the writing was superb – yup! It’s definitely a Sanderson. What I especially loved about Skin Deep was the humor – I laughed so much through the first half I went back and read it again – you can tell Sanderson had a lot of fun writing it. The resolution to th ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was even better than the first Legion novella. I was really sucked into this fast paced and humorous story.

Stephen Leeds and his multitude of entertaining aspects were back with a new case to solve. He was hired to find a missing body with potentially dangerous experimental biotechnology data stored in its cells! The mystery was fun, but the real entertainment was provided by Stephen and his aspects. I love how they interact with each other and their witty banter was absolutely hilarious.
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

This is another wonderful story from Brandon Sanderson! I was lucky enough to grab this audio book from audible months ago when it was free. I didn't realize what kind of gem I had received at the time. This is a remarkable series that is so different than anything else I have had the chance to experience.

I love being in the mind of the main character, Steven Leeds. Sanderson has created a truly unique character set in this series th
Nov 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, audio
Brandon Sanderson's created a great character in Steven Leeds (listening to audiobook, excuse spellings). I like that Sanderson made almost a superpower out of what most would consider a disability. And it's a really incredible power at that. The ability to vaguely browse a book, the internet, you name it, and suddenly become an expert on it because an aspect of your mind turns up who has essentially memorized what you've hardly flipped through.

The problem I found is that I was kind of bored wit
Lindsey Rey
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, novella
248190348190890148019x better than the first one! LOOOOOVED IT!
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Kat Stark

Why can I say with with absolute confidence that Skin Deep is an highly satisfying SF thriller?

Let's start a quick investigation...

Evidence #1 : ♟ The plot is brilliant.

"Yeah, great, whatever," J.C. said.
" Emotions and metaphors and stuff. Look, we've got a problem."

Captivating and fast-paced, this thriller kept me enthralled from the beginning to the end. I didn't guess who the bad guys were, well, to sum-up, I hadn't any clue of anything before Stephen.

What have we got here?

- Some
Tessy Ijachi
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
The time it takes for an author to captivate a reader is really important. Some are able to do it in fifty pages, others a hundred, a few twenty pages. Brandon Sanderson is able to do so with just a phrase. I absolutely adore this book and can't wait to read more about Stephen Leeds.

I usually don't read thrillers or mysteries but this book made me fall in love with that genre.
This is one of those books that would be great to watch visually. It's a quick, fun read that is entertaining enough to finish the book in one sitting. ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, sci-fi, fantasy

When I finally got to the second book in the Mistborn series it jogged my memory that last year the second book in the Legion “mini-series” (mini as in short in length) came out and I’d yet to listen to it. I soon rectified this and got Skin Deep and began to listen.

I don’t normally do audio books as I find my mind sometimes can wander (although with me being able to run again I’m looking to rectify that) but after getting a free copy of the first audiobook (only 2 hours) there was no way I
Athena Shardbearer
Buddy read Gavin Desinka Robin (Bridge Four) Armina, Kat Stark Evgeny Rhea

^Buddy reads Reviews

Legion Group Thread

You know, its not fair to read a book by author you love and not being able to write a review that does the book, the writing and the author justice. Let me just say that I suck at writing reviews, but that doesn't stop me from read amazing books and gushing over them. Sanderson, you are and will always be my top favorite authors. You create amazing characters that are likeable, reali
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
It is with a heavy heart that I give this book three stars. I think this is my first Sanderson work to have received such a low rating from me. I am a self described Sandersonaian and greatly enjoyed this book's predecessor Legion but found this installment failing short of the mark.

By most accounts this book is quite similar to Legion. It has some great "hallucination" characters, we learn more about Mr. Leeds's "condition", and are presented with a thriller-esque plotline. As always Sanderson
Kells Next Read
I'm not crazy, I'm compartmentalized. Unfortunately, my aspects....well, they tend to be a little unhinged.

I swear Sanderson can do no wrong. Every and anything he touches turns into Gold. Love it!!! I hope to get more about Mr Leeds and his bizarre but loveable aspects because there're so unique and entertaining.

Paige  Bookdragon
Look who's back!!!


I'm sorry it took awhile for me to be active again in GR. Friends keep dying, work keeps on interrupting and cats are demanding so I haven't been able to read new books and give reviews like I used to before. But I'm happy that you guys didn't removed me from your friend's list yet.

Here's a hug for you guys.



I love Brandon Sanderson. I haven't read any of his books that I didn't like yet. From the dystopian book Steelheart to the fantasy realm of The Final Empire to th
Anish Kohli
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10/9/19: Full review up

Book number 3 from Mr. Sanderson and I am still very impressed. I think with all the hype around him, I’ll keep a track of what works I read from him and in what order so I can pin-point where it went wrong and why, although I hope the need never arises.

Since it’s such a short book (although GR says it is 200+ pages but honestly while reading it felt much shorter; goes to show how well paced the book is), I will not delve into any synopsis or plot summaries lest I might sp
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
As usual love every word written by brandon sanderson
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4.5 Stars]

Video Review:


Woah, this was a big step up from the first one for me. I found the plot a lot more compelling and the side characters (hallucinations) much more interesting a enjoyable to read about. I hope the next installment comes out in the next couple of years!
Kitty G Books
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 4.5* book in my opinion which is an improvement on the first one in the series to which I awarded only 4*s. Again in this storyline we follow the characters of Stephen Leeds (the main character) and his hallucinations (which he calls aspects) such as JC, Ivy, Tobias etc. Each of the hallucinations have their own skill set and Stephen can create new hallucinations fairly easily by simply researching into a subject or doing some reading into a topic. This is his way of quickly acquiring ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Stephen 'Legion' Leeds
I'd been excited about this novella since reading this tweet from Brandon Sanderson in April. While I did enjoy it, and still look forward to reading more about Stephen Leeds, aka Legion, and his world, I did not like it as much as the first -- probably because the concept, which was the highlight of the first story, was no longer new.

It certainly wasn't because this story wasn't interesting. There was a unique, layered mystery involving the intersection of science and religion -- a theme in bo
Nicholas Talty
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"If time is infinite, then anything that can happen, will happen, and has happened. That means you've happened before, Dion. We all have. Even if there is no God, even supposing there are no answers; no divinity out there, we're immortal."

He frowned.

"Think about it," I said. "The universe rolled its cosmic dice and ended up with you; a semi-random collection of atoms, synapses, and chemicals. Together those create your personality, memories, and very existence. But if time continues forever, tha
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Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S

Other books in the series

Legion (4 books)
  • Legion (Legion, #1)
  • Lies of the Beholder (Legion, #3)
  • Stephen Leeds: Death and Faxes

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