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The Stars Are Legion

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Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution.  As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation - the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan's new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion's gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion's destruction - and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and DuneThe Stars are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about tragic love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre's most celebrated new writers.

378 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 7, 2017

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About the author

Kameron Hurley

101 books2,364 followers
Kameron Hurley is the author of The Light Brigade, The Stars are Legion and the essay collection The Geek Feminist Revolution, as well as the award-winning God’s War Trilogy and The Worldbreaker Saga. Hurley has won the Hugo Award, Locus Award, Kitschy Award, and Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. She was also a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, and the Gemmell Morningstar Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Popular Science Magazine, Lightspeed and numerous anthologies. Hurley has also written for The Atlantic, Writers Digest, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, Bitch Magazine, and Locus Magazine. She posts regularly at KameronHurley.com. Get a short story from Kameron each month via: patreon.com/kameronhurley

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,842 reviews
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
January 14, 2021
I fear her, yes, but I’ve never been loyal.

4 1/2 stars, rounded up because I know for a fact this will stay with me. This story follows the Katazyrna family and the Bhavajas, trying to conquer the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to take their family away from the Legion, a ship system – think a solar system where all the planets are actually orb-shaped ships – in which they are trapped, where cancer eats away at the ships and people must be recycled for the ships to live at all.

Jayd and Zan have a plan to escape, to reach the center of the legion. But they have yet to convince their mother, Amat, of the rightness of what they’re doing. Worse yet, Zan has lost her memory and doesn’t trust Jayd at all. But Jayd has a plan.

It’s a really complex concept, I know, but I actually found myself… not very confused by this book. At least after the first 50 pages. You will be super weirded out, but I don’t think you’ll be confused. The broad concepts here are so weird and different that it’s impossible to forget them.

Perhaps that’s a good summary of this book - weird and different. I mean, okay, you thought my synopsis was weird? Their world is literally a human body and it eats other human bodies. At one point someone climbs up the vein of the world. I pictured it shaped like a palm tree. I do not kid.
“What is freedom?” Arankadash says. “It is control of the body, and its issue, and one's place in the world.”
“See?” Camas says. “We aren't all completely dead in the head.”

The characters here are so interesting and… terrible. They’re all villains and they’re all liars and they all have bad intentions, every one. But somehow, it’s hard not to see where they’re coming from, hard not to root for them [even
➽Zan - has lost her memory. probably all of us if we were reading this book. disaster lesbian. pretty badass considering she doesn’t know what she’s doing. shares futch memes and is actually solidly butch, probably. chaotic neutral trying to be chaotic good. I’m making jokes but I actually love her a lot
➽Jayd - our second narrator. projects competent lesbian but is a closet mess. that one girl on your feed who always falls for the villains. one of the most antiheroey antiheroes ever. solid lawful neutral.
➽Sabita - fucked-up villain love square member #3. an enigma. doing her best. shares steal your girl memes and never once succeeds at stealing a girl in this book. it’s kind of tragic. solidly chaotic neutral.
➽Rasida - murder lesbian. I don’t like villains but I kinda love her delightfully evil aesthetic. she probably wears combat boots and drinks too much

Then there are the inner world characters. What I liked about these characters is that in Zan’s mind, they’re shitposting 24/7, but all of them are actually totally rational. Arankadash, Das Mudi, and Casamir - my favorite - all have their own motivations and characterization. Many of these characters [okay, okay, I mean Casamir] are fundamentally driven by a need for agency.

Which is I think what this book is about at its core. In a world where everything is for your family, what does it take to make a choice you don’t know is right? And maybe more importantly, what does what you do to someone you love do to you?

I don't know, man, this is a really fantastic space opera. I want to recommend this but I also feel like I am totally about to get judged for recommending this. hello to all my lovely followers, and may I just make it very clear: this book is weird as hell. you are absolute not allowed to judge me for liking it anyway because I like weird things and hey, the Hugo awards agree with me.

💜 buddyread with my crippling inability to push through books with intense worldbuilding, and also this angel and fellow sapphic sff stan

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Profile Image for Kevin Kelsey.
405 reviews2,203 followers
June 16, 2017
Posted at Heradas Review

"We all create the stories we need to survive."

This one was, wow, very interesting. I won't be forgetting this one any time soon. It's going to be very divisive. It had some interesting pacing, and a couple plot holes, but nothing I can't overlook. The ideas and resolution were wild as hell, and that is where the novel really shined. It really did feel like it was written during the New Wave era of the late 60s/early 70s; some weird combination between Joanna Russ and Iain M. Banks. I'm thinking of some elements of Matter by Iain M. Banks specifically, but structured more like Consider Phlebas.

None of the characters are likable in any way, but that's a good thing. They're not meant to be your friends, they're meant to be brutal. There's a goal that a few factions are trying to reach, and I found myself not particularly caring who achieved it in the end, because everyone seemed to me to be equally shitty. Honestly, it's more realistic that way. I really liked that.

There is just a metric fuck-ton of gore and blood and nasty, disturbing, bizarre shit in this thing. People eating their deformed babies, guns that fire squid-like creatures for ammo, organic ships with asexually reproducing characters who birth whatever the ship needs at that moment. It's wild stuff, really interesting.

I really enjoyed the decision to not elaborate too much on the world building for the readers sake, it's just presented to you, and a lot of it is weird as hell, but you sort of feel it out and figure it out as you go along. A few of the characters took way too long to discover basic things that I thought were glaringly obvious to the reader, and the prose was just okay, but the story is just wild and huge and definitely worth checking out.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.7k followers
December 12, 2018

This was all I could think about while listening to this book. I had to DNF at 50% because I still had no idea what was going on and I wasn't enjoying myself.

I was intrigue by an all female cast of characters sci-fi but that was the only good thing about this book.

It was just weird and confusing and reminded me a bit of the movie "Snowpiercer".
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,980 followers
May 22, 2017
Memory, bio-punk, world-building extravaganza, betrayal, adventure, horror.

There's so much to love in this book. It's full to the brim with fantastic living "world/ships" and the special parasites that are living aboard them. (Us, or some kind of alien that's near enough us that makes no odds.)

I originally thought that it was going to be a lot like Starscape with the living ship, but in reality, this is much, much larger. At least the ship is. In fact, aside from a few quick space battles, most of the events take place across vast distances inside the ships. Worlds. :)

Here's another great bit: The women. It's all women. The ships manipulate and bring them back as clones (although it's never really described as such) and their memories come back slowly. This gives us a lot of really awesome plot devices that lead to so many horrible discoveries, but more-so, it gives us a really tangled web of social and interpersonal nightmares. And it's all women.

This is a fairly unique world-building exercise, and while it's not completely original, I've rarely seen it done this well while also being completely immersed in truly strange alien-tech, or being fully realized for huge story and biological reveals later. Suffice to say, I'm loving the hell out of the world-building.

The story is pretty cool, too, full of distrust and dire situations and nearly hopeless striving, neither side ever truly being able to come to grips with one another... or do they? It's truly a nightmare of social tangles when you include memories being lost or the fact that you might have been doing this same quest, futilely, over and over. The despair is palpable.

This is the fourth book I've read of hers and this is the one I probably like the most, all told. She always has fantastic world-building, full of wonderful ideas, explorations, and implications.

What can I say? I wish there was a lot more of this out there. I love this stuff. True playground of the mind. :)

Profile Image for Philip.
502 reviews673 followers
January 13, 2020
2ish stars.

Kameron Hurley is full of ideas. Some of them obviously come from a dark, twisted, disturbing place. Some nasty stuff going on here. I mean cool, creative, crazy stuff... but also oozy, squishy, bloody, nasty blech, blech. The world-building is definitely the top selling point for this book. Organic planets/weapons/vehicles, all-female cast, mutant-babies, asexual conception, very interesting.

I feel like it should have been incredible, and I hoped it would be, but other elements weren't as strong as the worldbuilding. I liked the mystery at the heart of the story; I thought the unreliable narrators were put to good use; I thought everything coalesced in a decently satisfying way at the end. In this case, however, the whole never quite equaled the sum of its parts.

Some things I didn't love include the stilted prose; for the most part, the characters never truly distinguished themselves from one another; there were some questionable/confusing plot decisions; I found the pace inconsistent- it never quite became a page-turner but some parts moved more steadily than others.

As creative as this book is, and as much as I want to read something else by the author for that reason, I'm hesitant to try again at this point.

Posted in Mr. Philip's Library.
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews190 followers
March 6, 2019
The Stars Are Legion was one of my favorite books of 2017 and my first adult sci-fi book. A year later, I still think it's one of the weirdest things I've ever read - it's an all-female, all-lesbian space opera - and it was even more interesting on reread.

This book is gross. Take this seriously.
If you are bothered by gore, body horror and violence, you shouldn't read The Stars Are Legion. It's a biopunk space opera with horror aspects, it's supposed to be gross; if "gross" isn't what you're looking for, don't read biopunk horror! It's like reading erotica when you hate sex scenes. Don't do that to yourself.

I love the worldbuilding. This book is set in the Legion, a group of cephalopod-like world-ships who are at war with each other and rotting alive with their inhabitants. These inhabitants, who are all women, get pregnant regularly (parthenogenesis!), but they don't necessarily give birth to children. You could also give birth to a cog. Or slugs. Or a whole world.
Also, there are buildings of bone and sinew, raining saliva, cannibalism feasts and people walking through the veins of the giant cephalopod-like thing (...which is, by the way, a good choice of mollusk for the setting, as cephalopods are the only mollusks with a closed circulatory system! It's not like I would have called clamworlds inaccurate, nothing about this is real science, but I appreciate this kind of details.)

It's unique and unforgettable and so weird - I loved every moment of it, even when the description made me want to put the book down because I'm not actually that into body horror. And the worldbuilding wasn't the only thing I loved about this, of course.

I love Zan. I usually hate plotlines that have something to do with amnesia because the character who loses their memory has usually no personality for most of the book, but that's not the case with Zan. She's brutal and desperate for a better future, and she is, deep down, a good person.
Jayd scares me. She is a fighter too, this is a book about brutal women, but she's the kind of character that gets what she wants through intrigue and seduction and lies. And then there's Rasida, who is the villain of the story, maybe in love with Jayd, maybe not.
There's a messy, really unhealthy f/f/f love triangle in this book (don't get into this looking for a romance! It's not) with a villain ship, and that's what I didn't know I always wanted. There's something fascinating about unhealthy relationship portrayed as such in SFF, and I couldn't put the book down.

Yes, there are some unanswered questions, and the pacing isn't always perfect (travel books rarely have perfect pacing), but I found this deliciously evil even on reread, especially that plot twist I should have seen coming with all that foreshadowing but didn't.

Also: if you ever decide to read this, don't skip the "Annals of the Legion" excerpts by Lord Mokshi. They're placed in a way that makes you feel like Lord Mokshi is trolling you, and maybe you're right.

So, 4.75 stars.
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,974 reviews852 followers
January 31, 2023
Ritmo narrativo escaso, personajes sin carisma, space opera (como dice el libro que se supone es) inexistente (ni multiples razas ni ná), ambientación orgánica sin ningún tipo de worldbuilding (eso funciona porque funciona. Y ya.) y, lo peor, continuas escenas oscuras y con ambientación desagradable hace que me resulte poco grato seguir leyendo.

Las dos estrellas porque le reconozco originalidad, pero no es para mí.
Profile Image for Mon.
249 reviews218 followers
March 28, 2023
Hace algunos años, Kameron Hurley estaba hablando con un miembro de su equipo editorial y este, luego de ver el impacto positivo que tuvo una crítica negativa (atacando el lesbianismo en la historia), sugirió sacar una edición limitada con el título Lesbianas en el espacio en la sobrecubierta. Las redes sociales, cómo no, se volvieron locas y la fama del libro creció, sobre todo en España. Ahora, pocos lo recuerdan. Yo ni enterada estaba. Por aquel entonces ni siquiera sabía que existía una comunidad lectora en redes sociales, así que me perdí del argüende, pero hace poco mis recuerdos se desbloquearon cuando vi que una de mis Booktubers favoritas sacó a colación el tema y no pude resistirme a empezar su lectura de inmediato. Y sí, también estoy al tanto de la polémica respecto a sus comentarios funables, sin embargo, yo amo u odio libros, no autores.

Pero, ¿de qué trata realmente Las estrellas son legión?

Zan despierta sin memoria junto a una mujer que dice ser su hermana e intenta encontrar respuestas mientras todo se va al carajo. Por su parte, Jayd es una guerrera sin límites morales que busca salvar el mundo... O lo que quede de este.

La narración es en primera persona por Zan y Jayd, aunque Zan es la verdadera protagonista. Junto a ambas vamos a ir conociendo diferentes niveles de una misma nave-mundo, aunque no tanto así diferentes culturas; se menciona que las habitantes de cada nivel son diferentes tanto física como culturalmente, pero no se profundiza en ello. Lo raro de este libro es que todo está vivo, desde el suelo hasta las armas e incluso los vehículos de transporte, algo que tiene su innegable encanto, pero que también me decepcionó un poco al principio porque aunque todo ocurre en el espacio, no hay mucha ciencia en un montón de criaturas espeluznantes a las que ni sus propias dueñas comprenden biológicamente (? Y sí, entiendo que la CF no es necesariamente descriptiva, pero yo prefiero cuando lo es, más que nada por el realismo que se le otorga. Aún así, una vez superado ese bache y adaptándote al estilo superficial —en ese sentido— de la autora, la historia es bastante disfrutable. Es, pues, una CF para neófitos.

Debo admitir que a mí lo que acabó enamorándome fue la fuerte influencia de Terror Corporal que contiene el libro, ya que la nave-mundo es capaz de embarazar a sus habitantes y no exclusivamente de bebés, sino de otras criaturas que necesita para sí misma, y la autora no escatima en detalles a la hora de describir la anatomía de dichas criaturas: algunos tienen hileras de dientes y tentáculos, otros son solo bultos amorfos, pero todos son útiles de alguna manera —hay algunas madres que se comen a sus retoños por el alto contenido nutricional que tienen—. Se describen mutaciones corporales causadas por el propio mundo o por el cáncer que lo está consumiendo y hay una escena en particular (muy larga) donde una de las protagonistas cae a una especie de infierno cubierto de cadáveres putrefactos, alimañas, escremetos y un montón de asquerosidades más... En fin, que ha sido mi escena favorita de todo el libro.

Más allá de lo ya mencionado, la historia explora la maternidad forzada, el aborto y la incapacidad de ser madre sin llegar a ser dramática, pero llevándote a reflexionar sobre las distintas circunstancias de cada mujer. Junto a Zan hay un grupo de mujeres que han pasado por cosas duras, una de ellas entregó a un bebé y se arrepintió, otra de ellas no siente ningún apego por lo que da a luz, otra de ellas interrumpe sus embarazos sin pensarlo dos veces. Lo más interesante de todo es que puedes entender porqué todas ellas hacen lo que hacen.

Ahora, hablando de personajes. Todas las mujeres que aparecen a lo largo del libro son moralmente grises, algunas son peores que otras, pero todas tienen algo que te hace no llegar a simpatizar demasiado con sus intenciones. La verdad es que a la única que le tomé cariño fue a Zan y solo porque en el libro no se narra las cosas tan horribles que juran que ha hecho. Se menciona que hizo algo malo, pero nunca se dice qué, a menos que cuente el "gran error" de haber confiado en quien no debía y dar más oportunidades de las que daría una persona sensata, de ser así, ¿qué mierda?

Si los recuerdos hacen que estas lunáticas y esta vida lunática tengan sentido, prefiero deshacerme de ellos. No normalizar a esta gente ni estas decisiones.

De Jayd, bueno... Jayd es la respuesta a la pregunta que es Zan, así que no puedo decir mucho sobre ella, solo diré que su papel en la historia me ha gustado, no es simpática, pero cumple con su parte. No habría trama sin ella, así de simple.

¿Recomiendo este libro? Sí y no. Como ya dije, este es un libro para neófitos, dudo mucho que un lector asiduo de CF lo disfrute, sobre todo por la falta de profundidad.
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,232 reviews1,016 followers
April 26, 2017
If you know Kameron Hurley's work, you know you're going to get an intensely visceral experience, with plenty of slime. 'The Stars are Legion' delivers as expected. The whole book is filled with yucky-but-imaginative and fascinating details, and it's worth reading just for that.

However, I did have issues with both the plot and the pacing of the novel. It's an amnesia story: Zan comes to consciousness in the middle of a war; smack in the middle of a vicious ruling family, dependent on what they tell her about who she is, and what her goals are. She's suspicious- but she seems to be in love with Jayd, who woke her - and that makes her vulnerable.

She's on (aboard?) one world of the Legion, a swarm of organic planet-ships, which are in various states of decline and decay. Her(?) world is headed by a ruler who's desperate to take over another, called the Mokshi. And for some reason, everyone seems to be depending on Zan to lead the armada to do the job. Can she? If so, why? Moreover - should she? One thing is for sure: no one here is trustworthy, and everyone has their own agenda.

The plot starts out with space battles galore, but then Zan plummets into the depths of the world, which apparently has many onion-like layers. Those who live within know even less about the outside than the top-dwellers know about the underground. Once down there, the book shifts into a 'wandering-quest'-type format, strongly reminiscent of a lot of Golden-Age "weird planet" type sci-fi. Zan meets strange people and sees odd things, and tries to get back to the surface. And this went on for quite a long time. I have to admit that I wasn't that thrilled with all the wandering, or with the amnesia device.

It's still good - but I didn't like it as much as several of Hurley's other writings - for example, 'The Plague Givers,' which was on my Hugo Nominations list this year.

Many thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are unaffected by the source of the book.
Profile Image for Joel.
554 reviews1,622 followers
February 10, 2017
This book is poised to be Kameron Hurley's mainstream space opera breakthrough, but apparently no one told her. It's as visceral and violently angry as anything she's ever written, a ragged scream from the heart of a broken world--but one not past mending, if there are people willing to do the work.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
746 reviews11.9k followers
February 9, 2023
Well, this was quite interesting. It’s definitely original and wonderfully weird. And at times actually quite a bit brutal.
”Control of fecundity is something every woman wants, and each believes is her birthright. The worlds have other ideas, and it eventually led to their destruction.”

Wonderful cast of characters despite them being purposefully unlikable.
“The monsters don't live in the belly of the world like they all say. The monsters live inside of us. We make the monsters.”
But, but, but... so much squishy and squelchy wet and sticky organic matter described constantly that it tested my limits. Apparently in my science fiction I prefer artificial sterility over organic mess.

Great story, though.
”When you understand what the world is, you have two choices: Become a part of that world and perpetuate that system forever and ever, unto the next generation. Or fight it, and break it, and build something new. The former is safer, and easier. The latter is scarier, because who is to say what you build will be any better?”

3 stars.
Profile Image for Iloveplacebo.
384 reviews177 followers
January 31, 2023
Como no me ha gustado no voy a hacer una reseña en condiciones.

Libro confuso, en el que no te ponen en situación. La trama comienza ya empezada, y hay que ir, junto a la protagonista -que ha perdido la memoria-, aprendiendo y descubriendo que narices pasa, y en donde narices estamos, y el porqué de todo.

He sido incapaz de imaginarme casi nada del mundo, de los personajes, de los objetos, etc.

Todo da un poquito de asquete: lo que comen, como se relacionan, los mundos, los bichos que salen...
Ha sido demasiado, porque un poco estaría bien, pero es que todo, todo da asco.
Estas cosas eran las que mejor estaban descritas.
También es una historia un tanto bizarra.

Me ha parecido un poco confuso en algunos puntos; el tema de los mundos-naves, por ejemplo. O la obsesión de Jayd por seguir con su plan.

Los personajes tienen poco desarrollo. Zan es a quién más conocemos y a quien vemos cambiar un poquito, pero no mucho.

No he conectado con el estilo de la autora, ni con los personajes.

No me ha gustado. Si le pongo las 2 estrellas es porque está bien escrita, y tiene el punto original de no tener ningún personaje masculino. De hecho, los hombres no existen en este universo.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
February 10, 2017
This may be my favorite Hurley novel to-date, likely because it's a standalone and is a lot tighter than her other stuff. Not for the squeamish or anyone who hates bodily fluids. Really packs a punch.

And ayyyyyyyyyyy there are no men in this goddamn book!

Longer review when I am on not-a-tablet.
Profile Image for Javir11.
529 reviews164 followers
February 8, 2018
Primero de todo, deberíais de saber que esta es una de esas lecturas que no os va a dejar indiferentes. O la odiáis o la amáis, pero no creo que haya mucha gente que se quede en termino medio. Pero te guste o no, seguro que destacas la ambientación como el gran punto fuerte de la historia. Como me pasó con Transcrepuscular, en muchas fases me da la sensación que la linea entre la genialidad y la locura se estrecha demasiado XD

Además de la ambientación, que lo cierto es que no he explicado nada porque creo que es mejor verla por uno mismo, me han gustado los personajes secundarios y la prosa directa que Hurley emplea durante toda la novela.

En el lado contrario, no me ha convencido del todo la narrativa en primera persona y una de las dos tramas secundarias en las que se divide la principal.

Resumiendo, novela muy interesante para los amantes de la ciencia ficción, pero menos para el público en general.

Como siempre os dejo el enlace a mi blog por si queréis darle un vistazo a la reseña que publiqué allí:
Profile Image for Lata.
3,616 reviews192 followers
May 25, 2017
2.5-3 stars. I found this a difficult book to get through, despite liking the concept. I loved the idea of totally female-populated worlds/ships, I liked the big differences amongst all the different levels/cultures on board the ships. I liked Casimir, too. I liked how the women could be generals, warriors, mothers, carers, plotters and schemers, strategic thinkers and impulsive, scientific and curious, violent, horrible and in general, just a variety of people, instead of being just a mother, just a daughter, just a stand-in for a lamp.
What I found difficult was the sheer yuckiness, the bio-based tech and all the viscera, blood, etc. I had some difficulty not feeling grossed out a number of times. At the same time, I liked the way tech was expressed so differently here.
Profile Image for Sarah.
732 reviews73 followers
May 20, 2017
Zan is a warrior who keeps attacking the Mokshi. Each time she fails she's retrieved by two women on Katazyrna before being sent back into the fray. She's guided primarily by her sister Jayd and her mother Anat, neither of whom are actually related to her. Since Zan's memory is wiped each time she has no memory of Jayd, which makes it really hard to trust her. Jayd also has some POV chapters but these were not something that was enlightening since she was keeping secrets from the readers.

The world in this is pretty interesting. There's a whole legion of worlds existing in the same area and it created a fantastic visual. Unfortunately there's no way my visual was actually accurate because the worlds would have been majorly interfering with each other's orbits. Still, it was such a lovely image. And then there's the planets. These are all living planets with lots of... fluids. There's a certain ick factor to this, much like the tower in Annihilation, but it was definitely the coolest aspect of the book. Another interesting thing was that the characters were all women. Every single one, including the one that I kept imagining as a man.

My only real objection to this book was that it felt like she didn't have things completely locked in before she started. It ends up being a quest story and the items necessary for completion of the quest felt like the author was just randomly grabbing a couple of items and then beating you over the head with them. The number of times she repeated these two items together were... yeah, "legion" is the word that springs to mind.

I definitely recommend this book because it was such a cool idea and the world was so unusual that that alone made it worth reading. It was a real page turner for me despite its flaws. I'm looking forward to other things Hurley writes, although I'm not a fan of bugs! The organic nature of the world was both the the best and worst parts so I guess I'll have to get over that.

Plus, there's this:
Profile Image for Carlos.
589 reviews289 followers
April 2, 2017
3 stars for its innovative theme ( I haven't read anything like it) , I would have given it 4 stars but I was not a fan of the ending. This book might revolt you (there are very gory scenes ) or it might just be what you were waiting for, the story in itself is confusing at best and the more you read the more confused you get , there is no clear direction by the author , but I ended up liking Zan , (but not jayd) one of the main characters, she seemed genuine and was likable even if she did something foolish (at least to me ) at the end . Nice foray into science fiction for the author but I wish the ending would have have given satisfaction to all the characters and the reader.
Profile Image for Carly.
456 reviews183 followers
January 17, 2017
The Stars are Legion is a gorgeously crazy book. No matter how much speculative fiction you've read, I'll bet you've never read anything like it before. It was my first book by Hurley, and it won't be my last. The writing is gorgeous, deeply embedded with metaphor and allusion. (It's so very quotable that I'm physically pained to be unable to include any quotes at present at the publisher's request.)

If I were forced to categorize the book, I'd say it doesn't quite fit into fantasy or scifi and instead belongs to their parent genre, speculative fiction. Don't go into this book expecting hard scifi. No, the idea of jumping from planet to planet in a matter of hours wearing nothing but a sprayed-on suit and dragged around by a living shuttle doesn't exactly work in terms of Newtonian physics, nor does a planet composed of layer upon layer with an outer layer of tentacles. Just go with it. The sheer breadth of imagination is staggering, from cephalopod cannons to recycler monsters to disturbing funerary feasts to fungal forests to sentient boats to so much more.

Like Ancillary Justice, it is a story told entirely with female pronouns, but unlike the Radch, the world Hurley creates is genuinely feminine, each member of each world capable of giving birth, yet sex and procreation are entirely separated. Themes of reuse and rebirth and cannibalism and closed systems, of wombs and maternity and birth, of agency and freedom, of memory and identity, are beautifully woven into a backdrop of complex characters, dizzyingly hallucinogenic imaginings, and wild, vivid, often repulsive creativity. I can't write much because I don't want to spoil anything, but if you're looking for a genuinely unique read, look no further.

~~I received an advanced reader copy of this book through Netgalley from the publisher, Saga Press, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!~~

Cross-posted on BookLikes.
Profile Image for Mangrii.
871 reviews244 followers
December 27, 2017
4,5 / 5

Zan es una mujer con amnesia cuyo propósito parece ser atacar una y otra vez la misteriosa nave-mundo el Mokshi. Su vida es un ciclo continuo de recuperación, entrenamiento, ataque y pérdida de memoria. O al menos, eso es lo que le cuentan. Su única constante y lo que parece anclarla a Katazyrna, el mundo donde despierta, es Jayd. Aunque confía en ella, Jayd tampoco parece de fiar. Está sumida en una serie de maquinaciones políticas contra su madre y el planeta-nave enemigo Bhavaja. De la mano de Zan vamos descubriendo sobre las costumbres y la tecnología de las Katazyrna a la vez que buscamos las claves del plan de Jayd para salvar el planeta-nave que habitan.

El peso narrativo de la historia recae en estos dos personajes. Los capítulos de Zan y Jayd se van intercalando, aunque los de la primera son mucho más numerosos. Vamos cuestionando las respuestas de la mano de Zan, mientras que Jayd no para de plantearnos una incógnita tras otra. El estilo de Hurley es sencillo y conciso, sin grandes alardes ni florituras. Eso si,a veces algunas frases son brutalmente demoledoras. Aunque el ritmo es muy bueno y consigue mantener la tensión con escenas de acción impresionantes durante las 350 páginas, el tramo medio se diluye en una serie de aventuras y peripecias que no tienen otra finalidad que dar a conocer el mundo que ha construido Hurley y unos secundarios molones.

Si algo me ha fascinado de Las estrellas son Legión es el mundo que Hurley a construido para su historia autoconclusiva. La Legión es un conjunto de mundos artificiales y orgánicos que están en plena decadencia. Cada uno intenta obtener los máximos recursos posibles para poder reciclarse y sobrevivir. Las naves-mundo que nos plantea la autora son entes orgánicos que tienen una relación simbiótica con sus habitantes. Habitantes que son únicamente mujeres, que las mantienen y dan a luz las cosas que estas naves necesitan. Pero ellas tienen el poder de decidir, de manipular estas gestaciones. Los úteros representan el poder, y como tal, son causa de guerra y pactos entre planetas.

Quizá uno de los aspectos más comentados de esta space opera sea que todos sus personajes son mujeres, tanto que se llevo hacer la portada alternativa "Lesbianas en el espacio" por un crítica absurda. Un hecho que no hace más que realzar la necesidad de este tipo de obras. En realidad, no sé trata más que de una historia de amor entre dos mujeres donde la orientación sexual no recibe ni siquiera atención. Hurley se interesa más por hablar de la necesidad de aceptación de uno mismo o de la estratificación de clases, de la maternidad y de la búsqueda de uno mismo a través de un viaje personal.

Más Kameron Hurley por aquí, por favor.

Reseña más extensa: http://boywithletters.blogspot.com.es...
Profile Image for Crini.
352 reviews411 followers
January 17, 2017
The Stars Are Legion was my first book by Kameron Hurley and it definitely won’t be the last. Quite the opposite, I now want to devour every single book of hers, preferably all at once.

This book is like nothing I’ve read before and I had a lot of fun reading something as unique as this. The Stars Are Legion might as well be titled Lesbians in Space and even that doesn’t cover how truly epic it is: men don’t exist in this world (don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against men in books but it’s SO DAMN refreshing to have an all female cast). And if you wonder how this could be possible, they need to have babies after all, let me tell you, you are in for a ride. Pregnancy without men is just one of many reasons why this book deserves the gold metal of WEIRD (and I mean that in the best possible way. 100% my kind of weird).

That’s not all that makes this a great book though (but let’s be real, that alone would make it a damn good book). THERE IS MORE. One of my favorite things in books is having an unreliable narrator and tha’ts what you get. At first it might seem like it’s taking the usual, often-read memory loss route, but The Stars Are Legion takes this scenario and turns it into something… more. The main character doesn’t just suffer from memory loss but people around her purposefully keep secrets from her. Secrets are being kept for good reasons which makes the whole situation very addictive instead of annoying like it often is in other cases. It also helps to have more than one POV character and hints that give the reader ideas of what’s going on.
On top of that it made for a good way to introduce the world building. It seems like a hard balancing act to explain the world while at the same time keeping many details from the main character. On me it had the effect that it was easier to get behind the world building (which seemed quite complex and as I said before, WEIRD), and it also kept me hooked and unable to stop reading because I wanted to know more and find out what’s going on.

As for the characters: from what I’ve heard Hurley keeps true to her signature and created once again a cast of characters which many would probably label unlikeable. I absolutely loved how cruel and monstrous all these ladies are and how you can trust absolutely no one.
I got to admit that this meant it took me quite same time to start really caring about the characters, but once I did, I HAD FEELS. By the last third of the book I was so attached to some of the characters that I know I would rate this book even higher on rereading.

Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion is a space opera like never seen before, putting weird on a whole new level, and featuring a fantastic cast of brutal, amazing women.
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,606 reviews2,055 followers
August 17, 2017
I'd heard good things about Hurley and I'm always up for sci-fi that plays with gender in interesting ways. But what really got me was this negative review at Audible. And I quote, "Overwhelmingly Lesbian/sexual to the point that it totally distracts from practically anything Sci-Fi about it." That was the clincher that made me use a credit to get this audiobook.

Unfortunately this reviewer raised my expectations somewhat. There was definitely not as much lesbian sex as I expected, and I for one would definitely be highly in favor of adding much more. Instead, this reviewer (and many other negative reviewers) make it very clear what their real problem with this book is: everyone in it is a woman. So if you see negative reviews of this book, take them with many grains of salt. Some people just cannot deal with an imaginary world where men are not in charge, and even more than that, don't even exist.

I enjoyed myself a lot in this book, with its lost-memory trope which meant there were plenty of reveals sprinkled throughout the story. Very nicely structured, and packed to the gills with plot. The thing I enjoyed most was the worlds themselves, where everything is living tissue.

My primary issue here with the audiobook is there are two readers whose voices sound so similar that it took me a while to realize they were two separate readers.
Profile Image for Viv JM.
692 reviews153 followers
May 28, 2017
3.5 stars

I feel like I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I loved the whole premise (a space opera where all the characters are women - yesss!) and the world building was fantastic. However, I found the first part of the book almost painfully slow and very nearly abandoned it, whilst I found the ending a little rushed. For me, the two different first person narrators didn't quite work, especially with one having amnesia and the other having something to hide. It stopped me from really feeling enough of a connection, I think, although I did really enjoy the whole midsection hero(ine)'s quest.

Overall then, I thought it was an interesting enough book, just with not quite the wow factor I was hoping for.
Profile Image for K..
3,689 reviews1,007 followers
April 8, 2017
3.5 stars.

This book was...not at all what I expected. Going in, I knew that it was a sci-fi book set in a world with LITERALLY NO DUDES. EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER IS FEMALE. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. So obviously, I was pretty excited about reading that. And I knew that a lot of people had been like "Okay, this book is HELLA gory, just FYI". That was pretty much all I knew.

So basically, this book is about a dying world, a bunch of different warring cultures, and a woman with amnesia and one hell of a mission. But it's also a world that involves cannibalism, spontaneous pregnancy, and women giving birth to who-the-fuck-knows-what. Seriously. It can be anything from a baby to a living cog that rolls off into the forest. They give birth to what the world needs, so it can literally be anything. So. Yeah.

I liked the writing. I liked Zan as a character. I liked her journey through the various levels of this world - it felt somewhat akin to the nine circles of Hell and escaping from the underworld. I honestly wasn't that fussed by the gore. Like, yes, there is a lot of blood and guts and afterbirth flying around all over the place. And they're literally climbing between levels of this world using...umbilical cords?? Or something??? And then they reach the top and have to hack their way into an artery to reach the next level???? So there are fluids ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE. But for some reason, it didn't really phase me, and I'm usually pretty squeamish about stuff like that.

I did find the world building confusing at times, but it was unique and compelling enough that I pushed through and ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would at the beginning.
Profile Image for Rachel (Kalanadi).
722 reviews1,402 followers
February 13, 2017
Interesting ecological layers, a far more straightforward plot than I would have expected, and it's all nicely compact and brisk.

The major downside for me was simply the unrelenting brutality, horror, and grossness. The story is dripping with blood, gore, ichor, slime, and all other viscous fluids. It's dark, there's a mere glimmer of hope, and very little love (but plenty of desire, because, well... biology?).

So I was pretty much glued to the page, but felt very, very queasy by the end.

Let it be said I was most amused by Casamir and pitied only Das Muni. And by the end, I'm on the fence about whether Zan and Jayd's actions were worth it. But it was never boring.
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,152 reviews1,120 followers
May 7, 2017
Short review: Typical Hurley, visceral, daring, weird, and unexpected.

Long(er) review:

You should not read this book IF:
1. You want to have at least one male character. This book has none. Hurley's novels have always been gender-bending, and this book showcases that tendency. There are some lesbian sex in it, so if you're squeamish or just hates LGBTQ then you should just refrain from reading.
2. You expect to see fancy spaceships with cool tech. Well, the spaceship in this novel is a living world in the literal sense. It is organic, the people living in its countless layers are pregnant and give births to whatever the world/ship needs. That includes nuts and bolts. Organic ones. Coming out of people's...well, you can imagine it yourself.
3. You don't like bodily fluids. Trust me, there are TONS of slimes, guts and icky stuff I don't have enough vocabulary to describe.

Recently I listened to one of the latest Grimdark Tidings podcast in which Hurley gave an interview and mentioned that China Miéville was one of her inspirations as she wanted to write fiction that people had never done before. Mieville, in case you're not familiar with him, is one of the pioneers of New Weird (sub)genre, and his novels are, well, weird. But fantastically weird, don't get me wrong. Hurley's novels, either SF or F, are pretty weird as well they are mindblowingly refreshing.

"We are all the same thing. We're all shit. We're all flesh. We're all sentient."

I have this weird picture in my mind that if we think the worldship as a human body, than the people are like living cells or even bacteria who keep reproducing to sustain the host body. Here, there is a long subplot involving a superweird Odyssey from the bottommost layer of the worldship to the surface. Imagine Journey to the Center of the Earth with more monsters, more civilizations and gruesome obstacles.

In this stand-alone novel, the auther's other strength, i.e. characterizations, also shines. Yes one of the main characters, Zan, are very much like Nyx (Hurley's MC in the Bel Dame Apocrypha series) in terms of badassery. The other one, Jayd, was a very interesting grey character who'll keep you guessing till the end.

However, I did have a problem with the ending - I found it too soft and a tad bit anticlimactic. Maybe that's why I only give this four stars. Well, maybe 4.5 stars since I'm biased.
Profile Image for Gary.
442 reviews187 followers
May 11, 2017
3.5 Stars
The real star of Hurley’s latest novel is, as we’ve come to expect from her, the incredible world-building. I can only think of a small handful of SFF writers who can match the breadth of her imagination.
In The Stars are Legion, a system of “world ships” populated entirely by women (the “Legion” of the title) battle for supremacy. One warrior, called Zan, has been recycled over and over to lead a battle against the Mokshi, the prize of the Legion, having her memory wiped each time a new version of her is reborn. Her memory slowly returns to her as her journey progresses and she is forced to confront the truth about herself and her mission.
This novel is exceptional in many ways, particularly in the vividness of Hurley’s language as the reader discovers and explores the world of the Legion along with Zan. There are drawbacks, however. As with Hurley’s other novels, The Stars are Legion both benefits and suffers from Hurley’s two most defining characteristics as a storyteller: the breakneck pace of her plotting, and her propensity for extreme violence and gore. The up-tempo rhythm of her stories often makes for an exciting page turner, but just as often allows her to hand-wave past some contrived moments and plot ambiguities. The violent action that seeps out of almost every page can be nausea-inducing as often as it is thrilling and sometimes feels like overkill, as if the author is trying too hard to out-gross herself.
I keep expecting an author with Hurley’s incredible talent and ability to produce a masterpiece, but keep coming away mildly disappointed that she hasn’t. The Stars are Legion is no exception. It is still a very good book, and I won’t give up hope that we’ll get an all-time classic out of her yet.
Profile Image for Megan.
457 reviews74 followers
February 18, 2017
A woman wakes up, and she has lost her memory. It's one of the most cliched openings in fiction, and what lovely irony that this is how one of the most innovative books I've read in years begins. Zan has amnesia, apparently not for the first time, and a woman who claims to be her sister wants her to go capture a spaceship/world. (The two words are interchangeable here).

Straight up I have to say that this was not an easy book to read, at least at first. Not because it's bad, and it's definitely not boring, but it's just so relentlessly visceral. Look at this quote I saved early on, that lingered in the back of my mind, quietly grossing me out, for days:

"Maibe opens a gummy hatch in the corridior; it comes away from the sticky surface like pulling off a scab."

Everything in this book is sticky and fetid and rich with the fumes of decay. It gets under nails and you feel like maybe you should wash your hands after reading. And at first that's all there is, just this bleak, gross setting and a woman who doesn't know who she is, and another woman who clearly knows everything but tells us nothing. I kept reading because the writing was never anything less than compelling, but I honestly can't say that I was overly enjoying myself.

I stayed for the worldbuilding, which is breathtaking in its scope and originality. I won't say too much because the joy lies in discovering it for yourself, but what was already Hurley's strong suit is taken to dizzying new heights here. And then, somewhere along the way, I realised I'd come to really care about Zan and the band of bickering misfits she collects. I was no (as) longer grossed out by the mucusy, bloody, spongy world they were exploring and I'd become invested in its fate. I feel like it was no coincidence that the more Zan learned of the world and herself the more I grew to care about it.

This is a powerful book, that asks some powerful questions about freedom, self hood, ignorance and the road to hell and the intentions its paved with. Plus, it's a standalone. The world needs more standalones. (And thanks to the folks at Angry Robot for supplying this book in exchange for an honest review).
Profile Image for Mamen B..
265 reviews84 followers
June 21, 2018

Lo primero que pienso cuando quiero hablar de este libro es en que no sabría a quién recomendárselo. Lo único que se me ocurre es: si te gusta lo raro, léelo, si no, este no es tu libro. Así lo definiría yo: raro. Y es raro porque es una especie de ciencia ficción sucia. Kameron Hurley ha escrito grimdark pero en cifi y además no sólo hay sangre y suciedad, sino que hay muchas cosas asquerosas. Si eres de los aprensivos que además tienen imaginación para formarse una imagen vívida mientras lee, aquí vas a tener problemas. O náuseas.

El libro no me ha disgustado del todo, tengo que reconocer que engancha, que está bien narrado y que la imaginación que desborda Hurley es brutal. Simplemente no es un libro para mí. Los personajes no me han gustado mucho, la trama tiene tantos agujeros que, sumados a la complejidad de la ambientación, me ha hecho sentir perdida la mitad del tiempo. Pasan cosas que son un Deux ex machina cantadísimo, utiliza como narrador a alguien que ha perdido la memoria y además en primera persona, lo cual me parece un recurso fácil, el "giro" o la gran revelación final, yo ya me lo veía venir desde prácticamente el principio...

He tenido todo el tiempo la sensación de que es una novela con mucho potencial, pero que no termina de explotar. Sí que me ha calado el mensaje de libertad en cuanto al cuerpo de las mujeres, sus embarazos y sus decisiones, pero por otra parte no veo que en la trama le den una finalización a esto (explicaría mi argumento algo más, pero es spoiler).

Mi personaje favorito ha sido Das Muni, porque es la gran salvadora, ni Zan ni Jayd, Das Muni, y que conste que he aborrecido más a Jayd que a Rasida, quien se supone que es la villana de esta historia.

En fin. Que no está mal y me encanta mucho lo de la doble portada con Lesbianas en el espacio, porque le queda perfecto y capta por completo su esencia. Una pena que no me haya gustado más.

PD: edito porque siempre quiero nombrar al traductor pero casi nunca lo hago porque se me olvida. Gracias a Alexander Páez por traerlo al castellano y de una manera tan soberbia.
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