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Lies of the Beholder Reaction Thread [Spoilers]

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Hi all, post your reactions to the third Legion story, Lies of the Beholder, here. 

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It was full of lies and I beheld all of them!

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So that was intense. I really loved it of course, and Legion remains one of my favorite series by him. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that the books are in-world as well. Normally I dislike it, because it feels shoved in at the last second and cheesy, but I think it fit well here. It wasn't totally clear what exactly it was that happened in terms of his aspects kinda coming back but not really. Are they completely back, or is he just kind of conscious of what they say and do around him without actually seeing them, and maybe has the information? I'm unsure. That's mostly all I have to say for right now.

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3 hours ago, Kidpen said:

Are they completely back, or is he just kind of conscious of what they say and do around him without actually seeing them, and maybe has the information? I'm unsure. That's mostly all I have to say for right now.

I think this is kind of the point - is there a difference between the "before" and the "after"?

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I liked it a lot. It's definitely my favorite Legion story. It was much faster than the other two, and it took an almost horror feel for a while, which was really refreshing and gripping. It very much had the kind of content I wanted and expected from the final book in the series - aspects and Sandra - even if it didn't have quite enough of them to truly sate my hunger. The ending made me tear up a little (twice, by the way, because I beta'd this one, and reread it just a few days ago in preparation for our upcoming Shardcast episode). This is not something I talk about in the Shardcast, because there was never a good time for it, but the Legion stories have a very special place in my heart. I don't have any mental conditions, but I've always been someone who puts a lot of value in the mind, so ideas like losing memories, or skills, or seeing things that are not there, or changes in perception, all of these things affect me strongly. The idea that I can know or do something one moment and then lose it is terrifying to me. I don't really do with my hands, I am not a physical person, so my mind is very much all there is to me; so losing aspects (sorry) of it is just... ungh! So the ending felt really really good.

Also, @Mark Lindberg found this, and I like it very much:

 

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Just finished reading it......and re reading it.

Legion is one of my fave character's because in him we see the true potential of human mind. And it's a really interesting read ..the last few pages felt dreadful as we said good by to legion forever ,knowing there wont be any more legion in future . He finally has himself in control....with all his knowledge in one place and his aspects alive inside him having their own adventures. He no longer needed them to follow him around anymore and help him.

Legion would always have a place in mind and heart as one the best characters written ever.

A goodbye to legion ...hope to see him developed  in some form of a movie or show.

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On 9/18/2018 at 1:42 PM, Kidpen said:

 It wasn't totally clear what exactly it was that happened in terms of his aspects kinda coming back but not really. Are they completely back, or is he just kind of conscious of what they say and do around him without actually seeing them, and maybe has the information?

To me it seemed like the aspects were gone but now he was able to have memories of them. While he never forgot the previous aspects in name he never really remembered anything more than that and their specialties. I felt like the biographer was able to put together a full enough picture of who they were that Stephen could interact with the memories of them which would hypothetically be equally as complete a picture of them as when they were alive as all of the information of who they were was in his head anyways.

 

I assume that were the story to continue he would develop new aspects who would move around with him, and then he would also be able to access the memories of his old aspects where ever. I kind of thought the whole thing with J.C. and the phone was a precursor to what I'm describing. Also on that note how does the whole thing about J.C. shooting the gun, then knocking him out of the car never come back? Am I crazy? It was brought up like every other chapter and then nothing really came of it.

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I overall enjoyed the third story. I did not reread 1 and 2 in preparation, but I found it easy to slip back in and didn't feel like I lost any of the impact. 

 

Tobias! Geez, he went straight for the heart with that one. But I did then steel myself for "oh man they're all gonna die!" Which mostly happened, until the ending. 

I wasn't super impressed with the "turns out LOLJK Steve hacked it and it's all good now" feeling I got. It seems to me like Brandon needed a more or less happy ending and that was the way he figured out to do it, rather than an organic resolution. The aspect of his brain finding a way to preserve the information by imagining a biographer was clever, but I just felt like it was a little lackluster. That said I have no idea what could be better in the place. 

 

I still have it at 4 stars on goodreads. The shardcast episode was a good listen, particularly the note about the artwork. I just thought it was becoming more disrupted and indiscernible, but the brain scan idea was absolutely ingenious and well executed. 

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I loved it. The revelation about Sandra and the end made me tear up, if not full on cry, as few books have. 

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Was I the only one that figured Sandra had aspects prior to this book?  Because my first question was “how could she teach him?”  Which I immediately answered “oh duh she has aspects.”

 

Also, the novella is great but I agree with the podcast that it needs a book between skin deep and LotB.  Brandon dangled a lot of loose ends at us and in a very unSanderson-like move, he didn’t resolve most of them.  How does the VR system allow Sandra to live without aspects?  Why didn’t Sandra’s brain do what Stephen’s did to protect itself?  If you can just make new aspects, (as Sandra said) why do they fall apart?  Why does it take deliberate thought to turn the whispers to aspects?  Why are they malevolent in the first place? Why is Armando so personally invested in killing Leeds when he goes nightmare?  Why did the other aspects turn nightmare in the first place, and why didn’t they go after Leeds?  And many more...

 

Just...so many questions that will never be answered now.

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I'm kind of confused by the ending.  What did the reporter aspect lady actually do for him?

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She was an aspect that was an expert on his aspects.  She basically allowed him to remember his aspects and as far as I can tell it allowed him to access the aspects without the mental strain that causes the breakdown.  It’s hard to really tell though because there are so many loose ends dangling.

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I was... disappointed.  I really, really liked the other two legion stories.  This one felt a little Brandon avalanche-y without the build up.  I just did not connect with the second half of the story.  It was not a satisfying ending to me, because he suffered all this loss, but resolved it in a way that felt almost too easy.  

 

I really like the premise, I really like the character and his aspects.  The end just left me feeling...  That's it?  I don't want to go into spoilers, but I am glad there was no miracle solution.  But certain things happened with such speed that they felt like they lost meaning.

 

I'm going to give it a week or two, and then re-read the whole thing.  Hopefully that will give me a different impression of the ending.  Because I really, really want to like this finale.  But right now, I just feel a little let down.

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10 hours ago, Stark said:

I don't want to go into spoilers

This is the spoiler thread my homie.

After reading 'Voices in my Head' part 3 I think I have a different idea of what might be happening.  See we thought the first two books were literally what was happening, but what if instead they were an expression of his mental illness?  In addition to the aspect thing, Stephen could suffer from schizophrenia.  His reality is literally warped and the aspects actually help him manage it.  The weird out of place tech in each book is a hint of this, as is the fact he can't make the camera work like the other guy did.  Sandra could just be another patient and she had sunk too deep so is heavily medicated, but Stephen refuses to be medicated for fear of that hollow feeling.  So instead, when his ability to manage the schizophrenia and his aspects starts to crumble he channels it.  He was externalizing them into his warped world, and now he is actually creating a space for them to live on their own.  

As I write I'm actually picking out more threads that could make this work.  Look at the actual tech things we see.  A camera that can look at the past by shining a light on it.  Stephen knows this is important and thus gets to work trying to figure out the trick of it.  Capturing a moment of the past unfortunately is only a slice of what he needs but it is a good start.  Then in Skin Deep we get a virus that stores information in your very cells.  Each body is capable of holding vast amounts of information and even if you can't see it or access it right now it is there waiting for you to find the key, something Stephen needed to learn.  And finally, a virtual reality type machine.  Something that does exactly what Stephen has been doing this whole time.  Not only are the ones running the VR a clear analogue for the hospital staff Stephen has to deal with (with them trying to force their world on him), but his aspects hop in and out and Stephen himself starts to assert control.  Lua, his aspect of survival, tells him the rules they say don't have to be his.  The other aspects engage in the world as it is, which is another hint they could live outside him.  So he gets out, and after doubting the conclusion he has come to, Jenny models for him what can be done.  They are all still there, waiting for him to make them live.  

He writes stories for them, breathes new life into them, and he feels the approval of Tobais, but doesn't see him.  He even says his adventures are done.  Stephen finally makes a true break between what is real and what is not which is why the aspects no longer manifest but he now can remember them.

 

Just an idea

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I can see why Brandon has said this is such a personal story for him to tell. To me it's quite obvious that the aspects are something of a stand-in for characters that Brandon has lived with in his head for so long they have become almost real to him. Or if not real, at least important. Fantastical or not, this story at its root is metaphorically autobiographical.

Edited by The Invested Beard
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Just finished the third part and I'm flashed. I'll definitly do a reread, so this is mostly my first impression, I definitly missed some details.

I liked the ending a lot, how he started to write everything down, to continue their story. It somehow closed the circle and his evolution to an author. Of course it's extreme, his characters are his illusions, but I felt like that could offer him the balance to live his life without succumbing to his mental problems.

I'm not sure if I like the appearance if Sandra, but in the end she showed another way out, and for me she was a bit a symbol for giving up and trying to escape problems instead of facing them. Can be totally wrong, but for me that was her role.

And the VR thematic with it's pros and cons, with the huge question of what is reality hovering above. Maybe I am interpreting too much, but I love it when a book leaves me pondering, and for me VR is a technology, that I'm not sure we're ready for at the moment. Not in full with everything it enables if it is advanced enough. No new topic of course, but one I am interested in.

So all in all, I loved it. The way it connected and combined different topics. Great.

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I wonder what's up with the theme of beauty in these books. Not necessarily in the books, but in their titles. Skin Deep is an obvious reference to the saying "beauty is (only) skin deep", and Lies of the Beholder is a wordplay on "beauty is in the eye(s) of the beholder"... 

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Is it weird that I imagined all three of the main hallucinations as the actors they were based off of before Brandon let us know that?

 

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I just finished reading all three and thought they were light, breezy, and fun. It was a really unique idea and glad I read it. I think I enjoyed Snapshot a little more though. On a side note (I assume it was the publisher that made this decision) but I thought it was a real slimeball move to have the original two books come out as ebooks and instead of having the third one come out release day in the same format, they then force people to pay for the previous two stories all over again by purchasing the omnibus if they want to read the new story right away. I just came to the series a few days ago so if I have any information wrong about that than please correct me.

Also I'm surprised there isn't more discussion about these stories. I would of thought more people would be on this thread. I thought the first story was the best.

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On 10/1/2018 at 5:52 PM, The Invested Beard said:

Is it weird that I imagined all three of the main hallucinations as the actors they were based off of before Brandon let us know that?

 

Not at all, though we've known about these three for several years now. 

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1 hour ago, Argent said:

Not at all, though we've known about these three for several years now. 

First time reading the stories or anything about them. Always wanted to check them out, and then when Brandon announced he would be releasing the third I purposely stayed away from learning anything about them until the full thing released. Yeah I know, I call myself a fan? :P

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Lies of the Beholder was dark. Not extremely dark. But definitely darker than the other two Legion stories. That's isn't to say it wasn't wonderful and I didn't enjoy every page of it and didn't feel like me with my own book characters. I/t really did. There were just more unanswered questions than I would have liked at the end and Sandra's appearance could have added much more to the emotional twisting ingrained in the book. 

So yes, it was great, but it could have been even better.

Edited by Silva
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I read all 3 back to back. So much I had forgotten about the middle book. Overall I really enjoyed reading trough all three again, and really enjoyed the third book.  Very impressive setting overall. Would not mind seeing a prequel or something that takes place in between 2 and 3. 

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