The Tabernacle of Legion
Author: Kevin Schillo
Length: 365 pages
***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHOR***
The latest in a long line of science fiction novels I’ve read with titles that don’t give the reader any indication of what the book is about (see: Julia Dream, Tiger and the Robot, and Universe: Awakening), The Tabernacle or Legion highlights what’s wrong with the “hard science fiction” genre. When a book has so much unnecessary backstory and exposition that a reader could skip over 100 pages and still be able to follow the story, there’s a serious problem. I almost stopped reading after the 9-month jump in the timeline because the third of the book I had just read had no point.
But unnecessary explanations aren’t entirely what’s wrong with the “hard science fiction” genre as it is right now. Everyone’s trying to be The Martian, but they fail to make the accurate science an integral part of the plot while also making the story entertaining. After all, part of science fiction is also “fiction.” In addition to this, the preachy and judgmental tone of the narrator that scoffs at religion but immediately endorses aliens seems hypocritical to me. The fact that nobody in this entire book ever used the scientific method before jumping to the “alien” conclusion was just plain frustrating.
As for this book, specifically, the smattering of proofreading errors wasn’t nearly as egregious as the unnecessary swearing, especially since the obscenities never brought the impact to the characters’ dialogue when it was needed. The characters themselves were flat, uninteresting, and indistinguishable from each other. The addition of non-heteronormative sexuality seemed tacked on just to get LGBTQ+ readers. The plot itself was super predictable, and certain sacrifices were unnecessary. To top everything off, the entire book seemed to be written in “tell mode” and not “show mode,” which just exacerbated every other flaw.
A hard science fiction book that focused too much on explanation and too little on the story, I give The Tabernacle of Legion 1.5 stars out of 5.