Legion byWilliam Peter Blatty is a novel that led me to continually crave for good, fright books. Legion is a sequel to the best-selling novel The Exorcist. The books delve on a subject that most of us wouldn’t even want to think about – demonic possession. It’s hard enough not to mention the preceding book but Legion is undeniably its sequel.
Legion made me like The Exorcist better - and its author as well - since both books are written so distinctly from one another. The Exorcist, as everyone knows, revolves around a demon-possessed girl, Regan, and her exorcism. Legion on the other hand opens up with the same chilling effect of evil but completely different in style and character than its predecessor.
For starters, the main character is a detective who is on the track of investigating the murders made by a copycat of the Gemini killer (who was shot by the police). The slayings depict a blasphemous effect with it’s victims crucified and mutilated. The link to the first book becomes evident when the asylum-confined, demon-possessed suspect is revealed. He is none other than - Tadaahh! - Damien Karras, the very same priest who performed Regan's successful exorcism!
Surprisingly, it is written shorter, though in my personal opinion, better than the first book. Legion’s strongest point is its breaking away from the original story from the first book but maintaining its main antagonist. The aura of evil and violence is transitioned from a young girl’s possession to a diverse ensemble of twisted plots. The combination of characters are well-written from the theologically-challenged detective to the clueless mental patients and the demon-driven man known as Sunlight.
I consider Blatty’s thematic works as classic for horror and it still manages to make my blood curdle whenever I imagine scenes from the books. It challenges a new generation of writers to be daring enough to create their own works of terror and for readers to confront and stretch their endurance of fear.