I finished First Shift - Legacy by Hugh Howey. A lot a people said it was slow, that it was disappointing, but I loved it. I think people were dismayed by the fact that it was a prequel, set down in the middle of everything, when they were expecting that the exciting story would continue.
I'm convinced Hugh Howey has a cunning plan, and we will all look back after he has written the whole series and understand his choices. Now he has set up several possible outcomes for the characters in the story, and I can't wait to hear what they do.
The other book I am reading is The Mongoliad: Book One (Foreworld Saga) by Neal Stephenson and a whole other bunch of people: Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, E. D. deBirmingham, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, and Copper Moo. It takes place in the Mongol Empire in the thirteeth century, and so far there are storylines everywhere from Bulgaria to the Khan's palace.
Right now they seem to be focusing on three different sets of characters. The first is the story of a woman named Cnán and the men known variously as the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae, the Shield-Brethren, or the Monks of the Red Rose. In any case, they are heroic knights sent to kill the Khan. Cnán is helping them, and falling in love with Percival.
Then there is the story of Gansukh, a Mongol warrior, sent to court by Chagatai Khan, the Khan's brother, ostensibly to control the Khan's excessive drinking, but he not sure how he will do that. The Khan's advisor has given him the services of Lian, a beautiful Chinese slave, to help him understand the complicated protocols Gansukh; falls in love with her and so far he's blundering about helplessly in court.
The newest plot involves Kim, Last of the Flower Knights, and Zugaikotsu no Yama, a street brawler with a mysterious past, both captives, as they plot to overthrow the Khan.
This book is seriously convoluted, fascinating, heady with swordplay, overwrought with intrigue -- in short, like the Mongol Empire itself. I can't wait for the second book!