The Mongoliad: Book One (Foreworld, #1) - Neal Stephenson,  Greg Bear,  Mark Teppo,  E.D. deBirmingham,  Erik Bear,  Joseph Brassey,  Cooper Moo This is a really tough one to review. Mongoliad is a serial novel which was produced interactively as part of a transmedia franchise. According to the website, it's "sort of the thing that Charles Dickens wrote, but with a decidedly 21st century twist", emphasizing the role of social media and community resources in the project's idea and creation.

I have to say the serialized format and the multiple authors both facilitated and hindered my enjoyment. Not surprisingly, the novel did not always feel cohesive. There are sections of the novel that are beautifully written, paid attention to character development, etc. and those were the sections I found I really liked.

On the other hand, there were also those sections in which style changes are more obvious, quality of the storytelling was not as high, and chapters where more attention (like pages and pages) was paid to fighting styles and weapons than the actual protagonists utilizing and wielding them. Apparently, Mongoliad and the Foreworld universe came about from a group of friends' shared interest in the study of Western Martial Arts, so that's understandable.

If that's your thing, you'll find plenty to like in this novel. If not, you'll probably go through ups and downs like me. I generally prefer a good story with ample character building. There are so many characters, and it always seemed like just when I wanted to know more, the book changes to another scene or switches perspective, leaving me hanging. There was just enough in book one to keep me intrigued and interested in picking up book two.