I've been so bad about reading sequels in the past few years; there's so much new stuff dragging my attention away. And I can never read a sequel just after its predecessor, when my interest is high, because I always get all bummed that it's a whole book of its own, not just more of what I loved in the last one.
BUT! But I finally picked up Ancillary Sword, sequel to the excellent Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie, and I cannot put it down. Like, not for a few minutes, it's so good.
Summarizing it isn't really important: Breq has been sent to manage a system that I guess is important, while Anaander Mianaai fights a war against herself. This is about Breq as captain of a ship, ranking officer in a system, managing the politics of a station and the loyalty of her crew, including some characters we know and some new ones.
I think what I love about Breq is that she don't give a damn. She wants things and cares about them--with the cool passion of someone who is very rational but also very empathetic. Breq is my hero, I want to be her. And she's so good at things; she gets politics, she has poise, she takes no crap and while her emotions can be riled, she doesn't lose her cool. The first book was about Breq learning her humanity; this one is about her applying it.
The story is a bit complex, and honestly, I can't tell at every moment what the wider goal is, where the big political stuff stands. I don't care. I will follow this book to the end, follow Breq into battle because I know that even if I don't make it, I will have died for the right cause, in the best chance we had at the moment.
Damn, I'm sorry, I need to go read now.