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The Incrementalists | [Steven Brust, Skyler White]

The Incrementalists

The Incrementalists - a secret society of 200 people with an unbroken lineage reaching back 40,000 years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste - and argued with her - for most of the last 400 years.
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Publisher's Summary

The Incrementalists - a secret society of 200 people with an unbroken lineage reaching back 40,000 years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste - and argued with her - for most of the last 400 years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules - not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.

Editors Select, September 2013 - There are two reasons I’m excited about The Incrementalists. The first is that it’s about a secret, ancient organization that manipulates individuals in order to make the world just a little bit better. The second is that it’s co-narrated by Ray Porter, whose performance made Peter Cline’s 14 the insta-classic it turned out to be. Splitting the narration duties with Mary Robinette Kowal makes perfect sense, as the book’s perspective shifts between Phil, a member of the organization, and Renee, a new recruit. This is just the kind of quirky, contemporary sci-fi I look forward to. —Chris, Audible Editor

©2013 Steven Brust and Skyler White (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries, and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money." (John Scalzi)

"Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character, and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure." (Roger Zelazny)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (170 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.3 (159 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (158 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 10-08-13
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    537
    ratings
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    179
    148
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    "Almost Speechless"

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

    I really enjoyed The Incrementalists, was it action packed, no; was it a heart pounding thriller, no; was it anything that I usually look for in an audiobook, no. But still I found myself fully engulfed within the story I could not stop listening. I really wanted the meddlers to meddle more and really change the world. This was an examination of personality, how they evolve or not over long periods of time and how one can lose them selves if they do not embrace who they are. Paradoxically it is a study of how ones personality must change if they are going to save the ones they love. Part science fiction, part love story, part mystery, adds up to a truly unique story of an equally unique secret society. At the end I did feel a bit like I got snookered, The Incrementalists did not live up to my expectation of what I was getting into by any means, even though I wanted so much more. I did not feel like I wasted my time, I found myself, once it was over, saying to my self "Wow".

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard D. Slaugh Red Lion, PA 10-03-13
    Richard D. Slaugh Red Lion, PA 10-03-13 Listener Since 2009

    rick sr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Performance of an Excellent Book"

    What a double pairing with both the writers and the performers. Let's start with the writers. Brust and White play off each other like they'd been writing together for years. I haven't read any of Skyler's other works yet but I will. I've been listening to Steven's Vlad series for a couple of months now so just a few minutes into TI I was thinking "this is really different". I find myself looking at current events and wondering if a group similar to the Incrementalists had a meddle in it.

    We've all listened to audio books where the reader is sadly only that. Ray Porter and Mary Robinette Kowal PERFORM this book. The delivery is wonderful and consistent.

    There are so many layers to what's going on I know I'm going to listen to this book again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole 10-03-13
    Carole 10-03-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the characters, but still lost me."

    I am always searching for inspiring woman characters. Ren did not disappoint. She was lively, smart and skeptical. Just like me! The story was enticing when the boy and girl meet under contrived, yet creative circumstances and love followed. Once that was set up, the other characters were introduced and the hating started. That was ok, but after the femme-drugging, I was lost. I was distracted. I have good focus for audible books and even I stopped listening. I may start up again -- perhaps I will find myself in a mood for caricatures instead of characters.

    I loved the concept of this book. I hope I can put up with the dull members of the secret society of incrementals when I decide to pick it up again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Higbee US 10-02-13
    Dennis Higbee US 10-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Does a great book justice"
    Would you listen to The Incrementalists again? Why?

    Yes. I thought both performers did a magnificent job embodying the characters.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter and Mary Robinette Kowal – was your favorite?

    I have to say, I thought Mary Robinette Kowal did a wonderful job with her male voices, especially Phil. Ray Porter was a phenomenal Phil, but Mary managed to capture some of Ray's cadences for Phil with nothing but technique and talent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Tag Line would be: "Saving the world a little bit at a time."


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Broomfield, CO, United States 10-01-13
    Terri Broomfield, CO, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2008

    The deal of the day is awesome! Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Wanted More "Meddling""

    The Incrementalists authors had a great concept but I would have liked more "meddling' (changing the feelings & beliefs of one person at a time). Sadly the book spent more time on a mystery surrounding a member and a love story instead of what drew me in to purchasing the book: "They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time"

    The descriptions of the very individualized storage area where each keeps their memories & reasonings was fascinating and you did get some insight into the owner's personality and thought patterns but I would have liked them to take this a bit further with more examples in the present & past.



    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 02-05-14
    Jason 02-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable/creative. Not a grand historical vista."

    Different and enjoyable.

    Not particularly complex. I.e. this is more about the idea, and the people executing it than any grand historical perspective on a group of people tweaking history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley New Britain, CT, United States 10-05-13
    Wesley New Britain, CT, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2012

    I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow. I couldn't put this book down."

    Ok, I couldn't stop listening. lol. You understand my point. I was very surprised that the premise in this book could be taken so far. I was taken aback at first, at the idea that the protagonists in this story were so long-lived and almost immortal and the fact that having the power they do, most people I know would abuse the heck out of it. As the story developed I just couldn't stop listening. I'd stay up late an hour or two just to get farther into the story.The imagination of this author amazes me and his talent in writing kept me interested throughout.
    I was also amazed at how richly the author developed the world and the Incrementalist's power or magic, however you look at it. Some authors have trouble detailing such things in a series but this author handled it quite marvelously in just this one book.

    I'm not familiar with this author but I think that very soon I will be.

    I highly recommend this book, even if you aren't often interested in fantasy or sci-fi stories. I think almost anyone can enjoy this story. It was well worth the time spent.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Ann Arbor, MI, United States 09-29-13
    David Ann Arbor, MI, United States 09-29-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Just not my thing."
    Would you ever listen to anything by Steven Brust and Skyler White again?

    Probably not.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Ray Porter and Mary Robinette Kowal ?

    Sure. I don't think they saved the book, but they were better than the story.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I liked the female character's obsession with good design, but the author's kind of let it fall by the wayside once they had used it to establish her.


    Any additional comments?

    This book just kind of bored me. I didn't hate it, but I stopped listening with only an hour or so to go and I never missed it. I didn't really care what happened to anyone and don't have any interest in finding out.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 10-21-13
    Michael 10-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Harlequin Romance"

    Barbara wrote in her review, "... maybe I'm showing my ignorance, but I just didn't get it at all."
    I don't think so Barbara. I think you didn't get it because there's nothing to get. This is a case of the Emperor's new clothes.

    I've never read a Harlequin Romance, but I think it's a pretty widespread cliché. Well, this, to me, is like that image I have of a Harlequin Romance... pretty empty, melodramatic emotions for (apparently) no good reason, all set on a somewhat science fiction background that never is well developed. And for people whose personalities have been around for hundreds or thousands of years, they are an amazingly banal bunch.

    Kept hoping it would get better. Never did. Finally just stopped listening.

    The narrators were acceptable. Not astounding, but decent. Wouldn't avoid a book read by either. Will avoid books by both authors.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Gaithersburg, Md, United States 10-07-13
    Barbara Gaithersburg, Md, United States 10-07-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "disappointing"
    What would have made The Incrementalists better?

    I don't know how this book got such a high rating. This story might have been better if it made any sense. I like a good sic-fi, but this story is way out in left field and, maybe I'm showing my ignorance, but I just didn't get it at all.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narrators were both good and probably the only reason I kept listening.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't have any desire to listen to the last 5 minutes.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 27 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Jibrail
    7/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Several attempts thwarted by the readers"
    What disappointed you about The Incrementalists?

    The female reader really spoiled - the intonation in her voice was unconvincing and irritating in the extreme.


    What was most disappointing about Steven Brust and Skyler White ’s story?

    The female reader was the most exasperating. The story line was very poor.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A better reader


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Incrementalists?

    pretty much all


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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