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The Incrementalists (Incrementalists #1)

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,658 Ratings  ·  336 Reviews
"Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money." —John Scalzi

The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Steven Brust
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Yeah, so, this is the first time I've rated something I've written. It goes against every bone in my Minnesota body, but I tell myself that it's Skyler's parts I'm rating.

Several years ago, Tappan King suggested to me the idea of an immortal secret society dedicated to making the world just a little better. After I read Skyler's first two novels (and Falling, Fly; In Dreams Begin) I very much wanted to work with her. Hanging out with her one day, Tappan's idea came to mind, and we started kickin
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: not Brust's normal fans
Let me be honest: I’m a fan of Steven Brust. I like his complex world-building, his characters and his willingness to integrate challenging issues of race and class (and occasionally gender) into his writing. Unfortunately, while I was predisposed to love The Incrementalists, it fell flat for me.

Narrative is first-person, shifting between Phil and Renee, often multiple times in the same chapter. Someone decided to use some pretty cursive typeset to head the sections with “Phil” or “Ren,” and to
Walking around in a constant state of confusion might be the best way to sum up my feelings on this tale. If this muddled state actually led me to some definitive suppositions on the universe, or put me in touch with all the answers to THE INCREMENTALISTS, or even offered me a sense of well-being, I would have been okay with my scrambled brains and possibly the head scratching as well. But that wasn’t the case here. Instead, I felt a bit exhausted after finishing this tale, like I’d been running ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jennifer by: Steven Brust
Shelves: nook
Thoughts on The Incrementalists, free of summary, spoilers, or character names (cross-posted from my blog).

First off, this is a great book if you’re into keeping neurotic lists as though you were going to make character trading cards. There’s a strong secret history concept to it, and the way the secret society works involves ‘switches’, sense-memory triggers that can be used to influence people. (My switches would probably be miso soup, lilacs, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and bi
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Started out okay, but I found the plausibility of the plot thin. Characters accepted too much at face value and, as more folks were introduced, I had a hard time distinguishing them. Ren and Phil felt interchangeable and their romance convenient and rushed. Weird.

The plot is interesting, but left high and dry while characters run around eating pizza and drinking coffee. The idea of the Incrementalists is also pretty damned cool, but not explored enough for my satisfaction.

I kinda had to force m
Ben Babcock
These people are oddly obsessed with putting bathrobes on after showering. She used his bathrobe, so he had to settle for a towel—what, you don’t towel off and then put on a bathrobe?

I was hesitant to borrow this from the library—the description screamed “generic pseudo–science-fiction thriller.” Neverthless, I resolved to give it a chance. I swear I didn’t notice that John Scalzi had blurbed it until I started reading. And it makes sense that Scalzi would blurb this, because it’s in his wheelho
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
As a left-brainer, my thoughts often stop me from fully enjoying stories. I don't need every little thing explained in extensive detail, but something more than vagueness. For a novel filled with symbols and analogies, my experience was less than optimal.

Logic-fail kept me from falling under The Incrementalists's spell. When even immortality sounds more believable than the concept herein, it's a sign the world-building is somewhat flawed. An incrementalist's memories can be implanted into someon
Oct 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
I hadn't purchased a hardcover new release in years, but the flashy cover grabbed my attention in Powell's and it jumped into my cart. The cover (with it's impressive John Scalzi quote) might have been the best part.

Biggest issues:
The book is written in the first person, which is fine, but it jumps between POV several times in a chapter. That would also be fine if it added to the story. But, since the main characters are in a passionate, lust-filled relationship and unable to leave each other's
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

THE INCREMENTALISTS novel is one of those novels I expected to pick up and immediately love. I mean, c’mon, it’s set in Vegas, involves secret societies and is co-written by the amazing Steven Brust. Needless to say my hopes were extremely high when I started this book and then they quickly came crashing down.

I freely admit that my score for this novel is partly based on the expectations I had for THE INCREMENTALISTS. Reviews are entirely subjective and
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got to read an advance review copy of this book some time ago, and as I am drawn to books that not only defy genre, but actively buck it, The Incrementalists and I quickly became fast friends. Brust and White have created a complex and fascinating world that kept me thinking about it long after I put the book down. From a plot perspective, there's plenty here to keep you reading -- secret societies, mystery, romance, and a fascinating premise -- but it's the deeper threads and questions that s ...more
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Steven Karl Zoltán Brust (born November 23, 1955) is an American fantasy and science fiction author of Hungarian descent. He was a member of the writers' group The Scribblies, which included Emma Bull, Pamela Dean, Will Shetterly, Nate Bucklin, Kara Dalkey, and Patricia Wrede, and also belongs to the Pre-Joycean Fellowship.

(Photo by David Dyer-Bennet)
More about Steven Brust...

Other Books in the Series

Incrementalists (2 books)
  • The Skill of Our Hands (Incrementalists, 2)
“People trying to force their agenda on my by deciding how I'm permitted to speak is offensive.” 9 likes
“Saving someone's life is a wonderful feeling. Try it. You feel like, if you don't mind a TV reference, a big damn hero.” 3 likes
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