Found an advance copy of this on the ‘free’ shelf at work, and was pretty enthused – I’ve read Brust before, and found his books to be good fun.
However, this one didn’t do it for me. The premise is engaging: an ancient secret society has knowledge of the technique of transferring memories from one body to another (as well as storing information in a kind of mental ‘cloud’ internet). The society is devoted to using their experience and knowledge to become adept at psychological manipulation, which they are vowed to use to make the world a better place through small, incremental changes.
Unfortunately, the society does very little ‘trying to make things better’ and instead does a great deal of bitchy, catty infighting and things of questionable ethics.
The main focus is on a new recruit to this society, whether she will be able to maintain her own personality, as she has to deal with an ‘upload’ of the mind of a particularly domineering individual, and whether she will fall in love with the guy who recruited her (a romance which I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ at all.) Is she being manipulated, and, if so, who is doing the manipulating, and for what agenda?
It’s very slow and soap-opera-esque. People do a lot of standing around arguing in circles about who is doing what, and why. I found it a bit tedious.