From my wife Sarah: I really enjoyed the previous books in the series, and almost didn't get this one because of the reviews. I see that Mr. Stross is writing the next book in this series. So because of that, if you liked the previous books in the series, I'd recommend this book (with one condition - see below) despite the fact that it has some problems.
To tell you about this book, I need to first mention the previous ones in the series. They were great reads. The characters are well developed, the plot was really captivating, and the story lines moved forward in a way that really pulls the reader into this other reality. They were really entertaining, creative, surprising and interesting.
Now about this new edition. All the sections about the New London world put me to sleep. I had to struggle through each one to get to something good. By the end of the book I had no idea why any of it was in there, especially in such detail. It didn't tie into anything! However I suspect it will be revealed in the next book. There were other sections that lulled me, but not as extreme as the New London story.
Also, at times the diaglogue and story line were just difficult to follow. There were long conversations that I just didn't get. I had to really read and reread to try to figure out who some of the characters were, and/or what they were talking about. Some things I just never got. This book was really confusing (I'm a college grad with masters level courses, by the way). I did not find the previous books confusing.
The left wing politics that several other reviewers have mentioned didn't bother me. I'm pretty conservative and sensitive to that stuff, but didn't find it to be overwhelming.
Regardless of the issues with the book, I still enjoyed the story line that revolved around the main character. This book moved the series ahead, and I'm hoping that in the next edition the author goes back to the clarity and great story lines of the previous ones. I'd recommend this book with one condition: If the next book is as good as the others before this one, then this edition would be worth reading just to keep you up to date with the story. It may be smart to wait for the next release. Then see what the reviews look like on the next edition. If they're good, buy this book, and the next one. Or if you're committed to the series, then just buy this one and just read it for the good parts.