I thought this was going to be a wonderful book when I started it. Stross has quite an imagination for worlds unlike ours. He has created a world where humans are extinct and robots have colonized the galaxy because they don't have human biological restrictions. He has some really interesting ideas such interplanetary travel that starts with a giant ferris wheel that takes your pod into orbit where you're attached to something kind of like a ski lift that takes you to the next planet. He also has an interesting idea for a movable city that travels on railroad tracks across the face of Mercury to avoid the extreme hot and cold weather of each day as the planet turns.
I should have stopped reading after Mercury.
The main idea behind the story is that robots can experience the memories of their dead siblings by inserting their dead siblings' "soul chips" into themselves. Thus, your siblings' education, training, and memories can become your own. Unfortunately, this makes for confusing reading. The main character, Freya, switches between at least 6 identities. And other robots around her are switching identities, too -- even taking on some of Freya's alternate identities. I had no idea who was who and who was doing what to whom half the time. And then there was also the problem of not knowing if the character was dreaming, remembering, or living an experience of her own or of someone else.
You get to the end of the book and it's just more of a relief than an answer to any questions. I really wanted to like this book based on the strong beginning, but it just got more convoluted and confusing the further along it went. If I weren't stuck in a waiting room with this book, I don't think I could have finished it.