Sequel to WebMage
by Kelly McCullough
I love the concept behind this series, combining two of my favorite things: Greek mythology and computers. The
first book, WebMage (also reviewed on
Myshelf.com), was just plain fun. Series hero Raivern, great-to-the-nth-degree grandson/grandnephew of the Fates,
is a natural rebel, and while bad things happen in that book, he also spends a lot of it clearly enjoying being
the family rebel with a hacker's mentality. Cybermancy, however, is no cookie cutter re-hash of the
adventures of Raivern (now aka Raven). It's more substantive and a lot darker, with Raivern learning about
consequences, that they can't all just be shrugged off and that even the most well intentioned actions have them.
The ancient Greek gods are still around, but with a difference. Necessity is not only the mother of invention,
she's the mother of the MWeb, the magical network through which the Gods and Powers now do their magic, from MTP
(think FTP, only it's transferring themselves electronically, rather than files) to releasing spells of
destruction. However, the MWeb is starting to act like a virus infected hard drive, and whenever that sort of
problem happens, everyone looks to Raivern as either cause or solution... or both.
Raivern already has enough problems of his own. The Fates and Furies only begin the list of people out to get
him. His girlfriend Cerice's -and that's another problem, right there: what IS the status of their relationship?-
webgoblin (a sort of magical familiar hooked into the Mweb) is lost in Hades. While most of the Gods and Powers
see Webgoblins as just another magical tool - and Cerice is badly in need of what's in Shara's memory - for
Raivern and Cerice they're their best friends. Raivern knows it's mad, but he feels responsible for the situation,
and hey Orpheus dared Hades' gates for the sake of love and lived to tell about it, so why can't he do the same...
All of which barely scratches the surface of what's going on inside the pages of Cybermancy.
The science fantasy concepts behind the book are enjoyably original and well developed, the action fast paced
and interesting, but the best ideas in the world won't work without the right kind of writing to present them,
and McCullough nails it. It's smoothly readable, vivid, and fun - Raivern's very good company and you've got to
love the sort of mind that names a bridge-playing Cerberus's three heads Mort, Dave and Bob - but also has the
substance to handle the deep changes Raivern and his world are going through, without being heavy handed about
it. Highly recommended.
September 25, 2007|
Mass Market Paperback|
More at Amazon.com|