Another Review at MyShelf.Com

WebMage book 4

by Kelly McCullough


The Greek gods are still around and running things, only now they use computers to administer reality and generate magic. Raivirn, House of Fate hacker / black sheep turned Chaos power of his own, tends to live almost permanently in "interesting times" as a result of his active mouth, a marked tendency to act first on impulse, think about it later, and his lineage as a true child of both Fate and Slapstick.

Theyíve never been quite this interesting, though. Raivirnís attempt to hack a broken Necessity (goddess turned backbone network), to work on her problems, instead sends him off to an entirely different reality where the Greek gods are myths and the Norse gods are in control.

Thatís not all bad. It puts him outside the reach of some major enemies, like Hades and Great Aunt Atropos (the Fate who cuts the thread of menís lives), while his girlfriend and familiar are there with him, and he also finds an old friend. But the magic here runs under a different, well MythOS, causing a wide range of problems, broken Necessity still needs fixing, and those interesting times seem to have followed Raivirn, leaving him caught up in politics and power struggles every bit as bad as those he left behind but less well understood. He simply has to find his way back home.

I love this series. The integration of classical mythology and computers is richly depicted, not just a surface code as a language for spells. Youíll get maximum enjoyment if you know something about computers but can certainly enjoy yourself even if you donít.

Raivirnís really good company. The stories themselves are packed with color, action and drama, along with plenty of both wit and humor. The world-building is solid and remarkably vivid, while the characters are believable and people you care deeply about—including the ones who are not really people. †While these are to some degree light, fast, lose yourself in them reads, thereís also more satisfying depth and some darker edges in Raivirnís experiences and how they change him.

Highly recommended. You could probably read this as a standalone but youíll enjoy it much more if you read its predecessors first.

The Book

Ace / Penguin
June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Science Fantasy
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NOTE: For an interview with the author (and links to Myshelf reviews of his other titles) check out the August 2009 Myshelf Author of the Month

The Reviewer

Kim Malo
Reviewed 2009
© 2009