Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Codespell - Kelly McCullough

Ravirn, Book 3
Kelly McCullough


Ravirn is an almost-immortal descendant of the Fates of mythology. A recent fight with Hades, while trying to free Persephone, resulted in Ravirn’s near complete destruction. Fortunately for him, the fight ripped a hole in the world and Primal Chaos entered the present world, consuming most of Hades’ offices and all of Ravirn, only to re-make him, with a few interesting upgrades. For instance, his eyes now glow in the dark with the power of chaos. It makes it difficult to sleep, but he can read in bed quite easily.

As a result of this damage – and a nasty virus – Necessity, the computer that runs all of reality, needs to be repaired. Ravirn, amongst his other skills, is a hacker and the logical guy for the job. Just a few little problems. Because of his previous activities, there are some very powerful gods and demigods who would like to see him erased completely. Included in this number are Hades (death himself) the Fates (family relations can be so complex) and his own cousin, Dairn who, in a very unhappy surprise, now possesses chaos power, too. The thing is, while Ravirn makes the repairs to Necessity, the computer will be briefly offline. Meaning that there’s an excellent opportunity for someone to try and take control or even remake all the worlds.

There are two books in the series preceding this one, WEBMAGE and CYBERMANCY. I haven’t read either one of them, so I was a bit lost for the first few pages of this one. After that, though, there’s enough background to bring newbies up to date, and by the end of the first chapter, it was full speed ahead. The author does an incredible job of blending mythology, magic, and what used to be known as cyberpunk into something completely new, enthralling, and pretty difficult to describe.

Readers don’t need to have any programming or esoteric computer knowledge to enjoy this story. Ravirn and his familiar, a webgoblin, both excel in the art of sarcasm, letting the reader feel in on the joke. The cast of characters is quite large, and the worlds created are both familiar and alien. The pacing is very fast; even as a new reader, I was completely hooked before the end of the first chapter. Readers with any interest in mythology or magic will love this new spin on very old characters. I’ll be seeking out the first two books, just for the fun of it.

Rating: 8
June 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01603-7 (paperback)


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