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WebMage (Ravirn, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 25, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Remember the Fates, those ancient Greek spinners, weavers and snippers of life's threads? They're back in McCullough's original and outstanding debut, and still ruling destiny—but with their own digital web, based on a server called the Fate Core. Power-hungry as ever, they've coded a spell to eliminate human free will. Unluckily for them, one of their demigod descendants is a cheerfully rebellious hacker-sorcerer named Ravirn who, when not studying for college midterms, likes to mess around on their web with the help of his familiar, Melchior, who can change from a goblin to a laptop. Ravirn and Melchior, let loose in McCullough's delightfully skewed and fully formed world—much like our own, but with magic, paranormally advanced technology and Greek gods—set out to thwart Ravirn's "great-to-the-nth-degree aunt[s]," careening from one discovery to another, enlisting unlikely allies and narrowly evading destruction at the hands of both Fates and Furies. McCullough handles his plot with unfailing invention, orchestrating a mixture of humor, philosophy and programming insights that give new meaning to terms as commonplace as "spell checker" and esoteric as "programming in hex." Though a preponderance of techie-talk may put off some readers, this is the kind of title that could inspire an army of rabid fans; it's a good thing a sequel is planned for 2007. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Although it's yet another variation on mythological creatures interacting with IT, this fast-paced, action-packed yarn is a lot of fun. Ravirn, the multi-great-grandson of the Fate Lachesis (who measures the thread of life), is in trouble. Great-aunt Atropos (who cuts it) has decided that human free will is a great nuisance. She plans to get rid of it by coding a spell into the Fate Core, the server that rules destiny. But there's a problem with the spell. Dedicated hacker Ravirn can catch the fatal flaw in any software but refuses to debug it, in fact is determined to defeat the project. All Hades breaks loose and starts pursuing him. His only allies are his familiar, his gorgeous cousin (a mean programmer herself), and the webgoblin underground. Then Discord and the Furies get involved. McCullough has done an excellent job of weaving myth, magic, IT jargon, and the English language into a bang-up story. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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This series is an amalgam of cyberpunk genre and magic under the umbrella of Greek mythos.
It's a very inventive world that he has created, and the story has some of the same formula that you find in "A Fallen Blade" series:
a savvy main character, a wry but lovable sidekick, fast paced story, etc.
However, I did have a slight trouble getting into this world compared to his previous books.
Maybe the problem is with me and not with the book though. I say this because even though I've read many cyberpunk books such as Neuromancer, Snowcrash, etc. and know Shadowrun, RPG that has both magic and technology, this is the first series that I feel thoroughly melds magic and coding (programming/hacking) in such an intricate, logical manner. In other words, the world is so unique that I had a hard time synching with it unlike other worlds that I'm familiar with. As the story moved on, I was better able to absorb the material and focus on characters and plot rather than unfamiliar jargon, and the story is well worth reading.
Let's see... the predominance of computer speak was off putting. Admittedly, I am not the most techno savvy person around and I probably didn't catch any computer related jokes or reference them in any meaningful way. However, I assume that the author was trying for a broader audience and in that case, the sheer amount of those references was very offputting. It added nothing to the story and in fact, detracted from it. I found it to be an extremely distracting and ultimately annoying plot device.
The main problem for me was that the plot was thin, uninteresting and predictable. There is entirely too much facile "introspection" by the college aged protagonist. To give him credit, he tries to overcome his spoiled and shallow nature.
Definitely not one of my top ten (or 200) books I've read recently.
The characters are fun, with enjoyable banter. Somewhat like the Dresden Files books. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
It's relatively light, and is a quick read, but really lots of fun. This is a great book for when you just want to relax and be entertained. As a side benefit you get to refresh all of that Greek mythology you learned in high school.
I enjoyed the sequel and hope that more are coming.
An enjoyable read.
Most recent customer reviews
Book, about 50 pages in: Graphic incestuous sex between the main character and his cousin.