01 February 2007

Book Banter -- WebMage

Title: WebMage
Author: Kelly McCullough
Length: 310 pages
Genre: sci-fi/fantasy
Plot Basics: Prince Ravirn, grandson of one of the Fates, is quite the hacker and programmer. Good thing too, since magic has gone high tech. When his great aunt Atropos, one of the other Fates, launches an evil plot, Ravirn takes it upon himself to stop her and save humanity. Atropos isn't keen on that plan and Ravirn has to attempt wild and dangerous magic to keep himself alive and saving the world requires some help from unlikely allies.

Banter Points: Melchior, Ravirn's webgoblin sidekick, steals the show. His wisecracks were great. The book also wastes no time in throwing the reader directly into the plot and the explanations of how the Greek myth of the Fates has adapted into modern technology.

Bummer Points: The amount of techno-babble in the book gets a bit weighty at points. It's a cool idea that magic now works through modems, but Word Nerd did get a bit lost at points with the jargon.

Also, though Melchior was a great sidekick, Word Nerd couldn't help but wonder if McCullough was taking a line from Steven Brust. The webgoblin seemed a bit too much like Loiosh, the sidekick of Brust's main hero, Vlad Taltos.

Word Nerd recommendation: According to McCullough's website, he's got another book in this series coming out sometime this year. Word Nerd will likely check it out, though it's not at the top of the TBR list.

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