Codespell Review

By | January 15, 2010

by Kelly McCullough

Jakob’s Goodreads Rating: (4) of 5 Stars – “Really liked it”
Recommended for: Fantasy and Geek Readers

This is the third book in Kelly’s Ravirn series, starting with WebMage and then Cybermancy.  We again join Ravirn trying to fix the universe and generally trying to get himself out of whatever hot water he finds himself in.

Book description:

The universe needs a reboot…

In the twenty-first century magic has gone digital, and Ravirn, a direct descendant of one of the three Fates, is a talented sorcerer and computer hacker extraordinaire.  So when Necessity, the sentient computer that runs the universe, catches a virus that crashes most of the magical Internet, Ravirn is tasked with fixing it.  Whoever repairs Necessity will, for that moment, run the universe.  Unfortunately for the sorcerer, some very dangerous beings have figured that out too.

As I mentioned in my review of Cybermancy, these books are a fun read.  It is a fun mix of cyberpunk, Greek mythology, and fantasy all rolled up into a quirky ball.   I finished it in a couple of days, but that had a lot to do with not being able to put it down for the last third of the book.  (I blame Kelly for keeping me up late on a Thursday night and being sleepy while writing this review! 🙂 )

Codespell I worried might suffer from a middle book or series syndrome since the plot description of both it and the following book sounded like a story line had been split between the two.   (Fixing Necessity.)  However the book stands on its own quite well and I was pleasantly surprised.   Ravirn grows up a bit more in this novel and we have some new characters introduced. Zeus finally makes an appearance and being described as the “ultimate frat boy” was hilarious.   I have seen some comments by people that not as many new characters were introduced in this book and somehow that was a bad thing.  (By the tone it should be obvious that I do not agree.)

To continue on that, what is most compelling about this book is the character/relationship development from the previous novels.  Less new characters meant Kelly was able to spend more time developing the ones that we already have met.  Cerice ends up being out of the picture (or at least on the sidelines) far quicker than I anticipated, though the way Kelly had started developing the character in the previous novel was to be expected.  With Tisiphone (the fury) and Melchior (webgoblin/familiar/sidekick) along for the ride Ravirn has some help in his task.  Which is good since he seems to be pissing off for one reason or another just about everyone above him on the totem pole.

Part of the ending felt clunky to me so I stopped, re-read the page, and continued on.  However, there was a lot going on so perhaps I was reading to fast for what the section allowed for.  Either way the book was a blast.  I am looking forward to getting started on MythOS in order to catch up with where the novels currently are.

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