Read Recently — September 2008– Hacking, no slash

Codespell by Kelly McCullough

Sequel to Webmage and Cybermancy. As this volume starts, Ravirn, now master of Raven House and a minor Chaos Power, receives an invitation from Zues to a party on Olympus. A personal note adds that House Raven is expected to make an official appearance, so there’s no getting out of it. As House Raven currently consists only of Ravirn himself, his lover Cerice, and his webgoblin (a cross between a familiar and a laptop) Melchior, it is easy for the whole house to attend.

Cerice, a child of Order, is uncomfortable being involved with an obvious child of Chaos, and at the party she allows one of the Fates to convince her to come back to work for them, at least for the duration of the current emergency. Said emergency being that after the events of the last two books, Necessity, the Mother of Gods, currently incarnate as a giant computer system that controls the Mweb (the magic web that binds all the worlds together and allows spell-casting; usually accessed through magic computers such as Melchior), has been damaged and now no one can communicate with her. The Fates want to fix things, but Ravirn is worried that they actually want to usurp her functions, allowing them to control everything. Why not look into things himself, especially since he’s at loose ends right now with Cerise gone. Even the Furies want him to investigate, which is surprising because Tisiphone still has a thing for him and Megaera is promising to kill him if he touches her sister.

Oh, and Ravirn’s cousin Dairn, who was last seen trying to kill our hero, for which Ravirn crippled him and tossed him into a random transporter, has returned, now an avatar for the angry and extremely powerful goddess Nemesis, long missing in action and now, apparently following Dairn’s desire, hunting Ravirn. And Nemesis can follow him anywhere . . .

McCullough continues to write light-hearted fantasy in easily accessible prose, but isn’t afraid to follow Bujold’s Dictum and throw as many problems at his protagonist as the character can handle (even if it seems like too much sometimes). He has a good grasp on the Greek Pantheon; at no time did I find myself thinking that anything didn’t sound right, even with the computers grafted on.

McCullough’s three for three on this series, and I’m looking forward to more. Highly recommended.

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