Spellcrash by Kelly McCullough (fantasy-cyberpunk review)
SpellCrash by Kelly McCullough (www.kellymccullough.com) is the fifth book in the Ravirn series. It was just released (finally!) on May 25th. I got lucky and was sent this to review by my editor so I plan on giving out my pre-ordered one to a friend for his birthday. I originally discovered this author with the first book in the series, WebMage, at the local library. I enjoyed it enough to try the second novel and became hooked on the series. This series is one of those few urban fantasy novels that is highly original.
The author blends mythology, magic and technology to create an interesting world while at the same time holding on to a sense of humor that appeals to me. The series is a “fantasy-cyberpunk hybrid set in a universe where an ever-increasing number of life threads has forced the Greek Fates to a upgrade the great loom of Fate into a computerized system that blends magic with programming. Of course, where there are computers there are also hackers. Enter Ravirn, a hacker/sorcerer, and his laptop familiar, Melchior. Ravirn is the grandson of both the Greek Fate Lachesis and Thalia the muse of comedy and comedic poetry, making him the end product of Fate and Slapstick. Together with Melchior (his webgoblin familiar/ laptop with attitude) he takes on Fate, Hades, Nemesis, and all other comers.”
Necessity, the sentient computer goddess that runs the multi-verse, is still broken. The only thing that might help her is a massive reboot which will leave the multi-verse vulnerable to anyone who has enough power to seize control. As the time for the reboot comes near, four clear contenders emerge: Zeus, Hades (god of the underworld), Eris and Fate. All these gods from the Greek MythOS are more than a match for Ravirn. In order to protect Necessity, Ravirn has to utilize all of his skills as a mage and fight to prevent complete chaos-though it may cost him his life.
Shara and Cerise are back. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t back in the way they were in previous books. Add onto the fact that the other gods are gunning for Ravirn and the fact that he has not even come close fully understanding his own powers, and you could say that Ravirn is having a bad time of it. The book is filled with action and suspense. The world building is awesome, the plot intense and there is plenty of pathos and humor.
For fans of the series, you will be happy to find out that this book concludes the current story arc. However, at this time, I am not sure if the author will be writing more of this series as it could easily end with this novel. Plus, I just read on his blog that he has just done a deal for another new series. I highly recommend this book to urban fantasy fans who want to try something a tad different from the typical magic series and for those who enjoy cyberpunk tones to their books. Honestly, I would also recommend it for readers of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files as it reminds me of that series at times, though Ravirn can be a bit lighter soul in comparison. This series is a keeper for me so go give it a whirl by trying a few free chapters at: http://www.kellymccullough.com/fiction.html