Kelly McCullough
Ace Books, New York (USA), August 2006 (2006)
310 pages

Interesting and original story, indeed. It mixes science fiction, Greek mythology and computer hacking. Ravirn, a computer geek who belongs to one of the three houses of Fate, is forcefully recruited by Great Aunt Atropos to help her remove free will from the world by helping her code a spell (21st century magic has gone digital) into the Fate Core, the server that rules destiny. However, Ravirn refuses to debug Atropos' spell and starts a long crusade to oppose her plans.

Yes, the overall structure of the plot is quite predictable. Same old, same old. Evil powers try to eliminate something good from the world (freedom, in this case), good and young rebel fights against it, meets attractive young lady who is on his side, and they end up winning. What makes this book more attractive is not the oh-so-played-out plot, but rather the context in which all of this happens. The combination of Greek mythology and computer hacking is quite original.

Here is an example of the geeky approach that is pervasive throughout the book:

Almost before it started it was over, We arrived at one end of a large stone room full of towering banks of organic crystal. No two structures looked alike. They were fractal shapes created for specific purposes by very unspecific means. Any chaotic system can serve as a computer when you enter the parameters of your question inito the initial conditions. If you know how to set everything up, the final shape of the system will reflect any possible answers. That was how Athropos constructed her network, growing each processor to suit the needs of the moment.

(Kelly McCullough: WebMage, p. 107)

In conclusion, "WebMage" is good entertainment but nothing to call back home if you are after a scifi classic or something like that. Still, I highly recommend it if you are after some lazy entertainment.

Entertainment Factor: 7/10
Artistic Factor: 6/10