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September 3, 2020

Cybermancy (WebMage 02) by Kelly McCullough

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 4:05 PM

Cybermancy (WebMage 02)
by Kelly McCullough

Hades has a hell of a firewall in this WebMage novel from Kelly McCullough.

Not just any computer geek can hack into Hades. But Ravirn, a direct descendant of one of the three Fates, is no ordinary hacker. Magic has gone digital in the twenty-first century, and Ravirn is a sorcerer with a laptop—otherwise known as his shape-changing best friend.

These days, Ravirn’s crashing at his girlfriend’s place while she works on her doctorate in computer science. Only one problem: all of her research is in her webgoblin’s memory, which is now in Hades along with its soul. To save Cerice’s webgoblin (and her PhD), Ravirn must brave Hell itself. But can he do it without corrupting the mweb—the magical internet—and without facing down the Lord of the Dead himself?

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Rating: (4/5)


This review will have minor spoilers about the first book because what events from the first book have significant bearing on the second book as it build on top of them. If you haven’t yet read the first book, stop reading.

At the end of the First book free will is saved, Ravirn is still alive but renamed as Raven and no longer part of the Fate’s family. Throughout this book he is still trying to come to terms with the changes in his life and pretend that the Raven side of him doesn’t exist. The book starts off with an awesome sentence “Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks ? The eyes of Cerberus glared down at me, six balls of black fire. There was no dog older or more dangerous. But here I was standing practically in his mouths, trick in hand.” and then takes off from there.

Ravirn is trying to retrieve the soul of his girlfriend’s webgoblin from Hades and in doing so unleashes a massive problem for the whole of reality. He is frantically trying to fix the issue while the major powers of the universe are out baying for his head making life a lot more interesting for him. Over the course of the novel he starts accepting his Raven side more as well.

The book is a fun read and I loved the way it covers the story of Persephone. According to mythology, Hades, god of the Underworld, fell in love with beautiful Persephone when he saw her picking flowers one day in a meadow. The god then carried her off in his chariot to live with him in the dark Underworld. Her mother Demeter created a great drought to convince the other gods to release Persephone from Hades. Finally after lots of people died Zeus finally sent Hermes to persuade Hades to release his ill-gotten bride. But Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seed so had to spend three months of the year in Hades. Its a very stark tale but most books/tales gloss over how it must be for Persephone to live with Hades for 3 months every year after he had kidnapped and raped her. Persephone’s anger & despair are covered beautifully and with compassion in the book, it really highlights what victims of sexual violence have to deal with throughout their life.

The consequences of the events of this book are explored in the next few books so I ended up rereading the 3rd book immediately after I finished this one.

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