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Webmage (Webmage #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,163 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Remember the Fates, those ancient Greek spinners, weavers and snippers of life's threads? They're back in McCullough's original and outstanding debut, and still ruling destiny—but with their own digital web, based on a server called the Fate Core. Power-hungry as ever, they've coded a spell to eliminate human free will. Unluckily for them, one of their demigod descendants ...more
Library Binding, 310 pages
Published April 18th 2008 by Paw Prints (first published July 25th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
A good first novel, with reasonable sounding tech even 6-7 years after it was written. The characters are strong and interesting, although the main character isn't always that bright considering what a good hacker he's supposed to be. I absolutely adored his familiar and the vegetarian troll. The three Furies were also fabulous in a frightening way.

The action never stops and the hero is constantly being injured so severely he's often incapacitated but I love that so it worked for me. He has goo
Dec 25, 2008 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: Penguin list
Terrific. Great premise - the Greek gods are still around. When computers were developed the Fates began using them to do their work. One of their grandchildren, Ravirn, is asked to debug a program for Atropos that will remove free will from humans. He doesn't want to do it, adventures ensue. Looking forward to reading the next 2 in the series that are already published. Books 4 and 5 have been contracted, according to the author's website.
Feb 26, 2011 Ratkin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel awfully torn about this book. It revives the whole magic-combined-with-computers idea, and does it pretty well. I particularly enjoyed the laptops that convert to familiars and assist in the magic/hacking. If the story had just worked that one idea I might have enjoyed it a lot more. Unfortunately there was another whole piece of the backstory: the Greek Gods are still around and running things. In my opinion, clutter ensued. I kept going through to the end, but at times it was a struggle ...more
Okay, this book has disrupted my gym time for long enough. The good part: for the past month, I've been reading scientific papers to avoid reading this book. The bad part: I've been procrastinating about going to the gym to avoid both.
No more.
I'm pausing this book--not necessarily DNF'ing: I've made it about 80% through and that's just too far to give up. There's nothing wrong with it; it's just not for me.

However, if you like Fated or Something from the Nightside, this may very well be a good f
Jan 09, 2009 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like Rob Thurman's books, check this one out.
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
This book reminded me a bit of the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman (Nightlife: Cal Leandros, Book 1, Moonshine: Cal Leandros, Book 2, Madhouse: Cal Leandros, Book 3, Deathwish). Which, since I love that series, pretty much guaranteed that I was going to like this one. :)

Fascinating book with an incredible basis. The second book, Cybermancy, is on my to-buy list for my next purchase.

If you like Rob Thurman's books, check this one out.
May 27, 2011 Forrest rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbriii
WebMage is book-candy. It reads fast and lacks substance. But it is a fun read and sometimes you need to pull your brain back from the heady concepts in the more serious book entries on your list. The sad part is that the concept is really awesome and in the hands of a better writer, it could have been a great series of books.

The premise of WebMage is that the Greek pantheon is real and has been running things behind the scenes for eternity. While the gods themselves don’t make any appearances
Kat Mandu
Dec 03, 2015 Kat Mandu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kat Mandu says...

If you like these two things, you’ll love this series. First off: hilarious, horny, and sometimes brooding heroes like Ravirn, who sweeps the story away with his goofy charm and impeccable habits of getting into trouble. Secondly, if you’re a fan of great storytelling and world building, you’ll love this Greek gods meets cyber magic.

Ravirn is a child of the Greek fates and with the help of his trusted AI/familiar/portable laptop Melchior, he’s been able to get himself out of a l
In one word: Fun, Fun, Fun. A total different kind of fantasy, mixing IT lingo and geekism with Greek mythology.
Quite a few things about "WebMage" remind me of Aaronovitch's PC Peter Grant stories, like the voice of the I-narration, the talented rookie stumbling around and messing up a lot, the strong female secondaries (aside from a few goons we have a nearly fully female antagonist crew here!) and of course the breakneck, breathless speed of action.
Our leading bad boy Ravirn is much more of a
Tara Day
Jul 21, 2014 Tara Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice, fun read and one of my favorite male-character personalities. I like them full of innuendos, a little bit slow, dark and brooding, and cocky. Ravirn is no exception. There are times when he knows he's a badass and then there are times he needs a little confidence booster. Either way, he's a goofball and enjoyable to listen to.

The only reason I gave this four stars was because I had some difficulty keeping up with all the computer lingo. The idea of cybermagic has always seemed cool to m
Emilly Orr
Sep 09, 2009 Emilly Orr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ravirn is your average hacking genius in college: he doesn't get on well with his dormmate, his grades keep dipping, his computer talks back to him, and his grandmother is threatening to send him to a monastery so he can finish his schooling under a vow of silence.

There's only one small problem--Ravirn's grandmother is Lachesis, the Fate who measures the cords of life.

Webmage is the story of the children of the Titans, or at least one child in particular, as he makes his way through the sometim
Jan 02, 2014 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel that the core of the book, the blending of magic and technology is very poorly done. Like the gimmicky titles of all the books in the series like: Cybermancy, CodeSpell, SpellCrash etc... indicate, McCullough is trying to present to us a world where technology is the primary conduit for magic. Sadly, this concept is handled poorly, almost ridiculously so: Goblin avatars that turn into laptops, spells that use URL-like addresses, Webtrolls, that sort of stuff (and frankly the list goes on ...more
This is a story that takes place in modern times and assumes that all of greek mythology is true. Then it tries to find a way to mix that mythology with an internet/web based magic system. The rules of said magic system are never fully explained, and I'm not sure the author ever mapped them out for himself, which is fine if it is possible to figure it out in context. Maybe I'm not that quick, who knows.
All in all it was an interesting read, and I wouldn't tell anyone not to read it. However, It
Hacking into the world net that the gods use...geeky and magical at the same time. A little confusing because there is a lot going on, but Raviern is a child of the Fates, he is an awesome hacker though he has a tough time coding. There is an issue of free will, dragon viruses, chaos vs order, it is nuts and a heck of a good time. I found these books at the used bookstore and I can't wait to read the next one. Our MC catches very few breaks, he is lucky to have such good friends...
This one is a hot mess - one of those books you randomly pick up and read for four consecutive hours, cry at the end, and then can't quite figure out why you liked it in retrospect. It's a mixture of fae, Greek mythology, and computers (living ones) with a penchant for sarcasm. The combination works but not without giving the reader large chunks of exposition, thanks to a general lack of classical education nowadays. Still, it was enjoyable, and the "hero" didn't really get the girl in the end, ...more
I decided to quit after getting to chapter 8 of this book.

I loved the tech=magic premise of this book, and I enjoy books about children of the gods and having the gods causing trouble, etc. I liked the goblin familiars as well.

My biggest issue lies with Ravirn. I feel like McCullough couldn't decide if he wanted a rebel sarcastic rogue hacker with a heart of gold, or a high-class sophisticated prince with honeyed words and impeccable manners who could pick up chicks with beautiful prose. So, he
Nov 14, 2015 Nshslibrary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend Webmage by Kelly McCullough especially to people who are interested in Greek mythology and enjoy sci fi and fantasy. The main strengths of the book are the interactions between characters, specifically between the two main characters. The story is interesting, and is an entertaining variation of Greek mythology. The premise is that the main character, whose name is Ravirn, and his familiar, whose name is Melchior, learn that Atropes, the fate of death, who is the many great aun ...more
Keith Ross
WebMage wasn't good. But it was a lot of fun. The story gets off to a very clunky start, and there were so many times where I just did not know what was going on. There were a couple times where I didn't even care what was going on. But by the end of the story, the blend of Greek mythology and "modern magic" kind of won me over. It's definitely not cyberpunk, but I like the idea of "spells" and "programs" being one in the same. Maybe that's just because of my profession, but there you have it. A ...more
Christy Stewart
It is a great idea for a story but for heavens sakes...It doesnt follow the plot at all. Its like, "Here is the plot, I'm going to go miles from it and think about my feelings constantly." And for the life of me, I dont know why the author needs to tell you what everyone is wearing in detail. How about this, I'll assume everyone has clothes on until I'm told differently.
Nov 07, 2010 LazerWraith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Great book. I love it because it is apparent the author really knows about programming. So many times I get frustrated at sci-fi authors who probably needed someone to help them install/run Word, and who use the wrong terms in their books.
Sep 21, 2015 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I really didn't think I was going to read this.
The description made me think it was somewhere between a book for children and one of those weird magical urban fantasy books that should have their own special niche in the categories list just for them.
Was bored, and so decided to read the first few chapters just to see what it was like. I was partially right, and partially wrong… It is an odd one, but in a "oh! This is new… " kind of way.
The magic system is really different, but it doe
I started this book in July then set it down to read Ghost Story. I picked it back up today and it was perfect for the mood I am in...sarcastic.
Fun read, I cant wait for the next one to show up in the mail!
Apr 26, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confused, but super interesting. I haven't read such an unique and interesting blend of computer "stuff" and fantasy since Wizard's Bane (and following). We're kind of thrown into the whole world here, without much of a primer, so it's confusing for most of the book. The overall story is neat, and I *love* how the Greek parthenon is portrayed in this. It's super awesome, and hits about 900 of my "oooohhh I like this" buttons.

Think of it as fun urban fantasy crossed with...a light hearted "hacke
Jan 27, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun fast ride, thoroughly enjoyable. I particularly liked the notion of computer programmer monks who chant in binary. :-)
Cyberpunk meets Greek Mythology. So very cool!
Irving Drinkwine
Light, entertaining read.
The story combines magic and computer - not a new concept, but this also combines Gods and the Fates.
The main character, Ravirn, a College Student/Hacker/Relative of fate is down to his last chance after having been in a life time of mischief. When he opposes his Great Aunt Atropos, one of the Fates, the chase is one.
In the story Ravirn's laptop becomes his familiar, Melchior. Melchior is a web goblin who is able to talk to Ravirn and give him advice. I bet this keeps R
Dakota Spirit
Apr 17, 2016 Dakota Spirit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2015 Rechan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This book gets five stars not because it is excellent, but that it does everything an Urban Fantasy series should do. The author takes a lot of risks, jumps out far afield and wins the day because of it.

Firstly our magic system is based on computers. Not computers being necessary for magic, but the language of magic is binary, familiars become laptops, characters jack into their familiars or other mainframes to deal with the physical representations of their spells - it's like Tron and Reboot d
I really wanted to like this book. Digital magic, sarcastic hacker hero, and mythology, sounds awesome! But, I just didn’t connect with the story. Instead of picking up WebMage in my free time, I kept researching what I was going to read next. I didn’t hate it, because I finished it (although the ending was extremely anticlimactic), but it didn’t draw me in either. I think part of the problem was that WebMage reminded me of The Chronicle's of Amber in several ways. The writing style, character e ...more
Feb 05, 2014 Sybylla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I wanted to love this book. I really really did. The premise sounded fascinating. Magic based in technology? So cool. Especially since most Urban Fantasy makes technology the enemy. Then I began to read, and found the novel is set in the University of Minnesota, which is practically in my back yard. How cool is that?

But then everything gradually fell apart.

I read a lot of reviews that mention "world-building" and before this book, I was never really sure what that meant. So I'll try to avoid us
Corey Frampton
Jun 21, 2010 Corey Frampton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not something that I typically would have picked up. It was a strange mix of modern sci-fi and fantasy.

However, that said - this was an awesome book.

It takes a little while to get used to the lexicon when they're talking about magic, even if you're familiar with computers, it's a little bit of an adjustment.

Once that adjustment is made, however, the book is quite a lot of fun.

The main character, Ravirn, is a hacker and a mage. In a lot of senses, this can be the same thing, but
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Kelly McCullough was raised and educated by free-range hippies. Later he received a degree in theater and worked in improv. That combination was the perfect preparation for his current career as author and cat herder. He lives and writes in the Midwest with his physics-professor wife, Laura. He enjoys hiking and biking and his role as self-heating cat furniture. He is the author of the WebMage and ...more
More about Kelly McCullough...

Other Books in the Series

Webmage (5 books)
  • Cybermancy (Webmage, #2)
  • Codespell (Webmage, #3)
  • MythOS (Webmage, #4)
  • Spellcrash (Webmage, #5)

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“I may not have any power over it at the moment, but at some point that must change. I can be very patient. I am the end of all things, nephew mine. I shall be the last. When birth has ended, I wil cut Clotho's cord, and she will be no more. The time will come when every last thread has been measured, and I will snip Lachesis from the great weave. In the end only Death and I will remain. Then I will cut his thread, and it will be me alone. With my last strength I will close the shears on my own life. I am the end of everything, including you.” 13 likes
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