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Spirits in the Wires

(Newford #10)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,878 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Charles de Lint's Newford novels, loosely linked "tales" with overlapping characters set in an imaginary modern North American city, are tales of magic and myth afoot on today's city streets. But at the center of every de Lint story is the miracle of the human heart.

And at the heart of Spirits in the Wires are Saskia Madding and Christiana Tree, both of whom are tied to pe
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Tor Books
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,878 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Arielle Walker
Lets just add this to the ever-growing list of books still to review...
Иван Величков
Настана време да се заредя с нещо положително и магично. Много ясно, че три нощи четох до светло и после на работа бях като треснат. Знам си аз да не подхващам негова книга, ако не съм в отпуска.
Поредната порция от историите за Нюфорд - мегаполисът, където магията е жива стига да искаш да повярваш в нея. Този път де Линт ни завърта около писателя Кристи и неговите приятели. Повествованието се води от първо лице през очите на над десет различни герои, като главните действащи лица са два пъти пове
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After I read Someplace to be Flying, I ran out and bought three more Charles de Lint books. I started Spirits in the Wires immediately. If I had read this book first, I don't think I would have checked out any of the authors other stuff.

The book is 100 maybe 200 pages too long. De Lint repeats ideas without enough variation. Sometimes I felt like I was being hammered. The concept of a sentient web site that pulled people into their computers was great, but all the mechanics of how it worked fail
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I was let down by a DeLint book. The book seems awkward; that's the only word I can use. DeLint doesn't seem to feel comfortable writing about technology, and as a result this book doesn't feel as vivid or as engaging as some of his others. It's interesting, moves quickly, and tells its story well, but DeLint's visualization of the spiritual essence of the online world is a little dated. The bad thing about writing a book that involves the Internet is that in six months, e ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome story! A wonderful mesh of realism and surrealism that personifies the world wide web. Really unique, but it's not an easy read. On the other hand, the story is so different and compelling, it won't let your mind wander anyway.

This isn't one of my favorite Newford books - it doesn't have quite the zing of some of the other books and some of the overly specific technology bits have not aged well.
It's funny how dated the "tech" is in this novel, even though it's not that old. There's even a cyber cafe for goodness sake. But what it's mainly about--identity, self-determination, responsibility--are timeless. Plus fairies.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Before I get into Spirits in the Wires, I just have to say: one thing I generally love about De Lint books are the lady characters. I hate the phrase ~manic pixie dream girl~ in light of the derogatory way it's generally employed, but it still comes to mind — more in the sense that De Lint has a gift for creating manic pixie dream worlds, and then populating them with quirky boys and girls who are mutually drawn to weirdness and inbetweens; who in finding their own stories, find one another.

I gu
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
This is another Newford novel, taking some the least technologically-inclined of the loose Newford network of friends and aquaintances into the internet. Literally into the net--some of them get involuntarily uploaded, and others follow in the hope of rescuing them.

Aaran Goldstein, book editor for the local newspaper and mild pain in neck to Christy Riddle, Saskia Madding, and others of literary bent in our old familiar crowd, hits upon a relatively harmless means of revenge upon Saskia for the
Grainne Rhuad
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy lovers, Charles de Lint lovers
Another Great offering from Charles de Lint. This Urban fantasy takes some familiar Newford charactors into a new realm of modern possibility via the internet. The worldwide web in de Lint's mind is depicted as an ether-world that easily overlaps, weaves and co-exists with his in-between world that fans have come to be familiar with. If you are an avid fantasy reader in general and a de Lint reader in particular it is no great feat of immagination to see how crossroad spirits and Gods alike coul ...more
I put off reading this book for awhile as I thought the premise was a bit silly. I like Charles de Lints books about urban myths and fairies, native spirits and spirit worlds but this seemed to be going a little too far. Perhaps it was the memory of bad pagans who'd "fight the demons in the internet" that I had the misfortune of knowing at university but I wasn't thrilled about the premise of this book. However, like everything else De Lint does this book was great. The characterisation of Chris ...more
Adela Bezemer-Cleverley
I don't know if it's the book's fault or my own, but I found it very difficult to concentrate on this story most of the time. The plot is very rambling and long-winded and most of it doesn't make a lot of sense (not that Charles de Lint's writing or urban fantasy in general make that much sense, but somehow it was just harder to get into...).

I think there wasn't enough of the personal growth/character background type storytelling for me; it was a lot of confusing descriptions of the Wordwood and
First let me say, that I have been enjoying all the books in the Newford series immensely and Spirits in the Wires is no exception. I particularly enjoyed meeting some characters and getting to know others better and there were some good concepts and moments throughout.

Having said that, I think the book lagged a little bit at times and I feel like I was missing some information at times (which very well might be my fault since I am reading the books in the order I can get them rather than in th
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first Charles de Lint book I've read (other than some short stories) and it was quite good. He says he got somewhat absorbed in the idea that spirits and technology could coexist, and the idea of computers as a window to something unviewable (paraphrasing). I think this really worked. It takes place in Newford (of course), as Christy's girlfriend Saskia, who believes she came into existence from a website, meets Christy's shadow Christiana, who is composed of the castoff parts of Chr ...more
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I found this novel exceptionally creative. I've recently begun to be attracted to stories that take old folklore and tales and weave it into a modern text. Because what ever did happen to the mythical beasts?

In this book, Charles de Lint determines that they have gone into the other places we either care not to look or have created out of nothing - like the internet!

I loved the no-nonsense approach to mythology and mythical creatures, and how a space is created for those of us who haven't quite
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could I would give this book 6 stars. What an amazing story. Love the characters, love the setting, love the concept. Just WOW! I read this over the last two days and it drew me back every time I had to put it down; I just had to see what would happen next, what myth would be woven into this thoroughly modern story.

Can I just say how proud I am that my hometown produced an author such as Charles De Lint.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
reread. some of the references are hilariously dated 12 years later (zip disks! pay phones!), but it's still a good story.
This was an okay book, but not great. The premise is that faeries and pixies and other spirits have taken up residence within the Internet - and some websites have physical space in Faerieland. And the plot goes from there. He does a reasonably good job of mixing magic and technology - although all of the characters in the book only know one thing - either they are magical sorts, OR they are techy geeks, and there's nobody who has, like, a range of interests that might include even a little of b ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
If I could, I'd only rate this book 2.5 stars. Which is a shame because DeLint is one of my all-time favorite writers and Newford is one of the places in fiction that feels like home to me. It seemed poorly edited and just so completely outdated. I know this is unavoidable, technology has advanced leaps and bounds since 2003 but it was overwhelmingly cheesy and difficult to really sink my teeth into. I also really didn't buy into Aaran's motivation and would have liked to seen him more developed ...more
Adina Hilton
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
de Lint's story is full of magic and adventure as always. The internet/technology connection is intriguing, but unfortunately dates the book since most of the computer info is now out-dated. Still, Newford readers get to know an established character much much better (Saskia, born in the internet) and we meet a new character (Christiana Tree, shadow-self of Christy Riddell). Meeting new characters and running into old ones is one of the best parts of these interconnected books!
Dawn O'rourke
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's nice to be with all of these characters again...this book seemed a bit different, with all of the computer and website lingo, but I really enjoyed it. I also experienced a bit of Nostalgia to the way we used to use computers in the "old days." It's good to be catching up with this author. I missed his writing and Newford.
Holly Underwood
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, de Lint wove magic into the mundane in ways that totally make sense. Loved it!
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Charles’ beautiful mind

Have read most of his novels never have I been disappointed and this was no exception for me, my only wish is for more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Idea behind the book was great, but the execution lacked. Main drawback is that author has too simplified knowledge about web serving technology.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The spiritworld and internet are starting to blend together, so when some people get literally sucked into a website, their friends have to go to the spiritworld to try to save them. I loved the overall atmosphere of this and how nonchalant half the characters were about the presence of magic in the world. The beginning has this 75-page-long prologue-ish section where two women with ties to the otherworld just sit in a coffee shop and chat about their lives, and I think that I didn't even really ...more
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles de Lint is a prolific writer of fantasy whose books often deal with spirits, faeries, worlds just beyond our perception where all matter of magical folks live. In this novel from 2003 he posits that the world wide web has evolved into one such world where spirits have taken up residence alongside our own world as well as the Borderlands and the Otherworlds where hobs, pixies, goblins, faeries, hellhounds and other such beings lurk. One website in particular, the Wordwood, seems to be hom ...more
Bart Everson
"Urban fantasy" set partly in cyberspace. Sounds interesting, but there are problems.

A contemporary net-driven narrative will perforce age quickly. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it could in fact be charming if the author nails the details. Unfortunately, de Lint seems to neither understand nor care about the architecture and structure of the web. The aesthetics of technology are exploited at the most superficial level possible. Otherworldly realms are decorated with circuit boards and cr
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept of this book is fascinating. The fairy world more or less packed up and moved to cyberspace. Cause why not, right? (This is not a spoiler; it's on the back flap.) In this new magical cyberspace there is a domain that spawns life into the real world, and when something happens to that domain, the you-know-what hits the fan.

I have read this book almost in one sitting, followed the characters in their adventures, and was interested right up until the end.

The only gripe Ihave about this
Jan 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Full post here:

I wanted to love this book. Truly, I did. The premise of the Internet and fantasy characters manifesting into their own reality, with the ability to crossover into our own, and interact with us mere humans, is amazing. A little bit of fantasy story with some real-life morals and exciting action sequences... wonderful.. should have been great. For some reason(s), which I am having a hard time pinpointing, it just didn't do it for me.

Would still r
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more

Other books in the series

Newford (1 - 10 of 20 books)
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  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • Forests of the Heart (Newford, #7)
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  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Widdershins (Newford, #11)
“I watched the people passing below, each of them a story, each story part of somebody else's, all of it connected to the big story of the world. People weren't islands, so far as I was concerned. How could they be, when their stories kept getting tangled up in everybody else's?” 11 likes
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