Kim's Reviews > MythOS

MythOS by Kelly McCullough
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's review
Aug 25, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

This is the fourth book in the Ravirn series, and like the others, a very enjoyable read. Ravirn is attempting to fix Necessity, the computer who runs the multiverse, and find his dear friend, the webtroll Ahllan, when a glitch suddenly throws him into a different pantheoverse, one ruled by the Norse gods. Unlike Ravirn's home reality, this pantheoverse is a universe, rather than a multiverse, which means there's only one possible outcome for any particular event. This is particularly troubling, as the world's end, the great battle of Ragnarok, has been foretold by fate, and the gods Odin and Loki have drawn up sides. And with Ravirn an unknown entity, completely unseen by Odin's omniscient eye, he could be the perfect pawn in the battle between the gods. If he were only content to let himself be used. . .

The shift from the Greek to the Norse mythos, I'll admit, threw me for a bit of a loop. I really missed some of the characters from the Greek multiverse, especially Cerberus and Eris, though Ravirn was accompanied by Melchior, as always, and his sometime girlfriend, the fury Tisiphone. However, there are fun new characters from the Norse myth, including the Midgard Serpent and Laginn, the Hand of Tyr, and Loki is always fun. I am considerably more familiar with Greek mythology than Norse, so I'll admit I was a little disappointed to be (temporarily, it appears) to leave the former for the latter. However, the Ragnarok story line allows McCullough to return to one of the original themes of the series---the conflict between fate and free will---a welcome development which allows Ravirn to further explore his newly chaotic nature. It was also fun to read the analogies between the Greek and Norse mythology: for example, Ravirn, who is also Raven, is further dubbed Intuition or Impulse, as one of the three ravens of Odin.

This series has always been one designed to appeal to both the myth lover and the technophile, and I'll admit that the technospeak did overwhelm me at times here, though maybe I was just distracted. Then again, maybe wrapping my head around the technology was easier in the books where I was NOT wracking my brain tryiing to remember what Norse mythology I knew; trying to understand two different unfamiliar worlds and lingo might have overwhelmed me a bit. Whatever the case, the technospeak has not previously been an issue for this technophobe, and wasn't a big one here. If you do understand computers, you will probably appreciate that aspect of the series even more!

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