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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The mysteries inhabiting the World Wide Web are the focus of Charles de Lint's Newford novel Spirits in the Wires.
When a popular, literature-related research web site called the Wordwood crashes, everyone visiting the site -- including popular author Christy Riddell's girlfriend, Saskia Madding -- suddenly vanishes. Now her friends must somehow find her before it's too late.
It all starts when Aaran Goldstein, the mean-spirited book editor for The Daily Journal, has his fragile ego bruised by Christiana Tree, Riddell's mysterious, independent shadow-self -- made up of all the parts of his personality that he cast out when he was a child. To get back at the strange woman who slighted him, Goldstein blackmails a hacker to send a virus to one of Christiana's favorite web sites. Little does Goldstein know the web site is actually a powerful sentient spirit; and when the virus is downloaded, a bizarre chain of events causes hundreds of people to be sucked into the otherworld of the Internet.
Spirits in the Wires is de Lint at his absolute best, and it will keep him firmly entrenched at the vanguard of urban fantasy. De Lint not only expands upon the intriguing technological themes he touched on in previous short stories ("Saskia" and "Pixel Pixies") but digs deeper into the complex psyche of Riddell through the characters Saskia and Christiana. It was a pleasure to revisit beloved characters like used-book dealer Holly Rue and blues guitarist Robert Lonnie and to be introduced to new favorites like mall-rat Mother Crone and Web-born Suzanne Chancey. Paul Goat Allen