This book comes before Widdershins in the continuity of de Lint’s Newford stories. That doesn’t matter too much as you’re reading either story, but there are some relationships that begin in this book that make Widdershins make a little more sense.
Rather than just having faerie permeate the modern world as he usual does with his urban fantasy novels, this book has faerie saturating cyberspace as well. The plot is pretty much boilerplate de Lint (see my Widdershins review for a description). But as usual, the attraction of the book is less in the plot and more in the characters and how they manage when suddenly confronted with the presence of magic in a world they thought was governed by knowable scientific principles.
Christy Riddell’s girlfriend Saskia who if you’ve been reading the books for a while you’ll know was somehow born out of the Wordwood web site disappears when a virus attack takes down the site. But she’s not the only one, lots of other people went poof at the same time. Christy and his friend Holly who helped create the site work to organize a rescue mission into the faerie otherworld where the Wordwood manifests as a real place.
It sounds pretty cheesy, but as long as you’re willing to engage your disbelief suspension equipment, the adventure is exciting and reveals cool stuff about some of the characters.
In writing this review I remembered to go google the Wordwood and discovered that some fans have set up a wiki at http://thewordwood.info/ to simultaneously document de Lint’s work and emulate the Wordwood site in the books.