Tor, Oct 2009, $24.99
A narrative hook drops the spider Jumper from one scene into another where meets a woodwife named Wenda (a woman made of wood with no back) who wants to be made flesh. They find a prophecy on Jumper’s carapace and decide to go to the Magician Humphrey to find out what it means. The pair also hopes that Humphrey returns Jumper to his scene and makes Wenda flesh and blood. Along the way they meet Maeve the Maenad who is avoiding the stork because she doesn’t want an infant. She decides to join them to see if Humphrey can get the stork to stop delivering her package.
Haughty Harpy meets the travelers and tells them that at night she turns into Hottie Harpy. She decides to join them to see if the magician can help her. Two more ladies join the troupe; Phaedra, who can turn into a host who is being stalked by Genghis the ghost and Olive Huie who has no friends; the former wants the stalking stopped and the latter wants a friend. When the group breaches the magician’s castle, Humphrey tells them he will give them what they want if they fix the broken cable that connects Mundania’s Internet to Xanth’s Outernet. They have plenty of enemies who want to stop them for various reasons.
Thirty three punster fantasy quests later, Xanth remains alive as if Chameleon was still seeking a spell. The hero is an innocent spider who learns to play and work with humans as he and the women march across some familiar locales and a several new spots on their misadventures. There is plenty of romance and action even with the typical thin plot as JUMPER CABLE is a fun lighthearted frolic.