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River of Blue Fire (Otherland, #2)
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River of Blue Fire (Otherland #2)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  12,164 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
Otherland. In many ways it is humankind's most stunning achievement: a private, multidimensional universe built over two generations by the greatest minds of the twenty-first century. But this most exclusive of places is also one of the world's best kept secrets, created and controlled by an organization made up of the world's most powerful and ruthless individuals, a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 675 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Daw Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Jun 15, 2015 seak rated it it was ok
This is now my second book, not counting novellas, by Tad Williams and while I finished it, I will in fact not be continuing on with the series.

Book 1 in the Otherland series was just interesting enough to continue and finally the ending ramps things up and I was actually entertained. I get that this series is one long book to the author, but it's so absolutely boring I need something to happen and I start to expect it to at least be at the end of the book. Spoiler alert: (view spoiler)
Mar 23, 2016 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-sff-faves
So, this one goes straight onto the favourites shelf becuase this continuation turned this series from one I really liked into one I loved. The story picks up straight after the ending of the previous book, and I really loved seeing the instant re-immersion.

Some of the elements of this series which I most enjoy:
- The blend of Sci-Fi & Fantasy elements into a convincing, bizarre and fun world filled with exciting scenes.
- The characters - there are SO MANY great characters within this series
Executive Summary: Slow start, and many slow places throughout. The good parts make up for a lot of it, but for that reason I'm rounding my 3.5 stars down.

Audio book: Another great job by George Newbern. He definitely

Full Review
I really enjoyed the first book. Not so much for the characters, but for the setting and the cool ideas. I've always loved the idea of virtual worlds, and Mr. Williams made an excellent blend of Fantasy and Sci-Fi that seemed to hit my buttons in the right way.

D.M. Dutcher
Jun 13, 2011 D.M. Dutcher rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction

The first novel was long, but it was unraveling a mystery. This is just the main characters being herded through sim after sim, with a few character in the real world having enough screen time to be reminded that they exist. It gets old, because it's not necessary to the plot.

1. A character (Paul Jonas) or team of them (Rennie, !Xabbu) land in a sim word reminding us of something, sometimes blatantly.

2. They get captured or chased.

3. They leave to the next.

This is the bulk of the book. Wh

In the second book of the series Tad Williams continues to impress as he has added more characters than the previous book, more worlds and much more incredible ideas combining them all into a complex, and weirder, story where only himself could have made.

The story continues right where the previous one left of with Williams expanding his world-building, making it even greater than what he showed in the first book, and with the protagonists going through incredible, and unbelievable, adventur
Jul 18, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When last we left Our Heroes, they were caught in the Otherland - an immense virtual reality program built by people with more money than God - with no idea where to go and no idea what to do. They were lost, confused and had no way out.

Oh yes - back before Neo got his clock punched by Agent Smith, Renie, !Xabbu, Orlando, Fredericks and all the other Otherland explorers discover that they are in more danger than they realize - if they die on the network, then they'll die in real life. And, almos
Dec 28, 2014 terpkristin rated it liked it
Audiobook from Penguin Audio
Narrated by George Newbern
Length: 24.5 hours

The sequel to City of Golden Shadow and the 2nd book (of 4) in the Otherland series, River of Blue Fire is a solid "middle book" in the series.

Picking up where City of Golden Shadow left off, this book moved the pieces of all the players in the story without seeming to progress the plot too much. This is a common feature of "middle books" so was expected, though made the reading (listening) slow sometimes. At the point that
Das geniale SF- Epos Otherland #2 von Tad Williams Das ist wirklich das erste Mal, dass sich ein Autor bei mir im Vorwort treffgenau für einen kleinen Kritikpunkt, den ich am ersten Teil auszusetzen hatte, entschuldigt. So was ist mir auch noch nie passiert :-) Williams erklärt ziemlich detailliert die Gründe, warum er keine runde Geschichte zwischen 2 Buchdeckeln abliefern konnte und quasi mitten im Satz als Cliffhanger aufgehört hat, und ich habe ihm sofort verziehen.Zum zweiten Teil der ...more
Sep 26, 2011 Ivan rated it really liked it
I think I'll try to write a review for every book I read from now on. I know not many read this probably, but it's good to put my thoughts somewhere. I will also keep every review as spoiler free as possible, so don't worry about anything major being said here. With all this said: here is my first daily review, Otherland: River of Blue Fire

PROS: Similar to the first book, Otherland has managed to make me use my imagination is ways that I never have before. The idea of the Net has allowed William
Feb 17, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The second book in the Otherland series again makes clear that Tad Williams is in no hurry. He will spin his tale out in his good time, so if you are heading for the beach for a week, I recommend this series. Williams does many surprising things in this novel, which keeps it interesting. For one thing, he adds to his already immense cast of characters and story lines, pulling in peripheral characters and developing them in a workman-like way, adding perspectives and really having fun with the ...more
Sep 02, 2007 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Hi-tech Fantasy buff
2nd Otherland book. Great read, better than the first. The meat of the story, and what a story. This man has one of the most vivid, reaching imaginations I have ever encountered. Let's hope he sees into the future again....
Jun 12, 2012 Phil rated it liked it
These books take me forever to read in between the hustle and bustle of life. I often read lots of online material and currently working my way through the Sandman graphic novel so I have plenty of distractions to keep from completing a book if it isn't grabbing me. Although I can't say that I didn't enjoy following through with characters' journey through all the virtual worlds, it just didn't seem to grab me. There was never a moment where I simply couldn't put it down which means I was never ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Aleah rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Otherland, a massive virtual reality network, is composed of an unknown number of worlds. It's funded by a mysterious group of the wealthy and powerful who call themselves Grail Brotherhood; and, though nothing is clear, the primary purpose of the Brotherhood seems to be the maintenance of their own long lives... even at the expense of countless other. Across the globe children are going into medically inexplicable comas, including Renie Sulaweyo's little brother Stephen. Renie suspects that ...more
Jul 10, 2007 Tulara rated it it was amazing
Well, the journey continues for the several groups who are loose in the system. Fantasy worlds collide with realism and trap the travelers in bizarre and fantastic worlds. The story goes further and deeper into the characters - good and sinister.
I enjoyed the journey, but I did take heed of the author saying that the series is really one BIG book - but publishers wouldn't let him publish the story as such a big book - and we wouldn't be able to carry it around he said also.
We did find out more i
Jan 21, 2008 Daniel rated it liked it
By the end of the first Otherland volume, the main characters found themselves lost in a huge, uncharted world - one could even say universe. The second volume sees them exploring their surroundings in search of answers. Most of the time, however, they are preoccupied with evading pursuers, whether they be giant insects or crafty assassins.

This is essentially a chase novel, and Williams' prose keeps it moving along. Half-way through the book I started to wonder if a greater plot was going to sur
May 09, 2016 Connie53 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
Weer een geweldig deel in deze fijne serie. Heerlijk om te lezen. Ik zou eigenlijk zo door willen in deel 3, maar die moet even wachten. Maar niet lang.
Dec 01, 2016 JD rated it really liked it
River of Blue Fire is another sci-fi/fantasy beast. Two books into the Otherland series and nearly 1,500 pages total.

The things I enjoyed about the first book are still fun in book 2, particularly the continuing intrigue of the Dread story line, and the fun of the VR worlds in the Otherland network. Williams presents us with I believe 11 new virtual worlds that the characters stumble through, seeking escape from the system, and answers to the mystery of the Otherland network and the Grail Broth
Nov 27, 2016 Kerry rated it really liked it
Published 1998. Long second book in the Otherland tetralogy. Overall, very satisfying and imaginative. Flowed better in my mind to Vol #1. Looking forward to #3 and #4.
Nov 03, 2016 Heike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Einfach genial !
Mir gefallen die Charaktere und ich bin begeistert vom Schreibstil !
Jan 07, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy-lovers, Tolkien-fans
Never say never, huh?

Upd.: My first book of 2012. Can't believe it took me a week to wade through it. Tad Williams is nothing if not long-winded.

I'm giving River of Blue Fire nondescript three stars. Not very helpful, I know, but I can't seem to make up my mind about the book. It's certainly worse than City of Golden Shadow, the previous and the first part of ... what is it that you call a four book series? Tetralogy? Quadrilogy? Well, whatever it's called, the second installment of Otherland se
Patricia Hamill
Enjoyable, but takes its time...

The second installment of the Otherland series by Tad Williams picks up where the last leaves off. The "heroes" gathered by Mr. Sellers at the Golden City narrowly escape into another simulation, one that seems perfectly normal except that they are now 1/100th their real size. Gigantic insects and birds populate the world, going about their natural activities, but those are hazardous when you're the size of the next meal.

Soon, events beyond their control shatter
Heiko Kuschel
Mar 03, 2015 Heiko Kuschel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nach Otherland 1 kommt natürlich, wer hätte das gedacht, Otherland 2. Exakt vor einem Monat habe ich die Rezension zum ersten Band geschrieben, heute bin ich durch den zweiten durch.

Es war für mich nicht immer ganz einfach, dabei zu bleiben und mich nicht einem anderen Buch zu widmen. Wobei das auch ein wenig unfair von mir ist, denn ich glaube, es lag eher an meiner Ungeduld als an der Erzählkunst von Tad Williams.

Der lässt seine Charaktere im zweiten Band von einer Simulation in die andere sto
Nick Leshi
Jul 06, 2009 Nick Leshi rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerry Hart
Sep 23, 2016 Jerry Hart rated it it was ok
So much unnecessary filler. Tad said he needed four books to tell this story but after reading this, I see that is not the least bit true.
Ricky Ganci
Jan 05, 2012 Ricky Ganci rated it liked it
Well, really REALLY good seems better to describe the potential that Otherland has, but the second volume of the quartet was a bit underwhelming. Every time Marissa asked me how my book was, I replied with something very middle-of-the-road: “it’s all right”; “it’s pretty good”; “it’s okay.” There were, at a few junctures, flashes of brilliance and the kind of fun telling a story in this type of setting typically indicates. Unfortunately, those scenes came toward the beginning and middle of the ...more
May 18, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good -
if you read my review for book one in the series, you know that one major flaw in an otherwise excellent presentation, was excessive editing errors. This book fixes that problem, and is what you would expect of high caliber literature.

The Bad -
5 stars; 4.8 stars; 4.3 stars - the rating continues to drop (modestly; it’s still a very good book)…
Mr. Williams has a very fertile imagination, and it is exciting to see what he can think up. However, traveling th
Mark Weaver
May 31, 2015 Mark Weaver rated it really liked it
After completing the second volume of this series, I find myself in a dilemma. I have so many other things I have on my reading list, but this series has grabbed hold of me and won't let go. I understand why many don't enjoy the books....a myriad of odd characters, multiple plot lines crisscrossing and often leaving the reader confused. Part children's book and part adult reading. Fantasy, science fiction, steampunk...all of the above. And don't dare put it down for any length of time because it ...more
May 22, 2014 Dan rated it it was amazing
To sum it up, this series is amazing. The first book was great and I was intrigued but River of Fire really convinced me that this is an epic series worth the effort. No doubt these books are very long but Wiliams is a master of detailing the universe he's created for us and what a setting it is. He has really made a solid effort with the creative liberties the story allows for him to construct. What is really great is that since this series is really just one long novel, at no part does this ...more
Eden Garms
Nov 05, 2016 Eden Garms rated it liked it
I was torn between giving this novel three or four stars. It definitely loses some steam after the City of Golden Shadows opens up the proverbial Pandora's Box of questions, but in retrospect (since I'm writing this review after having just completed the third in the series) it was an arguably necessary move. The world Tad Williams has created is too large to really hold in the mind all at once as you're going along, taking place in both the real world, the net, and in a created net world. So ...more
Max Lybbert
Aug 20, 2012 Max Lybbert rated it it was amazing
I will admit that my main fascination with this book stemmed from the various worlds the characters travel through. The Paul Jonas mystery gets deeper. His adventures in a Neanderthal world were enough to get me to start reading Clan of the Cave Bear (unfortunately I never managed to force my way through more than a handful of chapters in that book). Likewise, Jonas' adventures on Mars led me to read A Princess of Mars (I was much more pleased with that book).

My memory isn't what it used to be,
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Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer ...more
More about Tad Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Otherland (4 books)
  • City of Golden Shadow  (Otherland, #1)
  • Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, #3)
  • Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)

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“She had to find her own story, and she could make it whatever shape she thought best.” 23 likes
“If someone had told her that she would be transported to what was for all purposes a magical land, where history could be rewritten at a whim, or people could suddenly be shrunk to the size of poppy seeds, but that at least for this moment, her most pressing concern would have been the absence of cigarettes, she would have thought them mad.” 2 likes
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