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Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  11,561 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Mountain of Black Glass is the third volume of Tad Williams' highly acclaimed four-book series, Otherland. A truly unique reading experience combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, and techno-thriller, it is a rich epic tale in which virtual reality could prove the key to a whole new universe of possibilities for the entire human race--or become the exclusive domai ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 749 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Daw Books (first published January 1999)
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Nick Yes you absolutely have to read this series in order or you will be totally lost starting with this book. Lots of setup and description that you won't…moreYes you absolutely have to read this series in order or you will be totally lost starting with this book. Lots of setup and description that you won't get at all if you don't read the first two.(less)

Community Reviews

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Apr 02, 2016 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Well this book was really, really good again! I think we can solidly say that Tad Williams is now a very firm favourite author of mine. I did feel that although I really love the different worlds within Otherland and seeing our team exploring them, this one actually didn't give us that many answers in terms of the overall plot direction until right at the end. I do think some of it could possibly have been cut to make it more exciting, but otherwise this is just more of the same super world from ...more
Executive Summary: Things are really picking up in the 3rd of this 4 volume doorstopper.

Audio book: Another excellent job by George Newbern. With books as long as these, it's important to have a good narrator, and thankfully they've made a good choice. Clear, good volume, good inflections and a variety of voices making the audio a good choice.

Full Review
Both the previous two books in this series suffer from slower parts, and this one was no different. However, I found this one to have the fewe
May 02, 2016 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This one was a pretty good installment of the Otherland series. There were no more numerous random simulations that plagued the second book so much and the plot seem to strengthen somewhat. It was a bit long winded in the last 100 pages or so but still enjoyable. Though it probably brought it down from 5 to 4 stars for me. This was a thoroughly entertaining read. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Ricky Ganci
Jan 05, 2012 Ricky Ganci rated it liked it
Even though it took me a lot longer to read this one, I think I liked it better than the second volume, chiefly because stuff happened. Through the middle of the book, the narrative remained plodding, the development of each random simworld being front and center of this story, but the end was exciting and the different pieces of the story began to fit together. Paul Jonas finally hooked up with Renie and !Xabbu, et al., who were reunited with Orlando and Fredericks, and we know a little bit ...more
Apr 17, 2015 terpkristin rated it really liked it
Audiobook from Penguin Audio
Narrated by George Newbern
Length: 27.25 hours

The sequel to City of Golden Shadow and River of Blue Fire, this is the third installment (of 4) in the Otherland series. As with River of Blue Fire, Mountain of Black Glass picks up where the last one left off. Where I rated River of Blue Fire 3 stars (it was a solid "middle book" in a series), this one gets 4 because of the time spent in Greek mythology, something I've always loved.

As a "middle book" in a series, it's ha
Apr 23, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Der 3. Teil der SCIFI- Trilogie kommt nach dem spannenden Finale im 2. Teil in der Qualität bei weitem nicht an die ersten beiden Teile heran.
Erstens weil die Phantasie und Innovationskraft bzgl. der beschriebenen VR-Environments massiv nachläßt. Die Geschichte findet bis auf eine Ausnahme fast nur noch im alten Ägypten und in der Odyssee des Homer statt. Der Plot ist daher sehr absehbar und ohnhin hinlänglich bekannt. Zweitens bekommt die erneut zersplitterte Geschichte durch die getrennten Erz
Jeremy Hot Pants
Sep 22, 2009 Jeremy Hot Pants is currently reading it
Tad Williams has a gift for the written word. Or, more accurately, a gift for about five qudrazillion of them because he writes in The. Most. Dense. Fucking. Prose. Ever. (And uses far too few clever literary devices such as the preceding one.) Which is a shame, really, because the story is pretty captivating and has proven to be somewhat prescient. But god to the damn, yo, my cat Nelly has a better chance of penning the next great Broadway musical than the average reader has of slogging through ...more
Jun 21, 2016 Nick rated it liked it
I don't know what it is about this series, but the second and third books have really been just travelling, travelling, travelling, with no real advancement of the plot. The first book was spectacular but now it seems that Williams is content with showing the reader how cool each simulated world is rather than injecting any kind of mystery, intrigue, or hey - an actual story. Really disappointing as Tad Williams is one of my favorite fantasy authors. At this point I'm not even sure that I want ...more
Mar 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of the Otherland volumes so far. There's less hesitance in the story telling, and now that all the characters have been (finally) introduced and set in motion, this volume moves forward at a much better pace than the last two. Also, there was an added sense of connection to this piece of the story for me because of so many references I recognize from Homer's classics.
Apr 29, 2010 S.S. rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Whew! Williams had worn me down with so many words. # 3 moves faster and gives more character info, which is much needed if you've gotten this far.

Patricia Hamill
Jul 28, 2013 Patricia Hamill rated it it was amazing

Mountain of Black Glass is the third of Tad Williams' four Otherland books, but it is definitely not least. Paul Jonas finds himself in the role of Odysseus, confronting yet another incarnation of the winged woman who haunts his dreams. His ultimate goal, given to him by the bird woman, is to find Troy, but soon he is thrown into a nightmare as he is forced to live through the tribulations of his famous character in reverse order.

Meanwhile, Rennie, Martine, !Xabbu, Florimel, T4b, and
Nick Leshi
Jul 06, 2009 Nick Leshi rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it
While book three rated the same stars as book two in the series, it is worlds better to read. And the reason for that is there are fewer worlds. Rather than just throwing as much of his imagination at us as he can, in this book Mr. Williams actually only presents a few worlds, and time is left for some really decent character development and for plot formation. It was really refreshing to have "story" once again become part of the, well, story...

Three minor notations:

*dispersed character and plo

In the third book in the Otherland series Tad Williams has managed to make a wonderful mix of history and myth, between Ancient Egypt and that of the Trojan War, into a strong story with lots action, some really good twists and many, many revelations.

In this book the story gets even better than the previous book with the protagonists, as the trying to deal with a new enemy, they will start to discover the secrets and the machinations of the Grail Brotherhood which will put them in even more
Mar 06, 2010 Andres rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Now that I'm done with this volume, I can look back in awe at how many pages I've turned to get to this point... and yet I can't honestly say it should have taken this long. I can still remember the sequence of the plot so far but the sheer amount of words seems too many for the amount of forward movement in the story. Everything is epic, for sure, but it cooled my enthusiasm that diving into new worlds would again cause a slowdown in the narrative momentum, with new information or revelations ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Dokusha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Das Epos geht weiter, und die Handlungsstränge der verschiedenen Gruppen greifen immer mehr ineinander. Allmählich deuten sich auch erste Hinweise auf die Hintergründe an, und gegen Ende gibt es den ersten Knalleffekt. Es, bleibt spannend, und man fragt sich, wie sich die Kontrahenten wohl am Ende schlagen werden. Die wirklich große Frage bleibt jetzt, ob Williams es schafft, das Mammutwerk mit einem vernünftigen Ende zu krönen.
Jody Mena
Jun 01, 2015 Jody Mena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Tad Williams creates some bizzare words, both beatuful and horrifying, and I took particular joy in exploring each new setting that the characters came upon. This series is a testiment to the limitless possibilities that lie within the human imagination!
Mar 05, 2009 Andrew rated it did not like it
I have no problem with multivolume doorstop epics; however Williams doesn't know where he's going and it shows. Characters stumble aimlessly through worlds, Williams kills off the metaphysical side of the story, and substitutes imagery for substance.
Mar 14, 2008 Megan rated it liked it
The Otherland saga continues. Gets a little slow towards the last quarter of the book. At this point, I've invested in three 700+ page books so I'm going to read the last book of the series either way. I can't wait to see how this all resolves itself.
Doc Opp
Apr 30, 2007 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
One of the best sci-fi series I've ever read. Just a warning to interested readers - there are several books of over 1000 pages, and once you start you won't be able to put them down. Make sure you have a serious block of time because these books are addictive.

Rik Leaf
May 03, 2013 Rik Leaf rated it did not like it
Ahhhhhh....the deep sigh that comes from plugging away at a series because you hope it will pay off. The pages start to weigh several pounds each and the effort required to keep turning them becomes a force of will.
Feb 20, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
My favorite of the series so far. Ratchets up the tension, answers some longstanding questions, presents new ones. One more to go, but I'm going to take a break and read a few other books first so I can come back to the series with a fresh mind.
Aug 02, 2007 Will rated it it was amazing
Very long but for some reason I couldn't put it down. Amazing that a fantasy author could put out science fiction of this caliber.
Dec 29, 2009 Bryan rated it it was amazing
You really start figuring out where all the different characters that are in this book fit into the scheme of things. Another large on but still a very easy read.
Max Williamson
Apr 12, 2013 Max Williamson rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these books, I got lost in the otherworld and found the descriptive narrative and details amazing.
Jul 27, 2013 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Love this series. If u like sci fi fantasy give it a whirl. Long but worth it.
Mar 03, 2013 Mockta rated it really liked it
still sooo good
Jul 18, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is easily my favorite book in the series, short though the series may be.

Otherland is a strange story, really - it's like a hybrid science fiction/fantasy tale in that you can easily forget which genre you're in. It's clearly science fiction, in that the whole thing is taking place in a massive computer simulation, but on the other hand, it owes a lot to fantasy - especially the world-crossing aspects of it.

Our Otherland heroes have been trapped there for some time now, running through the
Seth Kaplan
Nov 05, 2016 Seth Kaplan rated it it was amazing
Wow. I had put off reading this for quite some time, as it took me a long time to muddle through the second book. I shouldn't have waited, because installment number 3 in this quartet absolutely flies by. Once again epic in scope, this entry focuses on aspects of Greek and Egyptian mythology to bring the story forward. The human characters are so richly woven, and there are welcome and unwelcome surprises throughout the plot. I very much look forward to completing the series even if it appears ...more
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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)
  • River of Blue Fire (Otherland, #2)
  • Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)

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“Every man is the hero of his own song.” 11 likes
“Our lives aren't even about doing real things most of the time. We think and talk about people we've never met, pretend to visit places we've never actually been, to discuss things that are just names as though they were as real as rocks or animals or something. Information Age. Hell it's the Imagination Age. We're living in our own minds.

No, she decided as the plane began its steep descent, really we're living in other people's minds.”
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