Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)
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Sea of Silver Light (Otherland #4)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  8,283 ratings  ·  164 reviews
This final volume of the resoundingly popular Otherland series is a high fantasy landmark.
Hardcover, 688 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by DAW Hardcover (first published 2001)
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Ready Player One by Ernest ClineSnow Crash by Neal StephensonDaemon by Daniel SuarezThe Terminal Connection by Dan NeedlesCity of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams
Books About Video Games and Virtual Reality
20th out of 105 books — 167 voters
The Eye of the World by Robert JordanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingWizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Best Fantasy of the 90s
100th out of 184 books — 347 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mairead
Apr 17, 2008 Mairead rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Robert
Shelves: the-heart
This series is only for fast readers. Tad Williams is a novelist who writes epics. He is at his best with pages and pages for description of settings, characters, backstories, dreams, letters, and more. And his wordiness is a gift -- I wept at this book because he really gives his characters room to grow, to expand, to mess up, and to try again. Their nuances, especially within the intricate universes that he creates within this series, are explored and you leave with a handful of new imaginary...more
Bill
Dec 21, 2011 Bill rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Bill by: A friend who apparently wished to cause me great suffering.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Jul 12, 2010 Mike rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shut-ins, prisoners
Shelves: science-fiction
This book, the fourth in a four-book fantasy series, is an amazing example of how a good idea can be stretched and diluted until it is no longer pleasurable to read. There is nothing particularly wrong with the Otherland series. The ideas are interesting, the execution is fairly creative, some of the characters are competently developed, etc. But it is clear that the objective of the author (and the editor/publisher) was to create a large series (measured by the heft of the books and the number...more
Molly Ison
Otherland is the first fantasy series that I've finished this year (I've read a few other book #1s with no intention of continuing, including Tad William's own slogfest MS&T). I started a topic that got pretty long many years back about fantasy series that ended somewhere between well and spectacular. It didn't turn out to be a very long list. Otherland isn't going on it. It wasn't terrible, it just wore out its welcome. The least interesting character ended up being the hinge point of the e...more
Dev Null
This is one of the worst books I have ever read.

Its particularly bad because the series started with such amazing promise; the first book is literally brilliant. The next two were pretty mediocre; well-written, but ultimately travelogue-fantasy without any plot. Characters just stumbled from interesting locale to interesting locale and ended up right back where they started from. But this last book is terrible. I was literally shouting out loud in the street when I read the climax, it was that b...more
Ricky Ganci
And with the final volume, Williams loses me. 300 pages of overwritten, tripish, hyper-explained and muddled plot through bizarre fantasy worlds that just seem to be there for the author’s enjoyment really pissed me off, and I’m throwing in the towel, feeling like I’ve wasted the last month of my life reading a story that I’ve not come to care about in any gorram way. I will not read anything else that he has written, and I cannot see how so many people find this volume of the series to be so un...more
Hwango
So, why did I read all four of these if I hated the first one so much? Well, I got to the end of the first one and was infuriated by how little I knew about what was really going on. I already owned the second book when I started reading the first, and it seemed insane not to read it if I already owned it. I was hoping they would improve, and I wanted to know how the whole series ended.

Truly, I wish I had not bothered. A shocking waste of time.
Aleah
In "Sea of Silver Light," book four in the "Otherland" tetrology, Tad Williams wraps up his massive sci-fi saga.

Four big books in eight medium-sized sentences:
In a not so distant future children across the globe are being lost to unexplainable comas. For South African college professor Renie Sulaweyo, whose baby brother Stephen is among those affected, the horror of this epidemic is all too real. Researching Stephen's condition leads Renie to the Otherland, a massively complex virtual reality n...more
Tara
Favorite Quotes

After all, is it not the way we humans shape the universe, shape time itself? Do we not take the raw stuff of chaos and impose a beginning, middle, and end on it, like the simplest and most profound of folktales, to reflect the shapes of our own tiny lives? And if the physicists are right, that the physical world changes as it is observed, and we are its only known observers, then might we not be bending the entire chaotic universe, the eternal, ever-active Now, to fit that famili...more
Evilynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruthann
I thought this book was a great conclusion to the series. Usually I don't like it when things get "all tidied up" at the end, however the author did a great job of finishing what he started. This series was a lot of fun to read. There were a few slow points in the middle, but overall the character development, the vernacular and culture invented, and the plot all combined together for a worthwhile read.
Phil
The four books of this series took me most of the last 6 months as I honestly found them somewhat of a slog at the beginning. I'm not really sure I would have stuck with it had the series not come highly recommended, but I'm extremely glad I fought my initial instinct. I became increasingly attached to the characters as they encountered the frustration, hope and challenges of an impossible quest in an environment beyond their control. Initially I thought the quest within the virtual world would...more
johanna
i could not put these books down. as he says in the forward to the second book- this is actually one very long book written into four books. i LOVED this book. i read the first one completely by chance and as soon as i finished it i had to immediately order the other three. these books have taken over my life for the last few months. any spare moment i had the book was in my hand. i dreamed about the books, i thought about the characters, i felt a part of the adventure. i haven't been this satis...more
Susan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
At last we have come to the end of our journey, when all will be explained and all will be resolved.

As the book opens, the Other - the operating system for the Grail Brotherhood's mysterious plan for immortality - has been defeated, overcome and overpowered by the truly evil assassin Dread. With his mutant ability to manipulate electronics, Dread has taught the Other how to feel true pain, and now has nearly complete control over the Otherland network. With a nearly limitless number of worlds to...more
Andres
Finally the end! All is revealed!

Really though, everything is explained in this final volume (as you would hope). And while on the surface it is a satisfying conclusion, it may just be the natural high in reaction to finishing the darn thing. Some 3300 pages and it's done!

As I mentioned in reviews about the first three parts, verbiage is plentiful and there are plenty of maddening delays in answer giving. Then, when the answers come, they are heavy in info dumping exposition. Aren't we ever happ...more
Peter
A wonderful, climactic conclusion of a great story: It's essential you read the first three books because the story is continuous. Tad Williams amazes you by his ability to bring together all the ingredients of the previous three books and then tie them up very neatly indeed! There have been largely eight different narratives going on in the previous three books and they all come together without the process being contrived or predictable. Added to that, there is real pace in the story. I couldn...more
David
God, this was big, she [Renie] thought... Page 896, Vol IV of Otherland.

Renie, I couldn't agree more! It was big in many ways: ambition, scope of imagination, depth of characterization and like !Xabbu's stories, there are 'big' points to ponder.

The story is complex and satisfying. Each thread is tied up nicely and without being too trite, each getting what they deserve.

Some might find the enormous quantity of text to plow through daunting, but it gave each facet of this story enough room to dev...more
Michael Walkden
Mar 27, 2013 Michael Walkden rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: George Walkden
3.5 stars, really, but I'm rounding up because of the overall strength of the series.

Sea of Silver Light is a very slow starter - and a slow finisher, for that matter. Like the other Otherland books, it's far longer than it needs to be; I genuinely feel that it could be cut down by two thirds without losing much of value. Doubtless, die-hard fans would disagree, and this is the main reason why I can't count myself among them. Still, a very enjoyable and appropriately immersive series.
Steph Cushman
This entire series is really good. Its fun to read because of all the different environments and adventures they have but the last bit of this book is WAY OUT THERE!!! Big-brain-in-the-sky type of stuff. Its worth reading the entire series though because it doesn't get WAY OUT THERE until the last 100 pages of this final book.
Adobe
I really loved the first book of the Otherland quartet, City of Golden Shadow, which was deliriously crammed with cool ideas about the near future and old culture. Which is why Sea of Silver Light leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth: on its own, it would just be a grey slog with painstakingly explains its every charm into the ground, but as the culmination of a once promising series, it's an insult. There is no lacking for closure in this book; closure lurks around every corner, but the offer...more
Jo Rothbaum
Hated this series, even felt p@#$%d that the author had me coming back for more. By the time I got to this book I gave up, too much detail not enough momentum in the story. I didn't actually care what happened at the end as I was so over it!!!
Sarah
I read this book years ago, and now just reread it. It can be very slow moving at times and hard to motivate yourself to pick it back up.

It really only gets exciting in the second half, when FINALLY you start to get answers to all the questions that have been building up over the last 3 and a half books. I feel like the books were too long. Too much time focused and wasted on different and unneccesary simulation worlds.

It was so long, that i got the impression that the author even forgot what h...more
Dan
Sea of Silver Light was an awesome conclusion to the Otherland series and Williams really pulls out all the stops on this story. Definitely read if you've read up to this point in the series. But having said that...

SPOILERS

I love this book enough to give it five stars but there are points where Williams also makes me want to throw it across the room. I'll explain:

The Good:
-Pretty much the whole story. I know some complain about Williams writing "filler" but personally the journey is what counts...more
Jake
Sea of Silver Light wraps up Tad Williams Otherland series, a four-volume science fiction story that runs about 4000 pages all told.

Set in a near future world, Otherland tells the story of a group of people who, for one reason or another, are drawn to investigate a mysterious online network that appears to be involved in/responsible for a number of children falling into comas around the world. Williams’ creates a very large cast, and a very intricate plot, which I will not even attempt to summar...more
Nick Leshi
"We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger." -- Tad Williams

One of my favorite modern speculative fiction writers is Tad Williams. Best known for his groundbreaking fantasy series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, I first discovered his writing by reading his equally impressive science fiction series Otherland.

I'm a big fan of myths and...more
Patricia Hamill
An exciting conclusion, I loved it.

Everything falls apart at the close of Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3), and now the unlikely heroes of the Otherland system are scattered far and wide in the heart of the dying operating system and beyond. Renie, !Xabbu, and Fredericks are stuck with unlikely allies in the evil Felix Jongleur and the brain damaged Ricardo Klement. But even this tenuous partnership is shattered when the virtual world shatters, and Renie finds herself stranded in an amorph...more
Rebecca Hill
The final book in this series and I guess I had high expectations. While the first 90% was fabulous. Great nodes the characters went through, interesting plot and character twists and conclusions to some of the story lines. However, I found some of the ending conclusions a little too far fetched to be enjoyable. Strange, considering the pills of fantasy which had to be swallowed to get through the series in the first place. Nevertheless, stopping before the last few chapters would have been the...more
Will
Tad Williams is a talented fantasy author who was trying a bit of sci-fi here, with his Otherland series. His storytelling is great, his characters are wonderful, and his sci-fi vision of a world not to far in the future is an interesting and worthwhile read in itself.

Two small complaints: 1. He still relies on the occasional fantasy element that doesn't fit into this world very well (supernatural abilities in the "real world" segments of the book, one character "feels" another character die, an...more
Nikki
The Otherland series by Tad Williams consists of four books: City of Golden Shadow, River of Blue Fire, Mountain of Black Glass and Sea Of Silver Light. I'm not going to review each one separately, just talk about my general impressions of the whole. Sci-fi isn't really my genre, though I do love it, so I can't speak for accuracy of the technology described or anything -- just my reactions to the plot and characters. The series isn't one you get into lightly. The books average about 1000 pages e...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...
The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1) Stone of Farewell (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #2) To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3) City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1) To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3; Part 2)

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“After all, is it not the way we humans shape the universe, shape time itself? Do we not take the raw stuff of chaos and impose a beginning, middle, and end on it, like the simplest and most profound of folktales, to reflect the shapes of our own tiny lives? And if the physicists are right, that the physical world changes as it is observed, and we are its only known observers, then might we not be bending the entire chaotic universe, the eternal, ever-active Now, to fit that familiar form?” 15 likes
“Stories are the things people use to give the universe a shape...there is little difference between a folktale, a religous revelation, and a scientific theor” 1 likes
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