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Sea of Silver Light (Otherland #4)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,127 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Few science fiction sagas have achieved the level of critical acclaim-and best-selling popularity-as Tad Williams's Otherland novels. A brilliant blend of SF, fantasy, and technothriller, it is a rich, multilayered epic of future possibilities.
Kindle Edition, 970 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by DAW (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kaitlin
Apr 10, 2016 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
So, this book is the final one in the Otherland series and I am so happy that I have not only finished the series, but also been enthralled the whole way through and excited for the ending. In this final Volume you really start to see all the threads Tad Williams has so far set up coming brilliantly together and all the characters reaching different places...

This story as a whole is set in a world where Virtual reality is not longer and aspiration but rather a part of life. Everyone has a hook-u
...more
Mairead
Apr 17, 2008 Mairead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rob
Executive Summary: This series is a monster, and thankfully after all those hours, it comes to an enjoyable conclusion.

Audio book: Yup, George Newbern is still excellent. I might have liked this series less in text due to the slow parts, but Mr. Newbern really brings the world and it's characters to life in a way that put him up there in the top tier of audiobook narrators for me.

Full Review
This review will be a bit lighter than it probably would have been had I written it a month ago. Time so
...more
Bill
Dec 21, 2011 Bill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
terpkristin
May 29, 2015 terpkristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook from Penguin Audio
Narrated by George Newbern
Length: 37.75 hours

The finale to the Otherland series, Sea of Silver Light wraps up the multitude of story lines that began in City of Golden Shadow. While the book dragged in places, and some may find that the book (and the series, especially in the middle books) wanders a bit too much, it is hard not to appreciate Tad Williams' amazingly prescient series, especially if you're a fan of a) the internet and b) classic literature. It's probably
...more
Mike
Jul 12, 2010 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  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
Christopher
May 06, 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.
Dev Null
Feb 28, 2013 Dev Null rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aleah
Jun 08, 2011 Aleah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Ricky Ganci
Jan 05, 2012 Ricky Ganci rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alexandra
Ein guter Abschluss eines Epos, das insgesamt mehr als 4000 Seiten umfasst und mich nun über 4 Jahre beschäftigt hat.
Die Handlung und die Personen entwickelten sich grossartig weiter, aber ich war doch sehr enttäuscht, dass bei der Konzeption von neuen sehr innovativen VR-Environments die Inspiration im letzten Band massiv verloren ging. Am Ende gibt es die Auflösung aller Handlungsstränge, ein Happy End und ein paar nette Ideen bezüglich der Figuren und ihrer Rollen.

Fazit: Ein sehr guter solid
...more
Hwango
Aug 16, 2009 Hwango rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Phil
Oct 03, 2012 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan
Sep 08, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tara
Mar 28, 2007 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2009 Evilynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, cyber-punk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruthann
Aug 09, 2007 Ruthann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
johanna
Jun 06, 2011 johanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris
Jul 19, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 21, 2010 Andres rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Dec 15, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michele Seroskie
I think the main problem that I had with this book was that for such a gritty, intense series, the ending seemed....too fairytale? Everything and everyone ends up ok and everything works out. It just seems inconsistent with the three giant books of (seemingly meaningless) struggle.
Michael Walkden
Mar 27, 2013 Michael Walkden rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Joe
Jul 28, 2008 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap
This book was a royal mindfuck and I wouldn't have hated it except that the ending was horrible and sucked a barrel of dicks.

That stupid religious lady babbling about the computer star children at the end was one of the fucking stupidest things I have ever read in my life, and I have read a few pages of the Left Behind series.

That having been said there are a couple of really cool explosions, so two stars you get, Mr. Williams. Bravo on at least giving us that much. I guess...
Blind_guardian
May 01, 2016 Blind_guardian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to take a star away for the sheer boredom inspired by the last 100 pages or so; I know there were a lot of subplots to finish tying off, but I rarely have suffered through an epilogue so tedious. The best part of this series took place in a virtual world, and once the characters were no longer trapped there, the wonder went out of the tale and it turned into more of a checklist; this person lived happily ever after, this villain did not, etc etc. The Circle in particular started to grate ...more
Katie
May 16, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Tad Williams. This was a really interesting series. I love how he managed to write something that was tech-heavy, futuristic, sci-fi with an edge of dystopia and at the same time dove into classics, fairy tales, folklore, and crazy marauding fantasy ridiculousness. It was a really interesting use of frame stories. Also, as I've noticed in his other series, Williams creates some seriously fascinating characters-especially the bad guys :)

I also loved considering that this series was written
...more
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.
Jamie Welch
Jun 30, 2016 Jamie Welch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Otherland is the second series that I have read by Tad Williams, and if I wasn't a fan before, I can truly say that I am now. I seem to be drawn to authors who emerge me in rich world building and create complete, whole characters. If it's any author that first comes springs to mind when thinking of these properties, Tad Williams is in the forefront.
This series is an amazing sci-fi that was created long before some classic tropes in sci-fi and fantasy were around. Movies like The Matrix seem to
...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
  • River of Blue Fire (Otherland, #2)
  • Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, #3)

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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?” 19 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
More quotes…