John Lawson's Reviews > City of Golden Shadow

City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams
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's review
Jan 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: dark-fantasy, sci-fi-fantasy
Read from October 20, 2010 to January 12, 2011

This book started out fantastic, with a prologue about a shell-shocked WWI soldier somehow getting pulled into an alternate reality. Like a new spin on the Matrix theme, I was really interested to see how an early 20th century man would deal with high tech concepts like VR and AI. Unfortunately, this isn't where the book took the story, and after the prologue it became a very typical near-future, mid-sci-fi, the-VR-world-is-more-real-than-the-real-one plot. The WWI soldier is revisited only every fourth chapter or so, but it wasn't nearly often enough to hold my interest.

The worst part of the book is that the character given the most focus is the absolutely least sympathetic, most antagonistic, aggravating person to ever cross a page as a "hero". I found no common ground with her and really couldn't care less about her problems. In fact, by the end of the book, I'm kind of rooting for the villains simply because I know them winning would really piss her off.

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