Aleah's Reviews > Sea of Silver Light

Sea of Silver Light by Tad Williams
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's review
May 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from May 19 to June 06, 2011

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 network that is powered by a nearly sentient operating system known as the Other. Its architects? A secretive group of affluent and aged elites who refer to themselves as the Grail Brotherhood. In an attempt to save Stephen, Renie and her friend, !Xabbu, find a way into this exclusive network. Once in Otherland the pair discover others on similar quests... and one whose ambitions are the stuff of nightmares. Our adventurers soon learn that they are trapped in the Otherland and, although the environments are simulated, the dangers are all too real.

My take:
I had a great time following the characters as they progressed through their adventures in this series. They were an interesting and diverse collection of protagonists and their various relationships (both romantic and not) tugged at my heartstrings. My favorite character was Orlando, a teenager suffering from the late stages of Progeria. Orlando uses the virtual reality environment of the Net to experience a freedom that he was denied in his dying body. I don't want to give too much away, but I feel that Orlando was the true hero of this series.

The virtual world where most of this story takes place allowed Williams to stretch the boundaries of science fiction. Purely fantastical worlds existed in an entirely science fiction based virtual reality environment, making for a fun mix of the genres. The best of both worlds in my humble opinion. The plot is delightfully intricate and the page count just goes on and on. Loved it.
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