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Otherland 4: Sea Of Silver Light: Sea of Silver Light Bk. 4 Hardcover – 19 Apr 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First UK EDITION edition (19 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857239911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857239911
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 6.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

With Sea of Silver Light, Tad Williams completes his massive Otherland quartet, one of SF's more intriguing explorations of the eroding boundaries of the human and the non-human, the living and the dead. Otherland is a sequence that contains many secrets, and Williams plays fair by unpacking all of them in the final book. A group of adventurers, searching for a cure for comatose children, find themselves trapped in a sequence of virtual worlds, the only opponents of a conspiracy of the rich to live forever in a dream. Now, they are forced to make an uneasy alliance with their only surviving former enemy against his treacherous sidekick Johnny Wulgaru, a serial killer with a chance to play god forever.

Williams manages a vast cast of emotionally involving characters with considerable panache, but the real strength of the book is its endlessly questing intelligence; it is, among other things, an enquiry into the nature of story-telling as a way that human beings give structure to their perceptions of the universe around them. It is as story that Sea of Silver Light ultimately works so well--involving us in the gruelling descent of a vast mountain, the siege of an underground fortress, gun-battles in a nightmare Wild West. Williams never neglects to tell us how things feel. He efficiently ties up every plot strand and convincingly reveals every secret in this large complex plot. --Roz Kaveney

Book Description

The breathtaking conclusion to one of the most exciting and imaginative SF/fantasy series of all time.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you've made it this far, you know what's going on (and if you don't, there are pages and pages of story-so-far synopsis to fill you in). The real question is, does it work? More to the point, does it truly require over 1200 pages to wrap up a tale that's already three volumes old?
The answers are interlinked: it works, mostly, but it wavers severely, and mainly because of that overlong running time.
Things are spiralling out of control, both in the network and in the real world, and our various heroes and villains are fighting a losing battle against time, desperately trying to complete their tasks before everything ends...
...Or so we're told, repeatedly; but there's little sense of urgency communicated to the reader by chapter after chapter of characters slogging their way through a fading landscape. Much of this is little different from the episodic adventure/trudge of the previous two books. Sadly, the wonder evoked palls with each new virtual world (yes, yet more!), and you can't help but wonder why someone at the editing stage didn't whisper in Williams' ear about the law of diminishing returns. The prose is fluid and enjoyable enough - there's just far too much of it. Similar may be said of the characters; a third of them could be ditched without either the story or its themes suffering unduly. The exploration of the true nature of the Other is fascinating, but again, the same meditations could have been condensed without losing anything of value.
There is a huge and wonderful imagination at work here, and the near-future world Williams has created retains the power to enthral and amuse (the 'Netfeed' snippets at the top of each chapter remain one of the best bits of the book, especially the one for the final chapter).
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Format: Paperback
A mostly strong and absorbing conclusion to the series, with all the subplots finally wound together. The book has a few weak points - which is why it only gets 4 stars - but these are only minor flaws.
It has one of the best representations of a villain (Jongleur) I've seen in a science fiction book - believeable, understandable and completely loathsome, the kind of person you pray you'll never become. It has some very fine writing, including one particularly powerful scene that made me cry. And it continues its theme of 'if virtual life becomes indistinguishable from real life, how will we know what is real?'- to the point where some characters discover that they were searching for the unreal.
I would strongly advise that you read the other 3 volumes first, as this is really the last quarter of an extremely long (3000 page) novel, rather than part of a series. I would also say that this truly mammoth read is well worth it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the final volume in a four-book series. I've been waiting eagerly for this to publish - and had the book pre-ordered so it would arrive as soon as humanly possible. The whole series has had me absolutely gripped from the start, and this final volume is no exception. The story picks up where the last volume (Mountain of Black Glass) left off, and all the favourite characters are there. The plot twists and turns through some touching and terrifying scenes. There are some very clever and unexpected connections and links - and the result is compulsive reading. It had me torn in two directions - I wanted to read the book as quickly as possible, as the characters and structure are so compelling. On the other hand, I was enjoying the book so much I wanted to savour every word, so I kept trying to slow down by rationing myself to 50pp a day. I failed miserably and read the final 450pp yesterday. Wondeful stuff.
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Format: Paperback
In the words of Orlando's hero, this is one that "stumbled at the end of the road." The author, after maintaining a more-or-less consistently excellent standard throughout the previous three volumes, seems to have almost lost heart over this last, and what should by all accounts have been the capstone and crowning acheivement of the series has come out pretty much as a damp squib.
While by no means actively bad in itself, this book seems to have gone significantly astray from the foundation of that which went before, and the superb command of plot and character which characterised the earlier volumes simply isn't there any more in this one. The reader is given the very real feeling in some parts that the author himself has tired of the series (not unreasonable, given the seven yers elapsed from the beginning of the project), and simply wishes to get the book over with as soon as possible.
The denouments, when they come, of the mysteries which have been dogging our footsteps since the beginning, come across in the event as rushed and ill-planned, and some give the distinct impression of the author having changed his mind at the last minute.
I could go on, but that wouldn't really be the point. In itself, the book is fine; it sins only by omision, in failing to live up to its predecessors. Buy it, if only to find out the answers to your questions, but don't expect too much from the writing, and be prepared for disappointment.
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By A Customer on 28 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
One of the few authors I buy in hardback (ever since To Green Angel Tower), this was a truly addictive series, like many others I pre-ordered this to make sure I got my fix as quickly as possible!
From the moment you pick the book up, you are completely immersed. Tad Williams writes such complex stories that the denouement takes up at least 300 pages. Thats what's so addictive, you can feel the conclusion coming yet there's another few hundred pages to go.
When you finish any of Tad Williams' books, you have to come down again - the immersion is so complete. You almost start thinking as if you were one of the characters.
Juts one warning though - your arms will be aching by the time you've finished this!
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