Reviews of City of Golden Shadow (1996)
Review by japuckett (2007-12-25)
While technically pure sci-fi, this extremely detailed, well-written series has a LOT of fantasy elements in it. Unlike many otherwise amazing series, this one has a fully fleshed out ending, leaving one with a complete sense of fulfillment (I don't know what that other reviewer was thinking . . . I thought the conclusion was impressively comprehensive). In this book, "Otherland: City of Golden Shadow," the monstrously huge first installment of the epic extravaganza that is Tad William's Otherland quartet, the author keeps you in the dark on many, many fronts, making you come back again and again to MAYBE find out what the hell is really going on with this character or that world, and how they all relate to one another. Granted, the books are HUGE, and will consume a decent chunk of your time if you are to read them all, but the character development is deeply involved, the world well thought out, and the many different storylines merge together seamlessly. The first three books end in well versed climaxes that manage to leave the reader with a feeling of accomplishment and completion while simultaneously promising an epic adventure just over the next horizon. The fourth, and final, book in the series, "Otherland: Sea of Silver Light," should serve as a textbook on how to successfully end an epic story. While some may view Williams' attention to detail as long-winded, I don't consider it to be anywhere near the rabbit-trailed rantings of some authors -*cough*StephenKing*cough*- and, when all is said and done, I rather enjoyed the immersive depth which allows me to still, over a year later, recall nearly the entire extraordinary epic in vivid detail. For any who are fans of both fantasy AND science fiction, the Otherland series is quite a rare treat indeed. HIGHLY recommended.
Review by dougthonus (2003-03-11)
This is a great book kicking off a good series. It's probably the best of the four, and I was a bit disappointed in the ending of the series, but greatly enjoyed reading the series as a whole. The characters he creates feel very real, and the world he envisions is just possible enough to feel a bit eerie. I'd recommend this series to anyone who's looking for a good non space/alien sci fi book.