[ Pdf River of Blue Fire â anglo-saxon PDF ] by Tad Williams ✓ I struggled with this I finished it, then started the next one I m halfway through that, and you know what I just don t care any I m going to stop without reading the last book and a half The thing I like about sci fi is internally consistent worlds that the reader has to work out This is just page after page of wouldn t it be cool if and then they woke up rambling.
When last we left Our Heroes, they were caught in the Otherland an immense virtual reality program built by people with money than God with no idea where to go and no idea what to do They were lost, confused and had no way out.
Oh yes back before Neo got his clock punched by Agent Smith, Renie, Xabbu, Orlando, Fredericks and all the other Otherland explorers discover that they are in danger than they realize if they die on the network, then they ll die in real life And, almost right out of the gate, people start dying Whether they re tiny biologists living among the ants or a lifetime gamer warring against the different factions of a twisted Oz, they die in unpleasant and, ultimately real ways And it s up to our heroes to not only avoid death themselves, but also to figure out what the hell they re supposed to be doing in there.
One of the things I like about this series is that Tad Williams openly admits to stealing er, paying homage to the great writers of the past At the end of book one, when all the main characters have been gathered together and are being told about the great dangers they will face, and how they are part of a plan to defeat the Grail Brotherhood and their Nefarious Scheme, most of the people there want nothing to do with it It s up to Orlando Gardiner, our young barbarian warrior slash progeriac teenager to say, Hey, this the the Council of Elrond We have a mission here Unfortunately, while the Fellowship of the Ring gets a clear mission before leaving Rivendell, the Otherland explorers are scattered before they know what to do, and their main goal is to run for their lives As this book progresses, they start to learn about the vast Otherland network, what its nature is and why it was made They also learn that it is unstable, and possibly a living thing in its own right.
Almost immediately, the group gets split up That is, as all ensemble writers know, the best way to really build a meaty story, and it works really well here Unfortunately, while there are three groups, the strongest and most interesting characters get put into two of them Orlando and Fredericks get sent off into a world bizarre than any online gaming ever prepared them for Renie and Xabbu end up in a horribly twisted version of The Wizard of OZ, if Oz had invaded Kansas, taken over, and started a three way fight between the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man.
This leaves us with the third and largest group being somewhat less interesting than the others Not completely, of course we have a blind woman who can sense the information flow of the simulation, a teenage net freak who only speaks in online slang, a campy death clown named Sweet William, a Chinese grandmother and an abrasive German woman They re not bad characters by any means, and each one is special in his or her own right It s just that most of them were introduced later in the first book, and so we ve had less time to get to know them Putting a familiar character in that group might have made them interesting, or it might have overshadowed them Who knows One thing that the third group has, however, is a secret one of them is not who he or she appears to be One of them has been co opted by the sociopathic assassin, Dread The only one with the freedom to go on and offline at will, he has nearly godlike power at his fingertips And he intends to use it.
I can imagine that Tad Williams had a great deal of fun working out these novels, mainly because he created a concept that allowed for incredible freedom in world building After all, on a super powerful VR platform, any conceivable simulation can be created So whether it is the mythical land of Xanadu, a cartoon kitchen where the groceries come to life at night, a world where people fly like birds, or the legendary land of Ithaca, the settings in these books are only limited to what Williams can think up and work with What s really interesting is that he seems to take great pleasure in reminding us that we are, in fact, reading a story he goes so far as to have one character reflect on exactly what kind of character he is People are reminding themselves that they re not in a story, even though they are, and at the same time recognizing that the entire structure of their virtual universe is patterned on the rules of fiction It s a strange type of meta fiction that rewards the careful reader.
So, as the book comes to a close, we have some new threads to follow The Otherland explorers begin to find their purpose and learn about their situation We ve met a strange type of character which exists in many worlds at once the beautiful, birdlike woman who tries to help Paul Jonas and Orlando Gardiner find their way the horrible Twins, whose only job is to pursue Paul Jonas wherever he may go These people can be found around any corner, and the outcome of meeting them is always uncertain.
Offline, real world investigations into the mysterious comas that afflict children begin to bear fruit a young lawyer named Catur Ramsey is trying to help the parents of Orlando and Fredericks find out what happened to their children, and the search leads him to a strange woman, Olga Pirofski, who may have a vital clue Renie s father involves himself with some very dangerous people indeed The police in Sydney find themselves working on a five year old murder case that will eventually lead them to the malicious assassin hacker Dread A mysterious group called The Circle makes itself known to a select few, and reveals its mission to oppose the Lords of the Otherland and their relentless pursuit of immortality All through this, those Lords of the Otherland struggle amongst themselves to see who will ultimately control it.
The tale becomes stranger with the telling, but I can guarantee you ll be good and ready to jump right into book three.
Otherland In Many Ways It Is Humankind S Most Stunning Achievement A Private, Multidimensional Universe Built Over Two Generations By The Greatest Minds Of The Twenty First Century But This Most Exclusive Of Places Is Also One Of The World S Best Kept Secrets, Created And Controlled By An Organization Made Up Of The World S Most Powerful And Ruthless Individuals, A Private Cartel Known To Those Who Know Of Their Existence At All As The Grail Brotherhood Though Their Purpose In Creating Otherland Is Still A Mystery, It May Not Remain So For Long For They Have Exacted A Terrible Price From Humanity In The Process, And Even Their Highly Organized Global Conspiracy Cannot Hide The Nature Of Their Crimes Forever And Now A Small Band Of Adventurers Has Penetrated The Veil Of Secrecy That Prevents The Uninitiated From Entering Otherland But Having Broken Into The Amazing Worlds Within Worlds That Make Up This Universe, They Are Trapped, Unable To Escape Back To Their Own Flesh And Blood Bodies In The Real World And As Dangers And Circumstances Split Their Party Into Small, Widely Scattered Groups, Their Only Hope Of Reuniting Lies In Returning Again And Again To The River That Flows In One Form Or Another Through All The WorldsBut The Odds Seem To Be Completely Against Them As They And The One Outsider With Whom They Might Join Forces Become Hopelessly Lost In Realms Where An Ice Age Tribe S Fears Can Only Be Quenched In Bloodwhere Insects Are As Large And Deadly As Dinosaurswhere They Are Caught In The War Between A Man Made Of Straw And One Made Of Tinwhere Cartoon Ads Take On A Life Of Their Ownwhere Humans Strive To Survive In The Aftermath Of An Alien Invasionand Where One Among Their Party Is Actually The Grail Brotherhood S Most Terrifying Weapon A Sociopathic Killer Who Has Never Failed And Whose Current Mission Is To Make Certain That Not Even One Member Of This Little Invasion Force Lives Long Enough To Reveal The Truth About Otherland To The People Of Earth Executive Summary Slow start, and many slow places throughout The good parts make up for a lot of it, but for that reason I m rounding my 3.
5 stars down.
Audio book Another great job by George Newbern He definitely Full Review I really enjoyed the first book Not so much for the characters, but for the setting and the cool ideas I ve always loved the idea of virtual worlds, and Mr Williams made an excellent blend of Fantasy and Sci Fi that seemed to hit my buttons in the right way.
Unfortunately, the the cool ideas of the first one weren t enough to overcome some slowness, and the characters were important to my enjoyment of the book I found some of them annoying, or uninteresting, and it made their plotlines a bit slower Renie who I enjoyed in the first book, got on my nerves at times Thankfully Xabbu was there to help that story along The most interesting plotline for me was probably Orlando, though Paul s story was pretty good as too The rest of them I found good at times, and very slow at times It felt like there were far too many POVs this go around I guess with a 4 book door stopper series like this, that s to be expected, but I feel some of it could have been tightened up.
Much of this book seemed to be a way for Mr Williams to live out fantasy of worlds he d like to visit explore from history and or fiction I suspect if he chose worlds that I found fascinating, I d have enjoyed those parts much I found the time spent in bug land particularly tedious.
Yet somehow despite all this, I still enjoyed the book The ideas and the overarching story have its hooks into me I want to know what happens next I will definitely be picking up the third book once my audio time frees up a little I m just hoping the pace of the story picks up in the next book.
This is a great series and the second book does not disappoint I can t recommend this series highly enough.
8 10In the second book of the series Tad Williams continues to impress as he has added characters than the previous book, worlds and much incredible ideas combining them all into a complex, and weirder, story where only himself could have made.
The story continues right where the previous one left of with Williams expanding his world building, making it even greater than what he showed in the first book, and with the protagonists going through incredible, and unbelievable, adventures while in the meantime some revelations start coming about the plans of their enemies and what they re, ultimately, after.
Of course the book has also some problems, though small, as I felt that the story drags a bit than it needed mostly in the middle of the book , but as it goes on it becomes and better and with the ending having a really good cliffhanger while Williams leaves a lot of promises for the next books.
Overall I can say that, besides its few flaws, I m quite pleased of how this book turned out in the end, as also with Williams writing that I m starting to believe that he actually fits better with Sci Fi stories.
I think I ll try to write a review for every book I read from now on I know not many read this probably, but it s good to put my thoughts somewhere I will also keep every review as spoiler free as possible, so don t worry about anything major being said here With all this said here is my first daily review, Otherland River of Blue FirePROS Similar to the first book, Otherland has managed to make me use my imagination is ways that I never have before The idea of the Net has allowed Williams to create a sort of surreal environment The stakes are higher in the this book, there s action, and the story CONS So far, I ve been pretty disappointed with the antagonists For two whole books, all we ve really gotten is the same old rich and powerful want to take over the world kinda of scenario And quite frankly, I m getting a bit tired of this Sure, we have a couple people who we re supposed to hate like Dread, and maybe Osiris It also seems like Nemesis is going to play a big role Still, I haven t developed the level of hate yet for these people that I normally feel for your typical villains Hopefully in the next two novels we ll get something deeper than rich and power are bad Another problem I have with this novel is the lack of story progression I loved tumbling through the various simluations with the characters While this was all fun, I felt it didn t exactly end up anywhere Overall 4 5 Enjoyable, but takes its timeThe second installment of the Otherland series by Tad Williams picks up where the last leaves off The heroes gathered by Mr Sellers at the Golden City narrowly escape into another simulation, one that seems perfectly normal except that they are now 1 100th their real size Gigantic insects and birds populate the world, going about their natural activities, but those are hazardous when you re the size of the next meal Soon, events beyond their control shatter the small company and each remnant must find its own way through the increasingly disturbing simulations Renie and Xabbu find themselves in Oz gone wrong where they meet a mysterious man who can overcome the rules of the simulation and a naive young girl named Emily who needs rescuing Meanwhile, Orlando and Fredericks find themselves in the kitchen sink of a cartoon simulation Soon, they are drawn into a quest to save a baby match yes, a match called Little Spark from evildoers who have kidnapped him for nefarious reasons The river becomes a stream of spilled water where Orlando, Fredericks and Chief Strike Anywhere s the match s father lives are threatened by ravenous salad tongs that call the river home.
Shortly after Orlando and Fredericks are swept away, the others find themselves in a world where the river takes on the form of a jet stream, where flight is as natural as walking Martine becomes the voice of this segment of the group, keeping a log of what s happening and to whom The mystery of who is Dread takes hold as several of her log entries note anomalous behavior by various members, a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end.
Finally, Paul Jonas continues his quest for the mysterious winged woman who haunts his dreams Plagued by the tireless Twins, once known as Finch and Mullet, he runs from simulation to simulation, some quite horrifying Gally, a kid who is neither puppet part of the program or citizen human guest makes another appearance but fails to recognize Paul from before.
In the real world , the family and friends of those trapped play out their own dramas Jeremiah is dismayed with Long Joseph abandons him to see his son who is still in the hospital Christabel worries for her friend, Mr Sellers, who has taken Cho Cho, a scary street boy as his assistant Catur Ramsey, a lawyer representing the Gardinar and Fredericks families, tracks down leads, including the skittish agent, Beezle Bug, who seems to want to help but cannot do so without his comatose master s permission, and one of the stars of a popular kids show on the net And in Australia, a detective takes a closed case as a personal challenge and begins to unravel a mystery that may reveal the earliest conquest of a serial killer.
A common theme throughout is the feeling of hopelessness, despair, and perhaps even boredom of both those trapped in Otherland and those in the real world It s difficult at times to believe that things will get better.
The River of Blue Fire is complex, vivid, and at times scary The action is intense and hard to predict, which is something I like in a story, and the characters are well developed and interesting On the other hand, this book reminds me of The Two Towers, by J.
R Tolkien, in that it s a continuation of a story in progress, sort of like a bridge There is no true beginning or ending, though certain plot elements are resolved along the way Like Tolkien, the story isn t rushed and in some places seems to linger just a bit too long The length of the book and the pace may be daunting to those who are unprepared for it If you have trouble finishing The Lord of the Rings or Battlefield Earth, you might have trouble finishing The Otherland series.
Overall, however, I really liked this story I would recommend it to anyone who likes epic fantasy, epic sci fi, or the idea of living in a fantastic, yet unpredictable, virtual world.
So, this one goes straight onto the favourites shelf becuase this continuation turned this series from one I really liked into one I loved The story picks up straight after the ending of the previous book, and I really loved seeing the instant re immersion.
Some of the elements of this series which I most enjoy The blend of Sci Fi Fantasy elements into a convincing, bizarre and fun world filled with exciting scenes The characters there are SO MANY great characters within this series from Renie Xabbu to Martine who really developed a lot for me in this one with the addition of her diary entries and backstory to Orlando and Fredricks a gamer pair who are great friends to Cristabel a young girl and the narrative is told from her world view so you see everything through a lens of innocence to Paul the lost wanderer to all the others We honestly get to meet so many fabulous characters and I loved all the plotlines which is marvellous becuase it s a long book The pacing I know for some people a slower story isn t what they like to see, but I find myself falling and in love with super chunky books and stories if they are done well and spend the slow plot time to develop characters worlds The imaginative worlds This story is set in a world where VR Virtual Reality is a huge part of day to day life and some of the ultra high tech is so capable of simulation that it s virtually like you re in another world We pass through all sorts of crazy places within this story Some of my favourites being the Emlar land where all the Emilies live, the War of the Worlds version of London and the giant Kitchen world you can see they re a bit crazy We definitely see a lot of travelling in this book and see our character encountering all manner of creatures, cartoons and manifestations in these wacky worlds The plot we re following a group of characters who are trapped on the Net and travelling through various Sims The plot didn t ever feel too drawn out for me especially if you compare it to something like Malazan or Wheel of Time both super long yet I enjoy both a lot and I found myself speeding through the majority of the audiobook which is excellent by the way in a day when I was travelling The diverse elements we have characters from all walks of life and from all over the world Although it s set in South Africa predominantly when we follow the characters of Xabbu and Renie, we also have an Englishman, Frenchwoman, Australian people and much I also love that we have people from vastly different cultures even within the same country like Xabbu who is from a Bushamen tribe and has excellent stories to tell about this The fun this story truly is that I feel as though we re always encountering new things and it s always a little on the crazy side We get to see God like beings ruling over their own specially crafted domains, meet the three blind mice and the scarecrow from Oz, and a world where everyone has the same name All of this, and much , made this into a crazy story but one I always knew was filled with vibrant, imaginative ideas.
Overall I really, really loved this I whizzed through the book and I devoured it, and I NEED to go into the next book and final book really, really soon I just found this to be a book which I loved from start to end, and I think it really worked out well for me at the time to be travelling and binge reading this 5 s and I will certainly saw this is a series which stays on your mind and is just filled with life Highly recommend this story Filler.
The first novel was long, but it was unraveling a mystery This is just the main characters being herded through sim after sim, with a few character in the real world having enough screen time to be reminded that they exist It gets old, because it s not necessary to the plot.
1 A character Paul Jonas or team of them Rennie, Xabbu land in a sim word reminding us of something, sometimes blatantly.
2 They get captured or chased.
3 They leave to the next.
This is the bulk of the book What s left is 4 Plot events that don t have any real resolution.
5 Introducing even characters, like a police detective hunting Dread, or a virtual actor.
6 A very tiny amount of plot events that set up real difficulties.
The problem with this is that there are three books in the series If this were setting up the last volume, it could be forgiven But this is just a middle, filler novel, and is souring me on the series It s still very well written, to the point where each sim could be its own novel There are times when some great moments peek through Xabbu as always is a wonderful character, and each character is different enough not to blur together.
Still, the sheer amount of running in place is frustrating, and the fact that this wont be neatly tied up in a third volume reduces the rating I give These are not slender books at all.