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City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams

(28 ratings)

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Submitted by Adunaphel
(Jan 03, 2001)

I found this book was great! It follows different characters, leaving them to their own separate stories and wonderfully brings them together at the end of this first book in this four-book story! Though there is no fulfilling climax in the end, it leaves the characters to finally embark on their quest to thwart the minds behind the Otherland network!The writing and narration is wonderful, and this story contains characters you can actually care about...and villains you can find very original and somewhat likable. A great book!

Submitted by Ben Trigg
(Nov 10, 2000)

WOW!  This book is absolutely incredible.  The plot has been masterfully weaved, full of wonderful characters and brilliant ideas.  It really is worth getting, despite some of the other reviews that are on this site.  In the end it is positively breathtaking.  You will be subdued by it, captivated...in order to retain your sanity (which, clearly, you still have judging by the fact that you are reading a Tad Williams review) then this book (and the reast) is a MUST.

He has a brilliant website: www.tadwilliams.com

Submitted by Silver Light
(Sep 20, 2000)

When I first saw this series in our public library, I was just looking for a new, fun science fiction series. So I picked up this 730 page novel, the first in the series, and didn't expect to be enthralled in it as I am.

I am on the third book now, but I think that this was the best one. The way the stories are all completely seperate and then they all (mostly) come together in such a unique way amazes me. All the characters are so well described, and it feels like you know them. Each chapter is even written almost like from the characters way of talking. It kept me reading even after I wanted to go to sleep or had other things to do. Even though I was very busy, I finished it in about three days.

I recommend this book for someone who doesn't mind waiting for everything to come together, as it still hasn't, and I'm 1/4 through the third. But it'll keep you going, and that's why I return to the library to get the next issue. By all means - get this book!!!

Submitted by eas@hal-pc.org
(Aug 03, 2000)

The book is well-written and engaging, but also shows some of the irritating features common to late 20th c. sci-fi/fantasy.  It's far too long and becomes very involved toward the end with tiresome explanation.  Even for the first book of a four-part series, it lacks any kind of conclusion: the story just breaks off.  Some of the virtual reality scenes are disappointingly under-imagined; they just get wearisome after a while.  As the story goes on the action becomes more and more contrived and I started having trouble taking the whole thing seriously.  The characters spend far too much time thinking and making interior speeches about their feelings, whether they feel good about themselves, or how hard their lives are, etc.  One last point: it displays an almost stereotypical late 20c. American dislike for parents; in this story, absolutely everybody's parents are either dead, drunk, or jerks.  It's an OK book, very competently done, and I enjoy reading books that treat non-white, non-American characters like real people.  But if this is truly the BEST that Sci-fi has to offer these days, then the genre is in trouble.

Submitted by gradius13@hotmail.com
(Feb 25, 2000)

After reading this story, I spend a few hours in meditation trying to decide whether I liked it or
not, and...well I still couldn't decide, so I picked up volume 2 and after completing it I came to
the conclusion that while the story has some interesting content, and the writing has nice form,
the golden city is just not fantastic enough to earn higher than a 4.5 on the 10 scale, this story
is rather dull and aimless. With a little direction and more hints of promising content, this could
be a seriously cool series.

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