River of Blue Fire (Otherland Series #2)

River of Blue Fire (Otherland Series #2)

by Tad Williams

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Second book in New York Times-bestselling author Tad Williams's cyberpunk fantasy series • “Tad Williams is the brightest and best of the fantasists.” ―Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods 

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 worlds.

But 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 blood...where insects are as large and deadly as dinosaurs...where they are caught in the war between a man made of straw and one made of tin...where cartoon ads take on a life of their own...where humans strive to survive in the aftermath of an alien invasion...and 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101551240
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 07/01/1998
Series: Otherland Series , #2
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 117,151
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer firm. He is cofounder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well. Tad and his family live in London and the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Tad Williams at tadwilliams.com. 

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River of Blue Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Astralwolf More than 1 year ago
I read the first book in this series exactly 10 years ago. I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I loved the world that Williams' vision of virtual reality made possible. Then I got to the end, or lack thereof, threw the book down in disgust and it wallowed at the back of my bookshelf for a decade. Call me silly, but I like my books to have at least some form of resolution to at least something that is going on. I want more questions answered than raised. Cue 2011, when I'm finally done with school and have more time to read. And I figure my patience is much more improved. I guess not. I got about 80 pages into this books, and realized that nothing had really happened yet. And a giant bug world? Really? I could tell I was in for another long haul of crazy dreamscapes with a slower-than-glacial-movement plot. Virtual reality is wild and exciting, I get it. And all so that we can find out the Grail Brotherhood fuels their world by siphoning human consciousness, or something weird and basic that does not warrant four books to get there- what a marketing ploy. After a couple chapters of giant bugs that had nothing to do with anything, I quickly stopped caring about who this Brotherhood was or why they were even trapped in the system. If you have a lot of time, are a fast reader so you can actually find out what the end to this abysmally long series is, or are just downright patient, give it a look. Williams has an engaging writing style and a great talent for character creation. If not, go read his one shot, War of the Flowers (one of my favorites).
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first Otherland in the series made very little sense to me until I read River of Blue Fire. It gave the first book a purpose for existing. Tad Williams is a gifted author and he displays his talent by using generous amounts of metaphors and similes. This book is recommended for those who appreciate the art of good literature but if all you want is the bottom line than don't bother to read the Otherland series. btw !Xabbu's monkey avatar reminded me of another sidekick monkey named Boroba who was in a Isabel Allende novel.
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book in this series, see book 1 for the full review. This was still very much worth reading.
dgrayson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
too many characters and things going on, so none are really in enough depth
Finxy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I could say that this is the sequel to City of Golden Shadows but as Tad states he considers Otherland and all its parts to be one huge novel. It's a testament to his writing skill that despite the number of characters and plot strands, I elected to skip over the synopsis and jump right back into the story, despite the eight months or so that passed for me between the two books. All the characters were still fresh to me and I had no trouble picking up were it had left off. I identify most with Orlando, his disability being not dissimilar from my own SMA Type III, albeit with in my case a much longer life expectancy. For some this is a virtual odyssey that they might not want to end - myself included.
aleahmarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Otherland, a massive virtual reality network, is composed of an unknown number of worlds. It's funded by a mysterious group of the wealthy and powerful who call themselves Grail Brotherhood; and, though nothing is clear, the primary purpose of the Brotherhood seems to be the maintenance of their own long lives... even at the expense of countless other. Across the globe children are going into medically inexplicable comas, including Renie Sulaweyo's little brother Stephen. Renie suspects that Stephen's strange illness is somehow connected to Otherland. Renie and her friend, a South African bushman named !Xabbu, sneak into the Otherland network in hopes of saving Stephen. Once in they find they are not alone in their search, nor is the Otherland network all that it appears to be.Tad Williams has created an elaborate virtual reality landscape in this, his second installment of the Otherland series. I'm enjoying these stories as a delightful mix of fantasy and science fiction, two of my favorite genres. Most of the story occurs on a virtual reality network, yet each of the "worlds" (or VR servers) are as whimsical and imaginative as any fantasy novel. Warning: This book is not for the easily distracted. At one point I counted as many as nine (yes, NINE) separate storylines. I enjoy an overly complex plot as much as the next sci-fi/fantasy nerd, but even I found myself unsettled by all the jumping around.Still, with that caveat, I'm really looking forward to book three.
leld on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very ambitious series, that delivers quite well. Lots of details and storylines. I suggest reading the series without stopping for very long between books. Wonderful world creation and storytelling. Great character work. The whole thing is staggering.
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over 3000 pages of great reading. Scifi at its best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot is just so thick and there are so many story lines that are interwoven yet still connect to one another to create a complex storyline that keeps me guessing and wondering how it will end. I usually like fantsy books but for a book with no swords or elves i have to admit i still find it an immensely enjoyable series :) i kniw the first quarter of the first book seems odd and unappealing but stick with it the book! It only gets better and better, just fight through the beginning and i promise you will be rewarded for your efforts.
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Make a nest for her and he kits
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tad Williams shines and once again proves his brilliance with developing real people you can invest in
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