Very long. I'm only on page 123 out of 770 pages. -- SunirShah
Now I'm done. See VirtualReality for rant about its poor use of VR to actually do anything. Indeed, it seems to only use VR as a gimmick to pull near future characters into a fantasy world. It sticks to the "oh, hey, we can kill you in VR" gimmick, but with a twist: inexplicably (and conveniently), the characters are stuck in the VR fantasyland without access to their controls. Of course, you can't leave VR without dropping the connection (why can't you just remove your goggles?). Not technologically stringent.
The characters in the novel range from one to two dimensional. While there are a lot of characters, there are a lot of pages to develop them. However, instead of going further with the characters, TadWilliams just repeated the same scenario over and over again. Ridiculous outburst by Renie tempered by hand on shoulder from !Xabbu. Now repeat in another 100 pages.
Also, it's one of those series of novels without containment. The end of the book is not the end of a story, much like LordOfTheRings?. In fact, there was a cute but pathetic reference to the Council of Elrond near the end, as if to hide the sadness of using the same formula again. Be prepared to slog through all 3000 pages (which aren't completed yet). I haven't decided to buy the rest. I never got through LordOfTheRings? either, though. -- SunirShah
Well, it was designed as one volume, but had to be broken into four parts due to the length. Also, certain interfaces in the book (neurocannulas) plug directly into your brain, and can mislead your sense of touch so that you cannot find the jack. Also, there is a reason for other users to be trapped online, with more basic equipment. It is revealed in volume four, Sea of Silver Light. However, I will not reveal it because it is something of a spoiler.--MichaelKirsch
I read this book about a year ago. It was enjoyable, but it isn't totally a cyberpunk-style book like SnowCrash. There are long sections that are essentially pure fantasy. (This is a good thing if you like a good fantasy.) --CliffordAdams
I have only read the first book, 700 pages. Have no idea how many tomes there are...It is long, so perfect for holiday times. But not a book I will read 10 times certainly. Yeah, personna tend to be shallow, but I would have loved to practice Orlando type of games, rather than painfully fighting with my internet connection and the noise of the computer. Still stuck in reality :-)