Paul Jonas is playing in the virtual world he sees a golden city. That world is too detailed and perfect to be virtual. After this encounter, Jonas obsesses over this world and tries to get back to it. His friends think he has gone crazy as Jonas loses interest in everything else to get back to the golden city.
We also meet another character named Irene “Renie” Sulaweyo” She teaches virtual reality programming and is teaching her student !Xabbu. Renie’s younger brother has fallen into a coma after playing in virtual reality. Now it is up to her to figure out what happened to her brother in the virtual world and how to bring him back.
After looking into a club where her brother and his friend snuck into, Renie thinks she is onto something. She has to use the resources around her and her new friendships to solve the mystery around her brother’s mysterious coma. If she can’t solve the mystery, nobody can.
City of Golden Shadow was originally called Otherland. Most likely because it became a series, that name was changed. Before you dive into this book, I have to warn you it is a long novel. There are 770 pages in hardback and 960 pages in paperback.
Even though it is a long novel, it is enjoyable. The world building by Williams is worth reading and his take on virtual reality is great. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers, virtual reality fans and fans of world building.