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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(5 star). See all 27 reviews
on May 13, 2001
I sympathize with the reviewer who said that the first few pages of _Virtual Mode_ turned them off of the book. I was given this novel as a gift when I was about eleven or so; I, too, read the opening passage and was disturbed into putting the book away, not touching it again for another year. Yet once I really began to read it, I found myself drawn into a grim reality where even the wonders of magic cannot compensate for the horrors of the human psyche.
I adore the protagonists: Colene, the mentally and emotionally twisted young woman whose attitudes and perceptions have been skewed almost beyond recognition; Darius, a man whose rigid sense of honor threatens to strangle his chances of happiness; Seqiro, Prima, and all the rest. Their conflicts and challenges may not be the stuff of epic fantasy, but they're interesting and can give one food for thought. Most moving of all, at least for me, was the exploration of Colene's emotions, history, and motivations. Anthony doesn't whitewash her situation: she's a deeply disturbed individual, and one who has cause to be that way.
I must admit, though, that as much as I love this book, I couldn't recommend that children--or possibly adolescents--read it without reservations. The folk who've said that it's full of sex are right; further, there's blood, vulgarity, remembered rape, and a host of other such things. While they add to the power of the story, they might (or might not) be considered inappropriate for younger readers. I doubt my mother would have gotten it for me when she did had she known what it was really about... but then, I didn't have any problems understanding it and certainly wasn't traumatized by it.
It's also true that the heroine is awfully young for all of the sexual situations she gets into, and that one could see the portrayal of women as sexist if one really wanted to do so. I personally read and enjoyed the story without worrying about such things, but I think that anyone who says _Virtual Mode_ shows sexism just may have a point. (Anthony *has* begun to disturb me in recent years with his fixation on the sexiness of very, very young women, but that's a subject better reserved for a Xanth review.) If such things offend you, you may wish to give this a skip.
Otherwise, I can say with enthusiasm that I feel _Virtual Mode_ to be a wonderful novel, one whose story and characters have stayed with me for years. Readers who enjoyed Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series may find this one especially appealing, as its resemblance to that saga seems much more pronounced than any to the perpetually punny Xanth.
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on June 23, 2000
Long before the press talk shows or anybody else talked about the ugly secret of cutting Piers Anthony had it here in this book. Collene is very real and is a sounding board for millions of teenage and twenty someting females. More than once I myself felt like Collene was spkeaing things that I have often thought. Mr.Anthony is able to make this book so real by really listing to his readers and using his own story telling genius. From begining to end this book is great. An even though she is confused hurt and brash at times Collene is a rolemodel for today's youth becuase she is just like today's youth. She isn't water down to smooth things over and make things P.C. She is the voice of millions of girls who have wrote to the author and he responed by writing one of the most realist honest and heart felt charters ever put into a book. I've read this book many time and I love it more each time. I glad that the subject that are so "ugly" and swept under the rug were brought up in this book. I can't wait for book number four so I can find out how things turn out with Collene.
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on March 23, 1999
Virtual Mode is one of those novels that really blow my head away. Colene is one of the most realistic characters that I have ever encountered in my life. Her pain and suffering are something that I can relate very well. For those that think that the things that happen to her doesn't happen in real life, well I have bad news for you, they do happen too often for my taste. Rape, depression, suicide, dyfuntional families, etc... are part of the reality of many people right now. Horrible to hear but truth, but what makes Virtual and its main character so humane and wonderful is her spirit to fight in adversity, even though she still is depressed and want to die.
Also the world of the Virtual Mode is amazing!! Piers really create a world full of multitude of realities.
I can't wait for DoOon Mode, the last novel, to know what will happen to Colene and Darius!! I really want them happy!!
I think this is the best series that Piers has written. And it is not a surprise considering that most of the inspiration of Colene come from real life suicidal teenage girls, asking him for help.
So if you haven't started reading this series, do so!! You will never regretted it.
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on July 5, 1998
I admit, at first I was disturbed by the sexual content in this book and the relationship between a 26 year old man and a 14 year old girl. After getting to know Colene, however, I began to relate to her, and I could see exactly how she was feeling and why she did the risky things she did. It took me longer to relate to the age difference; it was a true challenge. This truely is a MATURE book, and it takes a little maturity to understand. In no way is the Colene-Darius relationship "sick" or "perverted." In fact, it is quite the opposite: a portrayal of two people who are deeply in love, willing to go to the ends of the Earth for each other...and willing to wait. If you understand Darius's culture, you will understand his attraction for Colene. But Darius is not a pervert for being attracted to Colene when his culture accepts it. In fact, I have the deepest respect for Darius because of his amazing sense of control over these feelings. I felt that all the characters in this story were strong and respectable, despite the flaws that makes them real. I truely think Anthony was making a statement, and some people have missed it. I know that reading the series has made me a better person and pulled me out of many depressive slumps. On a less defensive approach, I absolutely loved this book, and all the books in the series. I love the plot and I love the characters. I've read the series three times, each time hoping there will be a fourth book coming out when I finish the third. With the characters traveling a path through millions of alternate realities, there is no limit to the adventures they can have.
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on February 28, 1997
I thought that the book was an interesting look at sucide and love. Colene is at first uncaring about her life. She seemed to have a death wish. When she met Darius she wanted to believe him and went to great lengths to retrieve his amulet, but couldn't trust him enough to believe him. When she realized that he was gone and she had lost her only chance at happiness she prepared to kill herself but found she couldn't. When the Virtual mode came and she started on her way she was happy again, but she did not just need Darius she needed Seqirus too. She always kept her suicide self. She was always pushing her relationships almost to the breaking point. I loved this book and its realistic look at emotions, but it would not be complete without the unrealistic touch of magic and the modes
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on November 27, 2000
Upon reading many of the review for this book, I have concluded that there are some people in this world that can not look past some of the inappropriate parts in this book. They stop at these parts and proceed to critize it as if it were to be an object of ridicule. This book is not an object of ridicule.
The first book of the Mode series, it is an ingenious introduction to a great series. Piers Anthony provides an appealing combination of fantasy and realism. Colene, as a character, will definitely attract readers who can relate to her experiances.
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on October 2, 1996
Virtual Mode talks of Orlene, a freshman girl contemplating over suicide because of the boredom, monotony, and past problems of her life. This book, and the other books in this series are an awesome portrayal of her thoughts about suicide. One can see exactly how she is feeling, the swings between happiness and depression, the determination in her mind to win love. Perhaps this is a great novel of how love conquers all, including suicide
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on December 18, 2000
When I first started reading this book I was fascinated by Colenes suicidal compulsions; death was so beautiful to her, and to her the blood flowing from her wrists was so poetic. I could feel things with her, when she got tangled in the whirl of Darius' world, and her travels through the dimensions, and the relationship with her telepathic horse Sequiro. The story began to weave together beautifully.
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on May 1, 1998
I recently read this book, and Oh! I loved it!! My favorite character was Seqiro (me being a horse lover). I love the idea that in some realities animals can obtain their rightful reign over us humans. Colene was described perfectly, and Darius is someone who I'd easily like. This is the first book (in a long time) that I've actually enjoied. Keep up the good work Mr. Anthony.
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on September 15, 1997
I was suicidal. When I read it it was like going into my own thoughts. I don't know if it helped me along the way but if you want to know what someone is thinking when they're suicidal and depressive read the book. Not that it's bad. It' prooves somehow if you really want them to things will work out in the end.
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