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Virtual Mode

(Mode #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,462 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Colene does not know what to think of the stranger she has rescued. Darius tells her he has traveled from "his reality" to find her. In proving to Colene that other worlds do exist, he uses up the power of the artifact that would allow them to travel back to his universe.

They must try a slower, more dangerous method: the creation of a four-dimensional universe. Darius pick
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 13th 1991 by Putnam Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,462 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Start your review of Virtual Mode (Mode, #1)
Yes I'm going to rant now so bear with me. TW for talk of suicide and sexual assault.

Where to start though? Maybe the cover? Here we meet our protagonist Colene (as in Colene, Colene, Colene, Coleeeene, I'm begging of you please don't take my man) and her psychic horse who is good for absolutely nothing. Colene is 14 and suicidal. You know how we know she's suicidal? She keeps telling us that she's suicidal. Have you ever heard of character develo
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Piers Anthony prefers to call Virtual Mode “imaginative fiction.” That reminds me of Harlan Ellison’s description of his work as “speculative fiction.” Virtual Mode, named after a means of accessing all the memory in a computer, is the first installment in a series of novels that seem like a hybrid between fantasy and science-fiction. The multi-dimensionality of this series has a feeling of soft science-fiction, but the working out of the plot is more like a pairing of fantasy and romance novel. ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
In all honesty, I never finished this book. Chances are I never will. But this book has brought great joy and delight far beyond its 99 cent price tag and has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. The saying is don't judge a book by its cover, but in my opinion, this book got just the cover it deserves. It DESERVES the early 1990's girl from Full House standing with a duffel bag beside a horse in front of some strange pink and purple light show. And that may be the high point. I like to rand ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
I used to love Piers Anthony as a child. I guess I've outgrown him. ...more
Oct 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
I told my fiance that I wanted something light to read, either sci-fi or fantasy, fun, not too difficult. This is the book he brought to me.

When I saw it, I was apprehensive. The cover has a young woman standing in front of a horse. "It's a girl and pony book?" "Well, yes, but not really. The horse is smarter than her." "Oh! Well okay, then."

It's not one of those adolescent reader books. It is, after all, Piers Anthony. And I like Piers Anthony's books.

This book is the first of a series. It's ob
Mark Wilson
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit-read
There is no doubt in my mind as to why people love to read Piers Anthony. Engaging characters, fantastic imaginative world, good writing, and a well-constructed plot and great world building. The best part of the book is when he address the reader at the end of the book with his author’s notes. Piers Anthony is a very personal author and it shows in his straight non-story writing. VM is an interesting take on alternate dimensions. It is definitely a book written with a young protagonist but not ...more
Andrew Watson
Feb 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I persevered through the whole series, but honestly, it started off absurd and never recovered. The main character, Colene, suffers from suicidal depression as a result of being gang raped at a young age. She regularly engages in self harm, and then runs off with a bloke (Darius) she just met who promises a better life. She seems to like kissing her teacher and stripping in front of others and she's always trying to seduce the bloke.

The concept of parallel realities is interesting and somewhat
Oct 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
I first read this book when I was about 12/13 but could never find any of the following books in the series. Something about this bugged me so finally I went back to this series as a promise to my younger self. Reading this now though I really am not impressed with Piers Anthony, particularly he seems to have some very strange ideas about women. I'll read the rest of the series to keep that promise to my self but I probably won't be going back to other Piers Anthony books any time soon. ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience of reading a Science-Fiction novel, and I really enjoyed it! It had elements of fantasy that I could recognise, but I enjoyed the 'otherness' that I presume is the Sci-Fi model.

For the first in the 'Mode' series, Anthony does a good job of hooking readers into wanting to read the next book. He explains the concept of the Virtual Mode, and we are thoroughly introduced to the characters and their motivations and personalities. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Lacey Waters
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was a kid, and it has always been one of my favorite books. I still have my copy from when I was a kid too. But, it's not in the best shape. I probably have read it a number of times. It's a really good book to read. But, it is more for the preteen age kids. I was a preteen when I read this and loved it back in the early 1990s. I admit I haven't read the story in around 20 years or more. But, it does talk about relevant stuff that should have more awareness. Some of those thin ...more
Aaron Brown
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
This was the book that finally made me give up on Piers Anthony for good. It's the same basic underlying plot device as [pick any Piers Anthony novel from the past 20 years], where [insert protagonist] gets into an unusual situation whose solution inevitably involves solving a series of mental gymnastic riddles. Sigh. ...more
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
She's a cutter and into fractal math.

That's about all I remember!
Jan 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book is pedantic and disturbing in so many ways. Don't waste your time. ...more
Tomos Walter
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember this being one of the first adult books I ever read.
I think I was between 10-12 and before this, I didn't know that books like this even existed. It blew my tiny little mind.

I need to read it again, I've been looking but haven't found a copy yet.
But from memory - due to certain circumstances, a young girl is visited by a man from another dimension, and he needs help. He hones in on this 12 year old girl and takes her on an adventure, which is a long walk. But his power is that as they
Dec 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf

This is a book I have no wish to finish. I gave up at page 25 after entirely too much focus on a description of the genitals and breasts of a 14 year old girl.

No. I'm not joking.

I remember quite liking Piers Anthony's Xanth series, but now I'm wondering if I am just looking at it through rose-colored nostalgia, because these first two chapters were vile enough that I could fairly well predict where it was going to go next, and my perusal of some reviews lets me know that I was right.

The wr
Aricia Gavriel
I read this one yonks ago, in hardcover, when it was new. (In fact, I still have the book because I can't bear to trade them off or sell them on.) Did read it, did finish it, but ... hmm. I didn't get enough out of it to go on with the series which spun off it. Perhaps the series got a little better as it progressed, but I'm afraid I didn't stick around to find out! About this time (early/mid 1990s) books were starting to get ludicrously expensive in Australia, and I found myself haunting book e ...more
Wayne Barrett
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, sci-fi

I picked this one up for a trip down memory lane. When I was in my early 20's I went through a phase where I devoured Piers Anthony novels. His voice definitely rang a bell and it was fun to reminisce, but I think I've outgrown his particular style of fantasy sci-fi. The younger Wayne may have given this a 4, but the present Wayne must regretfully say it is about a 2.5. I'll round up for an old favorites sake.
Kate H
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I first read this series many years ago when it was originally published. While there were most definitely aspects I felt did not stand up to the test of time in general I did enjoy re-reading this series. The characters have very clear points they are trying to portray and I like the scienc"ish" bits in it. ...more
Lara W
Mar 16, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sparky Jo
I don't like the Mode books much, they make light of sexual abuse, tend to be over sexed and the story isn't even thrilling enough to make up for all that!
Tut tut tut.

This one is the start where everyone meets up and things happen and it's not bad bad so much as sadly just bad.
Very yawnsome!

Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ok I read this book when I was in fifth grade and I loved it. But I could never find the ones that come after this one.
Well I just read it again and I still love it, I’m going to go read book 2 .
Also wanted to say I saw a bunch of bad reviews.... how I’m not sure. Love you Piers Anthony, keep up the good work.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Can I do zero stars? The most disturbing part is that I remember actually liking this as a teenager (shudder). Piers Anthony is sci-fi geek who somehow got his frat-boy pervy/sci-fi sexual fantasies published.
Heather Zimmerman
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve read this twice. Once in Jr High and once as an adult. It’s a strange blend of story. I would also note that the main character has some pretty serious issues with self-harm, so this might not be the book for everyone.
Sandra Andrews
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
I am re-reading books from long ago prior to putting them in the Little Free Library out front. This one has definitely not aged well. At all. I won't put it into the kids' section, that's for sure.

I did love the concept of a virtual mode! Tempted to give it a third star just based on that.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
What a weird book.
This one means the world to me. Piers sent it to me hit of the press. My name is mentioned in the notes. 😀
May 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
If a grown man wrote what he thought a teenage girl would think and feel and say....oh wait that’s what this is and it’s not done well.
Grecia Ramirez
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This whole series was such a neat concept.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-books, linz
My least favorite of Piers Anthony books so far. I enjoy the story but then he goes on with math and fractals and ohmigoodness - he loses me then.
D.M. Dutcher
Dec 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bad-novels
When Piers Anthony is bad, he is very, very bad. How on earth this was published, I have no idea.

Collene is a fourteen year old girl one day meets a strange man. The man, Darius, is a magician from another world who has come to earth seeking a wife whom his magic will not deplete. He thinks Collene could be the one, but she has a flaw that makes him doubt that. He returns home, and she soon crosses the dimensions herself to find him.

Look at the image of the book's cover here. Would you guess tha
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm

Other books in the series

Mode (4 books)
  • Fractal Mode (Mode, #2)
  • Chaos Mode (Mode, #3)
  • DoOon Mode (Mode, #4)

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