Cole Riann's Reviews > Virgil Unplugs

Virgil Unplugs by Amanda Steiger
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's review
Feb 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: m-m, m-m-fey, m-m-friends2lovers, m-m-scifi-space, m-m-short, m-m-fantasy
Read on February 12, 2011

** 4.5 stars **

I am very happy to say that this is a gem of a find. I don't know how I have never seen it around before, but this was such a sweet and touching story and I loved Virgil and Kiren.

Virgil is a game junkie, he knows that, as well as anyone who might get a look at him when he isn't plugged into the game's interface, which he almost always is. Life isn't very great for a nerdy guy who is incredibly underweight and shy. The game allows you to be anyone you want, look anyway you want, and do anything you wish you could do in real life. It is somewhere in the near future, and the game in question is one step past virtual reality into actual reality. While plugged in (sometimes for days at a time) he travels with his friends, fighting monsters, and play-acting in a fantasy realm.

Yet, where others in the game design themselves to look how they really feel on the inside, Virgil doesn't. He looks the same in the game as in his real body plugged into game back home. He doesn't necessarily want to be someone else, like most of the other players, there just isn't anything in real life for him to care about anymore. But in the game there is Kiren, a spry and mischievous elf with curly brown hair that loves to climb trees, and Virgil has fallen in love with him.

The game is supposed to be safe -- their bodies are constantly regulated while they're inside the game. But when they're attacked by a monster and Virgil takes the brunt of the attack, he finds he cannot "blink out" and ends up passing out. Waking up in the hospital, he is happy to see his two friends have come to see him in real life. He can't believe how strange it is to meet them in real life, they are so different than the characters he has come to know them as. Kiren, however, doesn't come to see him, telling Virgil that no matter how much he would love to see him, it's for the best that they only see one another through the game. Crushed, Virgil makes up his mind to go and find the answers on his own. It might not work out in real life, but he has to know what Kiren is really like, and if he's in love with him as well.

This was such a beautiful story simply for the characters that we get to know so well within such a short amount of time. They all have their reasons for living their lives in a simulated world. And though they can speak, feel, and have sex in the game, it isn't enough for Virgil, who loves Kiren so much.

This story is a breath of fresh air for those of us that love to read about real characters and not He-bot hunks. I love to root for a character that is more like someone I know in real life, and I found myself really wanting Virgil to get his little bit of happiness. Then, the story took a turn that I never really expected when Kiren came into the picture, and I loved it all the more for who Kiren really is.

A sad, but uplifting story that has stuck with me since I finished it, and which I will definitely be reading again in the near future.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

How sad is sad?

Cole Riann It's heartwarming sad, like someone who has never had a friend finding two friends all in one day. That's the best way I can think of describing it :)

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, sad but uplifting.

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