My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the end the entire party made the trek. Darius knew that Colene’s notions could be worthwhile, however weird they seemed, and Burgess liked exploring. the three nulls had to accompany them.
It was a longer climb than it looked. Sweaty and bedraggled, they came at last to the cave that was the dragon’s lair. It was an opening in the slope of a steep rocky outcrop, the peak of the mountain rising behind it. The creature was in front of it, well aware of them.
Colene suffered a fit of nervousness. “The beads really do protect us?”
Pussy nodded. Colene knew that she wouldn’t deceive them on this, because they were valuable prisoners; no serious risk to their welfare could be tolerated.
But Pussy had her own concern. By signals she reminded Colene that they must not try to hurt the dragon. “Got it,” Colene agreed. “I’m a pacifist. I just want to make peace.”
Colene walked out before the dragon. It was like an enormous snake or lizard, with five sets of legs and a face as toothy as a crocodile’s. It did not move, but its eyes were tracking her.
First of all can I just saw it is about time! DoOon Mode is the fourth and final book in the Mode series. The first three books came out in the early 90’s and this one came out a decade later. Yes, I know, then it took another decade for me to find it, and that’s on me. But seriously, how long am I supposed to look for a book! I read the original three books in my early teens, and I strongly related to the main character Colene both because of her age, and some shared circumstances which I will talk more about in a moment. The third book ended with a HUGE cliffhanger, and I rushed to the library to get book 4 only to discover it wasn’t written yet. For YEARS every time I went to the library I would look for book 4, only to be rebuffed until finally I gave up. Then a few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about cliffhanger endings and the Mode series came up. Curious to see if the ending was ever written I looked it up on Goodreads, and voila, the rest is history.
Colene, our heroine, is conflicted. She was raped so she can’t trust anyone enough to have sex again. At the time of first reading the series, I was 14(ish). I had been molested by my grandfather when I was a child and I blocked it out until I was 12. At that time I had my first sexual encounter as a teen and the memory of my childhood came back. It totally messed me up. I went from being a normal kid, good grades, good attitude, to a horrible crazy brat with moderate grades (I got by on my natural braininess) and a really bad attitude. I put myself into bad situations and I hurt myself. (No cutting, for me it was pins in my nipples. IDK, I was crazy!) Colene was a character who I understood, and in that childish way I felt that if she found a solution perhaps I could too. Then Piers totally lets me down by dropping the series. (Yea, yea not entirely his fault. But whatever.)
So now here I am 20 years later trying to resolve the situation. The mode series has never been a sex free experience, but can I say that what I found racy as a teen is now just weird and creepy. I mean, every single characters sexual appetite is explained and re-explained to the point of being ludicrous. And don’t even get me started on the age thing. I don’t think Piers really understands what a 14 year old girl really is. And is it really so hard to just go without sex for, I don’t know, two consecutive days? Anyways . . .
Traveling on Virtual Mode wasn’t as fun as it had been. The problems seemed small and silly, and the solutions obvious or overworked. Is this because I am older? OR was this book slapped together just to stop people from asking about it? The final solution for Colene is worked out and I was satisfied (not over the hill happy, but satisfied) with that conclusion, but then BOOM it’s over. I would have enjoyed some more closure with seeing the characters happy endings, and not just being left to assume that things work out.
All in all I am giving a three star rating. Maybe it would have been more if I were still 14 years old. If I didn’t have fond memories of the rest of the series I would definitely give a lower rating now. Will I read it again? No. Will I read other Piers Anthony books in the future? ‘Fraid not. I think I have outgrown him.