Chaos Mode

Piers Anthony, Author
Piers Anthony, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (300p) ISBN 978-0-399-13893-5
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-441-00132-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-538-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-357-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57815-005-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-13361-6
Paperback - 978-0-441-00176-7
Paperback - 978-0-441-00236-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-4416-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-4417-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4233-5395-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4233-5396-6
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Despite some fresh characters and situations, the uneven third installment of Anthony's new series (after Virtual Mode and Fractal Mode ) ultimately lapses into formula. Escaping an unhappy childhood, 14-year-old Colene has discovered travel on the Virtual Mode, a buffer zone that connects Earth with thousands of alternate realities. With three companions--Darius, Nona and the telepathic horse Seqiro--she meets Burgess, a tentacled being from a world whose evolutionary development differs dramatically from that of Earth. Anthony effectively conveys Burgess's radical otherness through the creature's community-oriented vocabulary, but he is less successful with the human characters, each of whom is defined by an overly simple trait: Darius is honest, Nona beautiful, Colene intelligent but depressed. Travel along the Virtual Mode allows for several imaginative settings and encounters, including a land of giants and a world where horses keep humans as slaves. The plot lacks a strong through-line, however, and the group's adventures soon become cliched; there seems to be no problem their combined abilities can't wrap up quickly and tidily, leaving them poised for the next adventure. (Jan.)
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