Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
DoOon Mode - Piers Anthony I came to sci-fi author Piers Anthony in a roundabout way, discovering the Mode series before any of his other, more well-known series. I read the first three books when they were released, and then the series seemed to never be completed, and it was only by accident that I stumbled over DoOoon Mode several months ago and added it to my huge to-be-read pile. I finally got around to reading it this past weekend and am left wishing I'd never known the series had been completed.::: The Plot :::DoOon Mode requires you to have read the first three books in the series, and read them recently. While Anthony does go back to give some background, he does so sporadically throughout the book (the very opposite of the dreaded infodump) and if you haven't read the first three books, you will have absolutely no idea what is going on, especially since the book opens right in the middle of the action, where readers were left at the end of the previous book -- Chaos Mode which would have been fine were it not published eight years after Chaos Mode and I wasn't reading it 18 years after Chaos Mode.Colene, the 14-year-old girl at the heart of the series; her now-husband Darius, who multiplies joy in his home world; a floating slug sort of creature, Burgess; and Nona, the would-be queen of another magic world, have been dumped back into a world they know to be hostile and have to somehow escape and make their way back to Colene's beloved telepathic horse companion. Now, even for a sci-fi book, that's a lot going on in 370 pages, but Anthony also has to resolve Colene's sexless marriage to Darius (she was raped before she met him; never mind her being 14), Nona's lack of desire to rule her own world, the well-being of the 10 null servants assigned to their party in the hostile DoOon Mode in which they find themselves, ruled by the Emperor Ddwng, Darius' need to have a wife in his home world from which he can draw joy which he multiples for his people as well as someone to have sex with afterward to complete the ceremony...::: Lost? You Aren't Alone :::In an author's note at the end, Anthony reveals the series was pretty much DOA at the previous publisher, Ace, and he wrote it for himself. However, even with all that plot to tie up, the last 40 or so pages are spent dealing with Colene's rape as well as what was apparently a repressed memory of childhood sexual abuse -- in detail.It was a let-down ending for a let-down series ender that also involved a Xanth tie-in with the Demon Metria (who refers not to Xanth, but to her location as a "Demon Mode" ARG). The relationships between the characters seemed flat and often mere caricatures of themselves from previous books. It's the opposite of what you think a labor of love should feel like, especially since Anthony reveals in the note he was going to self-publish the book if it hadn't found the home it did with Tor.DoOon Mode left me wishing for a real ending for this series I loved so much. Maybe I just got too old for it. But it felt like an improper closure.

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