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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth your time,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)'Virtual Warrior' is the third in this series of books, which started with the seriously addictive 'Virtual Heaven' and continued with the not-so-good 'Virtual Desire'. Whilst this one, 'Virtual Warrior', is not quite as gripping or well written as the first in the series, thankfully it is better than the snorefest that was the second. In that second book, we met the insipid and annoying Ardra, and (briefly) the rather more interesting Neil. 'Virtual Warrior' is their story.
Fortunately, the character of Ardra has improved in this book. She has developed both a personality and a backbone. And Neil is just as intriguing as he ever was.
Disillusioned with his life and the world in general following the death of his mother, Neil decides to follow in the footsteps of his business partner Gwen and enter the amazing world of Tolemac, which he has glimpsed in the virtual reality game 'Tolemac Wars III'. He hopes to make a new life for himself there as a merchant, living the high life in a simpler society, with no personal commitments or incumberments to weigh him down. However, what he finds is not quite what he expected...
This book is a little slow to begin with, but picks up after a few chapters and gets more interesting. Ms Lawrence's writing is a little disjointed at times, and as an author, she doesn't always meet her burden of ensuring logic and plot continuity to my satisfaction, but then I'm a very picky critic. Overall, this is a satisfying read that will please fans of both this series and romance books in general.
By the way, if you've read any other of Ms Lawrence's books, you'd know that she has a thing for interesting character and place names. This one's no exception. I liked the fact that 'Ardra' is a palindrome, whilst the irony of Neil's name changing to 'Lien' (names in Tolemac are usually backward) was not lost on me. In French, lien means 'tie, bond, connection' which was, of course, the one thing Lien was trying to escape by going he Tolemac. He was trying to escape the personal ties that bound him. Of course, that was his plan, but the best made plans of mice and men...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story ~ Totally Absorbing,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)Let me start by saying I have NEVER read any of the Fantasy books that seem to be so popular today. I bought this book based on the excellent reviews that it received and because the story intrigued me. How would a person transport him/herself into cyberspace? What would happen to him and could he ever get back? Wondering if I could deal with lavender skies and strange sounding names, after reading the first chapter I was hooked!
Ms. Lawrence is a spellbinding story teller. Rather than repeat the story line, I will say that the pages are filled with action, adventure, fascinating characters, and a compelling, believable attraction between the two main characters, Ardra and Lien, that blooms into a romance. As the story progresses, Lien grows from a dissatisfied person escaping into the virtual world of Tolemac to a brave and competent warrior capable of protecting and standing by the equally brave and competent Ardra.
As a side note, I was intrigued by the way that the author reversed the spelling of names to create new places and characters (e.g., Tolemac = Camelot; Nilrem = Merlin; Neil = Lien; Einalem = Melanie; and the wicked Samoht = Thomas whose name made more sense after I read "Virtual Heaven") and loved the fact that Ardra's name was a palindrome (spelled the same backwards or forwards). For some reason, I enjoyed the device and it made me comfortable with the odd sounding names.
The world of Tolemac is beautiful and intriguing as well with its medieval surroundings and lifestyle, lavender skies, four "orbs" (moons), and exotic creatures. There was just enough difference in the landscape of this new "cyber-world" to make it believable and there were enough common features to make it comfortable.
After reading "Virtual Warrior", I sought out and bought the rest of the author's books. I've read "Virtual Heaven" and enjoyed it thoroughly, and am looking forward to reading "Virtual Desire" as soon as it arrives. While linked as a series, the stories in each of the books can stand alone. I hope that Ms. Lawrence writes more books for this series and continues the adventures in "Tolemac" for a long time to come!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)Neil Scott and Gwen Marlowe owned a video game shop called Virtual Heaven. The new game titled "Tolemac Wars III" was the hottest on the market. Most of the virtual game players chose to play the part of the male unknown warrior. Gwen had been sucked into a previous version of the game (see Virtual Desire) and had told Neil about it. Because of this, Neil timed everything in hope of doing the same. He never REALLY expected it to work though. But it did!
Ardra of the Fortress of Ravens guarded the ice for the Selaw. Her lifemate, Tol, was grievously ill. Tol's brother, Ralen, had been sent to find the Goddess of Darkness, leaving Ardra in a horrible lurch. When Tol died, the land, not to mention her son, would be threatened. When attacked, a man appeared out of nowhere and rescued her, but lost his riches in doing so. Lien (a.k.a. Neil) claimed to be a retired warrior, from beyond the ice, turned merchant and on a pilgrimage. He did not fight well enough to be a warrior, in her opinion, but the snake tatoo on his arm was an omen. She needed him if she had any hope of succeeding in her upcoming quest.
**** I had to leave A LOT out of the synopsis or it would have been three times as long! Much more is going on than I wrote, but I fear giving away something vital. Neil and Ardra are the main characters, as you can tell, and their budding romance is complicated to say the least. Author Ann Lawrence added several interesting co-characters also, both good and evil. Back stabbing people surround the couple and few can be trusted. This story mixes excitement, adventure, romance, and fantasy together and creates an awesome story that will definitely entertain its readers! BRAVA! ****
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wild satirical romantic fantasy,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)Neil Scott and Gwen Marlowe own Virtual Heaven, a video game shop in Ocean City, New Jersey. Neil is bored with life and thinks of entering the latest virtual reality game Tolemac Wars III. His partner pleads with him to reconsider as she previously entered that barbaric realm and barely made it back alive even with a warrior husband in tow.
However, Neil does not care about his present life and takes some of his late mother's jewelry that he inherited to barter for cash and necessities. Neil enters in time to stop the Outcasts from capturing Ardra of the Fortress of Ravens, but is critically wounded while losing everything of value that he brought with him. Ardra and a wise man save his life, but she does not trust the warrior from "across the ice fields" even if he possesses the courage, fighting skills and leadership ability she desperately needs.
Though some of the adventure may seem familiar to Tolemac War fans, VIRTUAL WARRIOR lives up to the wild satirical romantic fantasies of the first two novels (VIRTUAL DESIRE and VIRTUAL HEAVEN). The story line is fun, filled with action and adventure, yet contains a quirky sense of humor. Ann Lawrence has written another strong spoof of the sub-genre that leaves readers wondering about the plot for Tolemac Wars IV.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtual Warrior,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)I've been waiting it seems like forever for Neil Scott's story in Ms. Lawrence's terrific Virtual reality series that started with VIRTUAL HEAVEN, and then VIRTUAL DESIRE followed the next year. ... Ann Lawrence has a vivid imagination, and she pulls out all the stops with this compelling novel that is doggone hard to put down once you get into the game. Don't miss this sensational series that is daring and dangerous and quite sensual, and no wonder with those hot, hot virtual warriors!
"Ms. Lawrence works her fantasy magic to perfection in her latest book in the Tolemac Wars series. VIRTUAL WARRIOR is to die for in more ways than one! ...
4.0 out of 5 stars All's Good,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)I wanted this book to complete the series
I liked the others in the series as enjoyable light reading while travelling. this book followed the same line and was enjoyable, I will not go into details of character or plot as I do not like these types of essay reveiws as then you know what is happening and is pointless to read the book
I also recommend the prompt service received from Amazon and the seller
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtual delight!!,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)Ann Lawrence gives you another in her "Virtual" series, where people are sucked inside a video game or the characters in the game gets pulled into the real world. A highly original romance concept, following Virtual Desire and Virtual Heaven. This is a follow up to Desire where Gwen, one of the owners of the shop is pulled into the game. In this one, the other owner, tired of this world, enters the game deliberately. It is written with sharp wit, great adventure that guarantees this is leave virtually you begging for more.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hero Finds Love in an Alternate Reality Video Game,
This review is from: Virtual Warrior (Mass Market Paperback)The third in a trilogy, VIRTUAL WARRIOR is a fresh look at what happens when a modern-day hero magically enters a virtual reality video game. In this story, Neil decides to start life anew by willingly entering the alternate world found in the game, only to find himself flung into the court intrigues and power struggle between Ardra of the Ice Fortress (who was featured in the second book, VIRTUAL DESIRE) and Someht, the High Councilor who wants her lands. Rather than concentrate on the slavery issues, like the author did in the first two books of the trilogy, this story delves deeper into social customs and rivalries, as well as gives the reader a closer look at the main bad guy in the trilogy, Someht. It also doesn't rely on back story, which is nice. Ardra makes for an interesting heroine in that she comes across as both subservient in some ways, yet strong in many others. Neil recreates himself as the pilgrim "Lien," and grows as a character (he starts off the story wanting to help no one but himself, but ends up becoming the ultimate defender of justice). He also acquires magical abilities, which are pretty interesting (though I would have liked to know how and why he ended up so gifted - that was unclear in the story). There wasn't anything "bad" with the story, by the way, other than at times I felt the political drama overshadowed the romance a little bit. Still, it was entertaining and different. Definitely a big-time fantasy of a romance.
FYI: The trilogy begins with VIRTUAL HEAVEN (the best of the three), followed by VIRTUAL DESIRE (a blah sequel), and ending with VIRTUAL WARRIOR (different from the first two books entirely - like I said, refreshing).
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Virtual Warrior by Ann Lawrence (Mass Market Paperback - July 31, 2002)
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