Idris Rees was typical of many, in that (even in middle age) he responded impulsively, when faced with situations that required an emotional response. One summer evening, that began to change. Given a software program, by an enigmatic stranger, he soon found his perceptions of reality wanting.
Finding himself in other worlds, initially not knowing whether they were virtual or real, he struggled to react appropriately to the moral quandaries he faced. Overwhelmed by some of the dilemmas he encountered, he found himself compelled to think through more carefully how he dealt with ethical issues – even if, as it appeared, they only existed in his imagination.
Then there was the mysterious programmer, Emrys (the Welsh form of Ambrose, given to Merlin), derived from the Greek name Ambrosios, meaning immortal. Was he the legendary bard and wizard, who was King Arthur’s mentor and the guardian of the Holy Grail? Had he indeed discovered the secret of living forever, had he tasted Ambrosia – the food of the gods?
Are the young, and not so young, exposed to moral danger they are not equipped to deal with? Are we willing to robustly examine our views on child sex abuse? The author uses this novel as a means of addressing the dangers of the exponential obsession with virtuality, whilst at the same time challenging readers, to confront their stance on one of society’s topical taboo subjects.
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