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Heir Apparent (2004)

Heir Apparent (2004)

Book Info

4.08 of 5 Votes: 3
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0152051252 (ISBN13: 9780152051259)
hmh books for young readers

About book Heir Apparent (2004)

What I liked about this book was the idea that you could build an entire story just to make a statement. I suppose that's all anyone ever does when they write, but it was obviously done. Before you even begin the story, there is the page that is made to look like a gift certificate, which sets the tone for what's in store. It's a ticket for the reader to come along to another world within another world--just as the main character goes, too. And then at the end, in case you were taken in by a prince's smile, you are reminded that the bigger purpose of the story is the political statement with a final page made to look like a picketing sign. There is also an invitation to start your own protest. It made me smile and I thought, "Well done, Vivian Vande Velde."I like that the author tries to empower a young crowd to take a stand and think for themselves. While I have no objection to the reading of scriptures, it is my belief that shouting thee's and thou's from a picket line is in strong opposition to the way religious texts were intended to be read. For this same reason, I don't speak that way in normal everyday language. I would rather honor my religious beliefs in a quiet manner. If anyone would ask me directly, with real intent on answers, I would not be afraid to share the deepest feelings of my heart, but I do not agree with broadcasting it in political spheres.For those that would censor books or games, I believe their motives and intentions come from a good place. There is a big difference in movie ratings from the 80's versus today or rather there is more awareness thanks to concerned parents who spoke up. My parents took me to R-rated movies growing up, and I became desensitized to the embarrassment of watching people suck face on screen. I have not allowed my children to be in the same situation and would rather preserve their childhood for as long as possible. I don't want them to be desensitized to something that they naturally turn their faces away from. And they do! Even when watching TV shows or commercials today. They prefer not to look.Aside from political statements, the story was a good one. I like the kind of video games where you have to talk to others to find out what your objective is, so I appreciated the game being played in the book. The story unfolds much the same way one level of Super Paper Mario unfolds, only without jumping on goombas. Unlike, Super Paper Mario, there isn't just one path, but an infinite number of paths to take based on individual choices. Also, it was like Tron, being inside the game itself. All in all, I think I would enjoy playing Heir Apparent.

It was Giannine Bellisario’s fourteenth birthday, when she received a gift certificate to a gaming center, given to her from her ignorant, and un involved Father. To get into this gaming center, she had to get through the Citizens to Protect Our Children (CPOC) first. Once she was in Rasmussem Gaming Center, the games began. The place was filled with virtual games, and she had to decide which to choose. Giannine selected the virtual game, Heir Apparent, but she was limited on time. The time in the virtual game was longer than what the actual time was. She needed to do everything possible to keep her from dying, and to get to her goal. Every time Giannine dies in the game it starts over, but there is a problem, she is trapped in the game with limited time. Before everything goes bad, she needs to finish what she stared and the only way to do this is to finish the game. I was a little mixed on my rating of this book, I feel that the author did a great technical job of writing this book, but I don’t know personally if I enjoyed the idea of it. It seemed as if I was reading the book three times over, for the text of this book was repetitive and not quite enough engaging. I believe that the audience of this book is more towards, Sci-Fi fanatics, and more so teenage boys. This book had a few young adult ready phrases, which younger audiences might not understand. All in all this book was very well written, but maybe not so much of my type of book and not so much for others of the ages of 11 and younger. For I think that this book appeals to the audiences of futuristic behaviors.

Do You like book Heir Apparent (2004)?

What a fun premise, Giannine goes into a virtual reality game room and gets stuck thanks to picketing mothers against children wasting their time and minds on fantasy (very funny, since I'm always bugging Tyra about having such a heavy preference for fantasy novels!) Someone gets inside the gaming center and ruins something in the computer that makes it so that basically the heroine has to win the game she's hooked up to or she'll die.The fun part is that she just goes around getting killed and then starting over again. I'd give this 3 1/2 stars.

One of my favorite books because it combines fantasy and reality, as well as future-tech gaming with present-day frustrations. But besides the content, I continue to be amazed by the way the book is set up. The main character Giannine is stuck in a virtual fantasy game in which death can occur to the protagonist. Every time Giannine 'dies,' she begins anew from the the start, able to revise her decisions and react differently to the opportunities and threats presented to her. As she goes through the game differently, the other characters react to her differently as well. I admire this unusual way of telling a story, as well as the effort needed to create characters who are recognizable despite their new reactions.

My son read this novel for a Battle of the Books competition at his middle school (which his team won) and I decided to read it with him. It has a fairly common theme focused on what the future of roleplaying games will look like. Think Dream Park by Niven, Pournelle and Barnes, except instead of the players acting out their roles in a theme park competition, they are wired into the game and play in their minds. Teenage heroine Giannine decides to spend her birthday at a virtual reality arcade using the gift card her too-absent father gave her. She chooses the fantasy game, Heir Apparent, in which she plays the illegitimate daughter of a recently deceased king and must survive plots and tests to claim her crown. Unfortunately for Giannine, in the real world the activist group Citizens to Protect Our Children attacks the arcade out of the belief that video games are harmful to kids. In doing so they damage the virtual reality equipment, trapping Giannine in her game. The only way for Giannine to get out is to successfully complete the game before the damaged parts overheat and fry her brain. (And yes, one can easily imagine the activists shouting: “You see? Video games really are dangerous!”)The premise is fun and the game does feel like many computer roleplaying games I’ve played over the years. In fact, it feels a little too much like those games especially in the first half of the book when Giannine dies way too many times and has to start the game over. This might be “realistic” but it became very annoying. In fact, just before I started the book I asked my son (who was then halfway through it) what he thought and his comment was: “She dies way too many times—waaaay too many.” This is true, but it also gives Giannine and the reader an opportunity to get a very good grasp of the principle characters in the game and that knowledge is quite helpful as the story finally advances beyond the opening chapters. The puzzles are such that the reader can work them out with Giannine and there is definite tension building as Giannine races to solve the game problems in time to save her life. My son was thrilled with some of her solutions. Perhaps the best complement that I can give this book is my son’s frustration that we did not get to follow Giannine one more chapter. He wasn’t ready to put the book down. I think I’ll dig out our copy of Never Trust a Dead Man and see if he likes that book as much. 4 stars.
—Gilbert M.

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