Read Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde Free Online
Book Title: Heir Apparent|
The author of the book: Vivian Vande Velde
ISBN 13: 9780547351919
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2479 times
Reader ratings: 7.5
The size of the: 24.97 MB
City - Country: No data
Edition: Houghton Mifflin
Date of issue: June 1st 2004
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I really don’t think you guys understand how much I mean it when I say: This is seriously one of my favorite books of all time.
I read it for the first time when I was in middle school and I’ve read it several times since. Even now, at the geriatric old age of 24, I still absolutely adore this story. It’s everything I want, ties in so beautifully with some of my most excitingly dramatic fantasies, and I JUST WANT IT TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE SOSOSOSOSO BAD!
Heir Apparent follows 14-year-old Giannine Bellisario as she ventures to an arcade for her birthday. The novel is set in a futuristic society not far outside the realms of our own reality in which public busses speak and can be spoken to (but aren’t very intelligent) and arcades house immersive virtual reality games. Giannine settles on a game entitled Heir Apparent and is promptly cast into the role of shepherd’s daughter who discovers, after the death of the king, that her parents are only her foster parents, she is the secret bastard child of the king and his former mistress, and she must return to the palace to claim her rightful place as heir to the throne. Forced to face off against three half siblings and the queen, peasant unrest, barbarian attacks, and a very choose-your-own-adventure style gaming experience, Giannine knows she’s in for a challenging game. Until a group of activists breaks into the arcade and trashes the equipment, making it impossible for staff to safely remove her from the game before completion and leaving her in a fight for her life: Beat the game soon if you want to survive.
Every time I pick up this book, I’m terrified that I’m not going to love it as much as I have in the past. That maybe I glamourized it in my head or was in the right frame of mind when I read it, but that it’s not that good. Every time, it proves me wrong.
I genuinely love this story and the characters. It’s so visually appealing to me in a way that many books are not, managing to paint these vivid images in my head and bringing to mind the most exquisite sets I can imagine. It appeals to me, also, as a part-time gamer, former R.L. Stine Choose Your Own Adventure book reader, and forever daydreamer.
The setting is unique in that it’s repetitive. Every time Janine (as she’s called in the game) dies, she awakens in a sheep field, covered in feces, with her foster mother calling her name. She’s forced to experience the same series of events over and over, make decisions on how to interact with those around her and who to ally herself with, and find herself killed in sinister, bizarre, and treacherous ways. She is motivated by one thing and one thing only: To stay alive in the game so that she can stay alive in the real world.
I love watching her actions effect the world around her. Every round, she makes slightly different decisions and, while some things are always the same – her interactions with her foster family, her introduction to the royal family (when she makes it to the Great Hall), the boy being dragged to the courtyard for poaching – things vary every time she makes a decision – the results of the barbarian attacks, the support/betrayal of the guards, Kenric’s behavior towards her.
And I still find it absolutely fascinating.
I’d be lying if I pretended that I don’t have a bit of a crush on Princes Wulfgar and Kenric. (Mostly Kenric.) When Janine allies herself with either of them, it’s always going to be a fun time, filled with sly smiles and strangely enjoyable interactions. I’d also be lying if I denied that I really want the Barbarian King married off to both the Queen and Sister Mary Ursula, just for the laughs and to get them out of our hair.
I honestly don’t know what to say about this book beyond the fact that I am absolutely in love with it. I wish that the princes weren’t her brothers so there could have been a romance, but that sounds kind of creepy right now, so maybe I should stop.
All I know is that the ending is perfection, I love Kenric’s response to her tears as her brain finally begins to overheat right before she manages to beat the game (even if he was programmed to react that way), and meeting Nigel Rasmussen and hearing his perspective on Kenric as a character makes me so happy every single time.
The only thing I’d change? I’d like it if Kenric had looked at her the moment they all hailed Janine as King and said “You win” before everything collapsed around her. I feel like that moment of awareness/conclusion in the midst of what was happening would have just pushed it even a little bit farther for me.
You win. The end.
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Read information about the authorVivian Vande Velde (born 1951, currently residing in Rochester, New York) is an American author who writes books primarily aimed at young adults.
Her novels and short story collections usually have some element of horror or fantasy, but are primarily humorous. Her book Never Trust a Dead Man (1999) received the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She says that she really likes to write for children. She likes to do school talks to children. She does many book conventions and also gives writing classes.
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