After radical demonstrators cause damage to a gaming center, 14-year-old Giannine becomes trapped in a virtual reality game called “Heir Apparent.”
The owner of the gaming center (Nigel Rasmussen) enters the game and warns her she is in physical danger, and her only way out is to win.
Its undisputed kids dig this book. The copy I got from the library had dog-eared pages, warn out binding, and even water damage (poolside reading anyone?) I understand why kids like it; the story is fun. The role-playing fantasy as “king in waiting”, complete with assassins, sword fights, peasant uprising and medieval politics, is exciting. And, the author’s writing is engaging, often witty. BUT (I can always find at least one but), the author’s sarcasm is ‘ere apparent. She dedicates the book “with affection for but no patience with those who would protect our children through humorless moralizing and paranoia about fantasy.” Evidently there are those who have a problem with her books. Isn’t it only natural some parents will shy away from titles such as “Being Dead”, “Magic can be Murder”, “Witch’s Wishes” or “Never Trust a Dead Man”?
Besides the sarcasm, there are a few swear words, some game violence, stereotypical picketers quoting bible verses, and a teenage girl with an attitude.
I thought the story was good, only marred by the cynicism.
Vivian Vande Velde is a local author, and my son recently took one of her writing workshops at our library. He thought she was very nice. Her website follows.
Related website: http://vivianvandevelde.com/