Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 21, 2008

Heir Apparent; no spoilers

Filed under: Lit Circle Picks — Joyce @ 7:47 pm

Fun read.

In this book, the protagonist Giannine visits a futuristic sort of gaming center, and cashes in a birthday gift certificate from her terrible father (not a very likable character.) She picks a virtual-reality-kind-of, total-immersion-sort-of, electronic-cranial-stimulation-type game. Then, due to some unfortunate incidents she gets stuck in the game and HAS to win it, or DIE!

Plus: the setting is Rochester, New York- perhaps in the future. A reference to Tetris makes me think it’s not awfully far in the future, though some other details put it (I think) a little ahead of us.

Double Plus: Giannine must become king of her game, and there seems to be no gender issue with her becoming king, even though she is a girl. No one argues that she has to be the queen instead. Incidentally, she is the illegitamate child of the recently deceased king. The queen is her father’s legit wife, so if she (Giannine) becomes king—-> what will her relationship be to the queen? I’m still trying to puzzle that one out.  

Funny moments: every time Giannine dies (Wait! I thought you said funny!) she has to start at the beginning of the game again. As she sums up the parts the reader has already spent time learning about, the mentions of these parts get sillier and sillier.

Does she become king? Does she die? Read it and find out….

Mandy, what did you think?




  1. Joyce, HEIR sounds like a lot of fun…I’m glad you chose this title KES

    Comment by sunyprof — April 21, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

  2. Joyce: I thought this was a fun read as well, and will definitely appeal to adolescents who are into video games and virtual reality games. It is true: there is a book out there for everyone!

    I thought Janine was a very clever character and I am really glad she was a girl. I think in far too many games women are objectified and portrayed as merely sex objects. However, not in this game, as the actual game was set in the past, although the book is set in the future. I think teenage girls will find it empowering that the protagonist is a female character and that she faces several challenges that essentially determine her fate. Sorry, no spoilers here either..!! Also, this book could be read across a range of ages and grades. The language is fairly easy and although the plot is complex at time, it is still understandable.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — April 22, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

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