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Heir Apparent

(Rasmussem Corporation #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  10,007 ratings  ·  763 reviews
In the virtual reality game Heir Apparent, there are way too many ways to get killed--and Giannine seems to be finding them all. Which is a darn shame, because unless she can get the magic ring, locate the stolen treasure, answer the dwarf's dumb riddles, impress the head-chopping statue, charm the army of ghosts, fend off the barbarians, and defeat the man-eating dragon, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2002)
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Melodie Hill It is the second book written in the series, but it isn't needed to read the series in order. They do not rely upon one another.…moreIt is the second book written in the series, but it isn't needed to read the series in order. They do not rely upon one another.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  10,007 ratings  ·  763 reviews

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Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of scifi, people who like roleplaying games
Shelves: library, favorites
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
Intisar Khanani
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was all the escape I could have asked for this past week- I was literally snorting with laughter at one point. A wonderful blend of action, personal stakes, humor, and enough do-overs even the main character is frustrated. Read it - you won't regret it! ...more
May 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy and/or the movie "Groundhog Day"
Vivan Vande Velde is one of the best fantasy writers out there. Her stories are believable and populated with characters you'll remember long after the book is closed. Her stories are also surprisingly believable given that they are fantasies. Such is the case with this novel, which takes place in some undisclosed future time. The story gets into gear when the narrator, Giannine, enters a full-immersion virtual reality game (by the same name as the title of the book) to compete to rule a kingdom ...more
I'll be honest, I mostly picked up this audiobook because it was narrated by Carine Montreband and I was so in love with the Uglies books by Westerfeld that she narrated that I wanted to hear her voice again. The unconscious mental comparison between Westerfeld's book and this one may be skewing my opinion of it.

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Giannine becomes trapped in the virtual reality game Heir Apparent when an activist group attacks the gaming center where she's playing. Suddenly the safety m
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 ...more
This book is an excellent example of how much the YA genre has shifted over the past decade. I read a fair amount of current YA, and while I'm technically old for it, I'm clearly not that far out of the marketing department's sights. Publishers Weekly informs me that today's YA is generally aimed at the sixteen to twenty-five set.

But Heir Apparent was published in 2002, when YA was still aimed firmly at young adults--that is, at kids who hadn't yet left home. Even if I'd found in 2002, when I wa
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This book has the unique accomplishment of being on both my YA science fiction and YA fantasy shelves. It's a fantasy RPG (role playing game) with magic, dragons, princesses, etc., wrapped in a SF shell (technology gone wrong).

The main character is a 14 y/o girl, Giannine aka Janine, who is playing a total immersion RPG that requires her to prove herself the rightful heir to the throne and overcome conniving relatives, dragons, rebelling peasants, an angry king of a neighboring country (his mag
Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Scifi/Fantasy Lover
If someone asked me to recommend a true Scifi/Fantasy book, not the cheap, poorly written pieces of junk that some books are, I would tell them that they would HAVE to read this book! It is wonderfully written, with the right amount of humour, Drama, Suspense/Horror and to top things off it is written in the realm of medieval times=)
Gianne is a believable character, she takes on the situations that are thrown at her whether its reciting a different poem multiple times to searching through spide
Heir Apparent is one of my favourite middle grade books. Rereading it more than 10 years later, it's every bit as good as I remember. It doesn't have the most original premise-- getting stuck in a high stakes virtual reality game --but Giannine's narrative voice makes it special. I love her dry, sarcastic take and all the puzzle-solving.

Pairs well with Hexwood by Dianna Wynne Jones.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Video game fans, sci-fi fans
Shelves: pre-2018, favorites
This is another book I find myself rereading at least once every year. That could just be because I am a video game fan, and this book is about a virtual reality video game, or just because it’s a damn good read.

Of course, it’s also one of those books that pulls off the stunt of “changing something” that’s always worked a certain way, but the way it was pulled off… you didn’t even know it was happening until the very end when they mentioned it.

The writing style is easy to understand, and flows b
Oct 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
over all it was a good book. i liked how it turned out the system was damaged because of a group trying to protect kids and ended up nearly killing one. i thought it was going to be some virus thing hidden in the game that killed her if she failed to finish the game. the queen is a gold digging bitch though...not surprising really. But honesty i found myself liking Wulfgar more that Kenric, which is a bit surprising because i like the "Kenric" type more when it comes to these books, but Wulfgar ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-series
Light fantasy or early LitRPG, this is much better than the first book in the series. Decent female lead character, but the story is a little rushed at times. A very quick read.

For the majority of the book there is only one person; the rest are computer driven characters. Playing a one hour session (a birthday present) she is trapped in the game when anti-gamer terrorists attack the game center, breaking the immersion device somehow. She can only exit the game by winning, and if she fails to do
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was fun and I was impressed that the author was able to keep it interesting even though the main character had to keep doing the same thing over and over. Giannine was a likeable lead and there were some very humorous moments.

Content warning: a few instances of mild language

2019 challenge: a LitRPG book
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 pri ...more
Harold Ogle
A fun read, Heir Apparent is a story about a near-future girl stuck in a VR game (resulting from a terrorist attack) with only a little time to win the game before her nervous system collapses from prolonged exposure to the VR stimuli. Apparently it's second in a series, but I had no idea, as this was another random selection from the library. Also, the author makes it clear that this was written - at least in part - as a reaction to fundamentalists and others who rail against the value of fanta ...more
Oct 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
I picked up this book for a r/fantasy reddit reading prompt as LitPRG written by a woman.

In the game Heir Apparent, the player is a sheep-farmer's daughter who is suddenly thrust into ruling in a medieval kingdom. Bearing in mind that this is a children's book, the aim is targeted to making good decisions. So I ignored the obvious plot hole at the beginning. Honestly, it was frustrating to listen to the repetitive nature of the first 20%. But on reflection, the protagonist is 14 years old and t
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t remember when I first read this book. I honestly thought I had already rated it!
I’m pretty sure I’ve read Heir Apparent several times and I think this summer will be the perfect time for a reread so that I can read the other two books in the trilogy! :)
Caleb Dillinger
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, fast paced read. The writing style is engaging, and while I typically don't prefer first person narrative, it didn't bother me in the least! The characters are great, and you can feel the frustration and relief of the characters as you read. Definitely recommend! ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!! Super awesome. <3
Renaissance Kate
This was one of my favorite books in middle school, and it was so fun rereading it after all these years. More thoughts to come! 💕
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was super into the premise of this book, especially the (I thought) overarching theme of censorship, specifically the feverish censorship of children and the media (or anything, really) available for consumption. The opening scenes of the main character having to enter the gaming center through rabid, protesting parents was so powerful, alluding, I am sure, to the experience of women entering an abortion clinic in our political climate. Off to a good start, I thought! Powerful and believable. ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved this book, read it in 6th grade I believe. I've been trying to locate it so I can re-read it, and it has taken me literal years to find it again. I'm still considering re-reading, to refresh my memory and all. My favorite line, I'll always remember, was along the lines of "your mother was a toaster oven" (Velde, Heir Apparent) ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a avid gaming fan myself, I was overcome with giddiness when I learned that the main protagonist of this fun read about a gamer trapped inside a medieval virtual reality strategy setup was also a female. I give major one-ups to V-cubed (Vivian Vande Velde) for not making this seem like a big deal. Rather, she just stated that girls can also like games, so let's get on with the awesome adventures, shall we?

Giannine is witty, smart and believably determined as your typical 14-year-old girl une
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
The book Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde, is about a girl named Giannine Bellisario who gets sucked into the video game Heir Apparent. Giannine is turning fourteen and her father gives her a gift certificate to the gaming arcade called the Rassmusem Gaming Center. To start off the beginning of a “fantastic” day she has to pass the CPOC (Citizens to Protect our Children). Once she gets in, she has a few games to pick from. She chooses a game where they completely put you and make you feel l ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lauren-s-recs
This book was a ton of fun. It was pure escapism, and I absolutely flew through it. I loved the “choose your own adventure” game atmosphere. The story itself was rather bare bones (get to the end of the game, or you die [in the real world!]). That being said, sometimes I prefer simple narratives and this one really worked. This story was also absolutely hilarious. The narrator’s choices, internal monologue, and reactions to her circumstances were laugh out loud funny. My main critique of this st ...more
Reading is my Escape
Virtual Reality Fantasy Game
I was going to die. I was never going to get past the first step of the game, and I was going to die. 
-Chapter 4
Between the barbarian hordes waiting at our northern border for the first sign of weakness, and the peasant uprisings in the east, now is not the time for an inexperienced sheepherder to play at being king.
-Chapter 8

Giannine is playing a virtual reality game called Heir Apparent, using a gift certificate from her father for her 14th birthday. But, a prote
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
(Genre:Children's fiction (or younger teen)/science fiction/fantasy) This was an interesting story about a young teenager who enters a virtual reality gaming center while protestors are picketing outside (they are concerned about the effect these virtual reality games have on the brains and development of society, and more especially, the youth). Once she is hooked up into the game, the protestors cause a disruption to the service, which leaves her trapped in the game until she can finish it. Un ...more
Giannine Bellisario (Thea Greenleaf) is back in this fun filled fantasy adventure.

Giannine is raised by her grandmother, and when her absent father asks her what she wants for a birthday present she of course asks for a Rasmuesen gift card. To bad CPOC has to ruin her perfectly harmless adventure...

CPOC, an organization devoted totally to the "Protection of Our Children" attacks the Rassmuesen facility and damages the machines. With Giannine fully submerged in her adventure and the damaged equip
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Vivian 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

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58 likes · 11 comments
“She sighed. Loudly. "Physical appearance is not what is important."
Yeah right. Tell that to any girl who hasn't bothered to put on a presentable shirt or fix her hair because she's only running into the grocery store to get a quart of milk for her grandmother, and who does she see tending the 7-ITEMS-OR-LESS cash register but the guy of her dreams, except she can't even say hi—much less try to develop a meaningful relationship—since she looks like the poster child for the terminally geeky.”
“They'd poisoned me, dammit. Probably to trade my dead body to the barbarians for Wulfgar's safe return. Or maybe just for the fun of it.” 23 likes
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