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Heir Apparent

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My definition of a good book is a book you read in less than a week because you can't put it down. I read Heir Apparent in three days, and I probably would have finished it sooner if I hadn't gone to Hershey Park on one of those days. Now I'm a pretty well read person, but I can honestly say, Heir Apparent is unlike anything I have ever read before.

The book begins on Giannine Bellisario's birthday, while she is arguing with a bus run on artificial intelligence. She is trying to get to Rasmussem Gaming Center, which we later learn is a center for virtual reality fantasy role-playing games. But the bus won't let her off, because CPOC (Citizens to Protect Our Children) is protesting outside, saying that magic and fantasy is satanic and inappropriate for children. Giannine passes the picket line anyway, and begins to play a game called Heir Apparent.

Once she enters the game, she takes on the persona of Janine de St. Jehan, and the book switches from science fiction to fantasy. She is swiftly thrust into an exciting fantasy adventure, where she must be crowned king to win the game. If she is killed at any point, she is sent back to the beginning of the game.
After playing for a while and getting killed once, a strange-looking character calls her by her real name. It is Nigel Rasmussem, creator of Rasmussem Gaming Center. He tells her that CPOC has broken into the building and damaged the virtual reality equipment. She can't be directly taken out of the game without severe brain damage occurring, and if she stays in the game for too long, the equipment will overheat and her brain will be “fried”. The only way for her to escape is to win the game, quickly. Giannine hasn't even passed the first level yet.

I recommend Heir Apparent to anyone who enjoys science fiction, fantasy, or a uniquely fused combination of the two.




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