And she has to, because losing means she'll die, for real this time.
© Vivian Vande Velde; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Hilarious characters...plus fantastical elements...will spur readers on toward the satisfying conclusion." (Publishers Weekly)
I have listened to a huge number of fantasy & science fiction audiobooks, and while this is certainly not the best I have encountered, it was refreshingly entertaining compared to most of what I have had to settle for lately.
Some reviews of this book had left me expecting another average fantasy tromp, but this was no chore to listen to. My only regret is that I let my caution delay my purchase of this book for so long.
The story uses the old premise of a person trapped in a virtual reality world. However, it has many unique twists. The flexible nature of the setting really makes this into a great 'what if' scenario and adds greater depth to the political intrigue involved. The main character starts back at the beginning every time she fails to win the game, but each time she plays the differences in her actions lead to a whole new sequence of events.
The game that is featured in the book is not some cheap parody, but the game of the future. It has the sort of realism that any gamer would die for (literally). Don't be turned off by the setting, as it is really quite interesting.
In my opinion, the narrator was fine and well-suited to this book. I did not feel that she had any particular trouble with the voices, and her flat tones really made for perfect delivery of the main character's flippant thoughts and sarcasms.
This book was well written and easy to listen too. It is also VERY smart and witty! I also thought the reader was perfect for this book. She makes it come alive as if SHE was really the one writing it. LOVED THIS BOOK! I'm hoping the author will do a sequel.
Take a slightly jaded angry young girl, a cliche filled Role Playing game. Trap her inside and you Have "HEIR APPARENT". Giannine come off as somewhat spoiled and has trust issuses and seems to grow as a person especially when she becomes trapped and has to make life changing decisions and learn how to trust those around her to survive. because if she dies she has to start over from the begining and her only way out is to win the game. The narrator tries to give Giannine life but seems to drop the ball on other characters. from the Ancient nun to the jamiacian sounding barbarian. the other characters are your typical run of the mill people you find in any Role playing game. over all a good listen and worth a try.
Kept me listening nearly non-stop until the end. My 13yr old son loved it as well. All video game role playing junkies should find it worth listening to.
I am a grade 7 English teacher. I was looking for a novel that featured a video game as central to the plot and that had a female protagonist ... a tall ask! "Heir Apparent" was suggested and met the requirements very well. Although the novel lacks some sophistication to satisfy the modern grade 7 gamer, Vande Velde deals with the changing parameters and repetitive nature of gaming very well. The story is engaging and my students really enjoyed reading the book. I used the audiobook to listen to the novel during my commute and for one of my students (a reluctant reader), who wished that the narrator had a 'younger' voice. Personally, I found that Carine Montbertrand reads well. Her voices are excellently presented and consistent throughout the novel.
While the narrator did have a lot of the sass I'd expected while reading the book on my own, it would've been a bit more believable if she was an actual 15-year-old girl.
If your over 10 I'm not sure you'll find enough to stay awake,very repetitious. I know that's how the story is laid out, but way to much explaining things . No need to think for yourself when listening with this book.I checked it out because adult Science Fiction is to adult more times then not.
If you find Good Teen Science Fiction, it's enjoyable by anybody.
Will not use this audio book again. The read is just too slow for my 8th graders.
It is a good story and have used it over the years as I have a class set.
Just wish the the performance would have picked up the pace and have been more 'animated' for lack of a better term.
Where have you gone Vivian Vande Velde. Wish you were still writing. If you have ever been a gamer, you have to try this one. Stuck in a game, life or death, remindes me of the old choose your own adventure books.
The book was enjoyable overall. The story had a bit of a slow start, which worried me at first. Once the story was going, however, it kept a good pace.
The biggest drawback to the book was the narration. The voice of the main character was not one I enjoyed or even got use to. It was distracting.
Still, I would recommend this book. It is a great fantasy story that does not require suspension of disbelief.
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