Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde, is an amazing combination of science fiction and fantasy. It takes place in the future; however, the protagonist, Giannine, is immersed in a fantasy game for a majority of the book. Called Heir Apparent, the game she is playing tests gamers' strategical thinking...in a world where anyone could be a backstabbing murderer, who can you trust?
Meanwhile, back in the real world, protesters have damaged the gaming equipment in the facility where Giannine is playing, and now she has a limited time to win the game. And if she can't make it through in time, she'll die...for real.
This was the first book I read by Vivian Vande Velde, and I loved it. I enjoyed the unique combination of science fiction and fantasy, and Giannine was a character that I felt I could relate to. What made the book even cooler was that it took place in Rochester, NY, which is close to where I live! Anyway, this was a great story with a plot full of twists, and I'd recommend it to fans of either science fiction or fantasy.