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Magisterium

Magisterium

Written by Jeff Hirsch

Narrated by Julia Whelan


Magisterium

Written by Jeff Hirsch

Narrated by Julia Whelan

ratings:
4/5 (67 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Oct 1, 2012
ISBN:
9780545530293
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn.

She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on his mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape to the cold isolation of a research station on 813, a planet on the far side of the known universe.

But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run, with only one place to go. The other side of the Rift will bring truths about what really happened to Glenn's mother, and will put them at the center of an age-old struggle between two halves of a divided world.

Released:
Oct 1, 2012
ISBN:
9780545530293
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Jeff Hirsch is the USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including The Eleventh Plague, The Darkest Path, and Black River Falls. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Visit him online at jeff-hirsch.com and on Twitter @Jeff_Hirsch.


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What people think about Magisterium

3.9
67 ratings / 23 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Originally reviewed on A Reader of Fictions.

    Magisterium was one strange book. Seriously, this is probably the second oddest book I've read so far this year, second only to Dust Girl. Though Magisterium definitely does have dystopian elements to its setting, it's really not about that. Instead, this is a novel for fantasy fans all the way. Occasionally, there are even moments where it felt like a fairy tale. Be prepared for all sorts of craziness when you set out on this journey

    When the novel opens, we meet Glenn, our heroine, who desperately wants to graduate early and become an astronaut (though it's called something else in their futuristic society. Ever since her mom left, she has struggled with connecting to people and just wants to get out, just like her father escapes into his Project. Her only friends are her cat, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Kevin Kapoor, who pestered her until she accepted his friendship. Now he seems to want more from their relationship and Glenn is really trying to keep from getting attached to anyone here, thus she's putting on the brakes big time.

    Her father tells her the secret of his Project, what he's been working on. He has made a bracelet that will allow them to travel across the Rift, a dead area, behind which everything is supposedly destroyed. He believes that there is a whole different society over there, functioning under different laws than theirs and that her mother has gone back there. She doesn't believe him; in fact, she thinks he's crazy and gets the government brought down on them. She and Kevin escape across the Rift, while Dad sits in jail.

    Much to Glenn's chagrin, Dad was right after all. Across the Rift is a whole other government and a completely different world. There people have magic. There are animal-human hybrid things, like Aamon, who helps them survive. This world is the Magisterium, and it is ruled by the tyrant, Magistra.

    Kevin was my favorite character, as much as I had one. Of course, being that his name is Kevin, he's Indian, he's slightly annoying, and he's incredibly persistent, I could picture him as only as Kevin G from Mean Girls.

    I also liked Hopkins, however, all of the characters underwent major changes once they crossed the Rift and things got crazy, at which point I wasn't so much connected as doing my best to follow along with what was going on. Pretty much the whole time they're in there, I had no clue what was going on...mostly weird things just kept happening.

    Pretty much the only thing I could think about for most of the book, though, was HOW MUCH it reminded me of LOTR for the two thirds. I know that LOTR influenced a lot of authors and commonalities can probably be found in just about any fantasy novel. However, I am not drawing this comparison just because. There was a ton of stuff. Seriously, let's sit back and think about this okay?

    So we have an unlikely individual to be confronting The Man. She doesn't want to take the bracelet (aka magical bling bling) and go on this journey, but she has to. The first official plan is to take the ring...I mean, bracelet...to the only city in the world where it can be destroyed, so that it can be removed from the world, since every power only wants it for EVIL.

    They set out in their little small fellowship, Aamon leading Glenn and Kevin. They make a plan for how to get to the city where the bracelet can be destroyed, but find the easy route blocked. Thus, they have to try the more dangerous way, about which Aamon says this: "'I can protect you from Garen Tom and his men,' he said. 'But there are things in the deeper places that...change you. Things I'm powerless against.'" Does anyone think that sounds remarkably like Gandalf's reluctance to go through the Mines of Moria?

    As they're journeying, Glenn and Kevin sneak off one evening and see beautiful, magical fairy-like creatures in a scene that brought to mind Frodo and Sam watching the elves. She tries several times to get Kevin to leave her, until he delivers a little speech that seems eerily reminiscent to Sam's "And I'm coming with you" from the end of The Fellowship of the Ring.

    Still not convinced? Well, how about the fact that, when Glenn removes the magic bracelet, she suddenly has magic powers and the descriptions make it feel like she's just entered a brand new world, and the forces in that world can act upon her. Taking the bracelet OFF = putting the ring ON. They also encounter a spider lady and fight wraiths. The final comparison, as if this all wasn't enough, was that the Magistra was described as being very powerful but not yet fully awake, so they were initially going to be facing only her servants directly.

    In the end, I thought this was okay, but I found myself getting bored with the constant unexpected plot shifts. There were a lot of secondary characters that would flit in for some back story and then leave again, all without me knowing precisely why I was supposed to care about any of it. Hirsch's writing was decent, but didn't hold any special appeal for me.

    Fantasy fans that like a more eclectic read will likely want to look into Magisterium. Also, if you're fascinated by concepts of the distance between things, the line between magic and technology, you would probably be interested in the divide of the Rift, which, frankly, I would REALLY like to know more about. As of this moment, I think this is a standalone, but there's space for more.
  • (1/5)

    This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

    Cover Impressions: The cover is kind of cool and I like the image of the cloak made up of birds, however, it didn't really entice me. There is something about the face that doesn't quite match up with the creepy feel that I believe they were going for.

    The Gist: The world has undergone a Rift. One side is safe, the other is a wasteland. At least that is what everyone is told.

    Review: To be honest. This book annoyed and angered me. This usually happens when I can see vast potential that is smothered by poor plot pacing and lack-luster character development. In Magisterium, we are introduced to Glenn Morgan, who dreams only of leaving this world for a distant planet. Glenn bored me from the first moment. She is controlling of her world and her emotions in a way that prevented me from forming any type of connection to her (even pity). I simply could not understand the choices that she made, from turning her father in to the authorities to blindly stumbling through a world that she knew nothing about (and wanted to know nothing about). Glenn came across and naive and downright stupid. Case in point: her father is arrested, her friend is shot and she is on the run from a government that has lied to everyone under its control - and yet, she still wants to return and pretend that nothing every happened. She is not the least bit compassionate or curious and often made me scream in frustration

    Glenn's friend, Kevin, seems nice enough and had the potential to be someone I could root for, however, about halfway through the book he undergoes a mysterious personality change and suddenly he is just as much of a jerk as Glenn is. The reason? Magic. The reason is always magic. Magic that is not expanded upon or explained and is used as a crutch to explain every moment of weird shit. We are simply supposed to swallow this ready made excuse like a bitter pill and move on. We are also expected to believe that, despite the lack of barrier or patrols on the border between the Colloquium (hated this word btw) and the supposed wasteland, no one ever goes there? Seriously? No teenage dares, no conspiracy obsessed nuts, no wandering children ever pass through the apparently thin stretch of forest? OH wait, we do get to meet one family, but they kill themselves before we get a chance to actually learn anything.

    On that note, I must mention the brutality. But not brutality in order to examine a massive flaw in a government system or with human nature in general, no, this was simply bloodshed for the sake of bloodshed. I don't like this approach in adult novels and I despise it in YA books. It seems authors like this seem to forget that this is not HBO and not every death has to be a graphic mess.

    By the time I hit the last 100 pages, I was completely over this book, it's characters and it's world building. The premise was interesting, it had great potential, but somewhere along the line it got bogged down in weird shit and forgot to tell a story. I am not sure if this is part of a series, but I will not be sticking around to find out.

    Teaching/Parental Notes:

    Age: 16 and up
    Gender: Both
    Sex: Kissing
    Violence: LOTS: execution, gunplay, knifeplay, suicide
    Inappropriate Language: None
    Substance Use/Abuse: None
  • (3/5)
    different. hard to describe.
  • (3/5)
    I have never been so frustrated with a protagonist. I seriously considered quitting the book in sheer disgust over the main character writing. I stuck with it because I wanted to see what happened. The end was odd. At first a major secondary character was going to stay and lead while the main character went to safety with her love interest. Then inexplicably, the love interest was elsewhere and the person staying to lead went with the main character. Sound confusing? It was. Overall ok. Not my favorite Hirsch book.
  • (2/5)
    The main character is annoying, never listens to any one, and is exactly the type that you are telling at to shut up, stay put, and listen. So when the author implies near the finale that she has grown brave and can go forth...you dont buy it. The annoyance of the narrators inability to pronounce trebouchet is also grating.
    The story is tolerable.
  • (4/5)
    Harry Potter was just fine, but I liked this so much more!! I found the interweaving of the landscapes and “magic” to keep me on edge and I’m not typically a “magic” person, I like dystopian sci-fi primarily. Watching the characters evolve and enjoying some of the imagery, I enjoyed getting caught up in this unique universe.
  • (3/5)
    The story was interesting, but the writing got muddy in battle scenes.
    One moment Glenn is poisoned with broken ribs and the next she's walking away with only a limp. Her character is a angry Mary Sue type of character. And non of the supporting characters have much personality to them.

    The world building was interesting and I liked the idea of a sci-fi/ fantasy mashup.

    It was okay, I'd give a listen, but I probably won't come back to it again or continue the with the rest of the series.
  • (3/5)
    Fantasy/dystopian future world - there's the Consortium and there's the outer lands, where no civilized people go - Our Destiny library catalog description: "In the twenty-second century, Glennora Morgan's father has been working on a project that will allow him to penetrate the Rift border and retrieve Glennora's mother; but now that he has succeeded the Authority is suddenly trying to kill them both, and Glennora and her friend Kevin must flee into the Magisterium to escape them." Glennora's determination to live a normal life, and be an outer space pioneer on a newly established planet, in spite of her eccentric scientist father and a missing mother, is portrayed well. Her alternating feelings about her nerdy friend Kevin also reflect a young girl her age; the escape through the Rift and the characters/situations they encounter there are also fast paced and move the plot forward. Most original was the giant powerful creature who escorts them - looks very much like Glennora's pet cat at home. But the dueling sides, and the thinly characterized magical leaders didn't help to hold my attention; Glennora's mother, the actual Magistera, and the bracelet which releases or suspends the power in both her and Glennora herself - meh. It became a bit muddled and although Glennora is faced with earth shattering (literally) choices, the magical powers and other worlds didn't ring true. Some teen readers, especially those who enjoy power magical beings and other worlds will enjoy it.
  • (4/5)
    an elegant fusing of technology and magic in an interesting sci-fi story
  • (3/5)
    Back in September, I went to Austin Teen Book Festival. Jeff Hirsch was the moderator for a panel. He spoke a little about his book, and I thought it sounded interesting. But I mostly purchased this book based on the cover. It is beautiful and creepy all at the same time. So, of course I had to get it.

    The storyline was unique. The book brings together technology and fantasy. I didn't think it could be done, but Hirsch pulled it off nicely.

    I didn't connect well with the main character, Glenn. She's whiney, and refuses to believe other possibilities when they are right in front of her face. She's irrational. She does what's best for her and doesn't think about anything or anyone else. The supporting characters were more likeable than Glenn. I just feel like she didn't have much depth.

    I felt like the events were rushed, and I was left with a lot of questions. Some of the magical elements weren't explained very well, and that frustrated me beyond belief.

    The way the book ended it could be a standalone or series. I'd love to learn more about the Magisterium and get a grasp on the inhabitants.

    If you're looking for something different, or a big Fantasy fan, you might enjoy this.
  • (2/5)
    This had a lot of things that, conceptually, were really cool. Unfortunately, the pacing was painfully slow and there wasn't enough actual worldbuilding done to ever make this interesting (or even make sense. A lot of this simply didn't make sense because the time wasn't taken to ever explain anything).
  • (2/5)
    I really enjoyed the Eleventh Plague, so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately it didn't even come close to my hopes. It seemed muddled, confused,and just not that well written.i hate to criticize a book, but honestly, pass this book by and find a better read.
  • (2/5)
    I wanted to like this book. Theory behind it is great, the book itself is not.

    The theory, that a world split by a rift that separates science and magic into unique lands, could have been an AMAZING book. There were strong elements, like a house cat that because a magical warrior being on the other side of the rift was my favorite part. The girl whose parents come from each side of the wall, also amazing. But the pay off was weak. The book needed to be longer-- the pay off at the end felt forced, like a college writing assignment that someone was ripping off the printer on their way to class.

  • (1/5)
    Just couldn't get into it once they crossed the Rift and her cat became her helper. Honestly this was one weird book. I loved A Reader of Fictions review and couldn't agree more with what is written. Skip all the reviews and just read that one.
  • (4/5)
    I hope there's a sequel in the works!
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Note: There are no spoilers except a few in the Discussion section, which you should skip if you want to avoid them.Glennora (“Glenn”) Morgan is 16, and lives alone with her brilliant, eccentric scientist father near the border (or “Rift”) between their world, known as The Colloquium, and the post-nuclear-devastated wilderness beyond it. Glenn’s mother left her and her father, suddenly and with no explanation, ten years earlier, on Glenn’s sixth birthday. Her father spends all his time tinkering in his workshop on a secret “project,” hardly taking time even to eat in his eagerness to accomplish whatever it is he is doing.Glenn has dreams of her own to occupy her. In the 130 years since the holocaust, the Colloquium has made massive scientific and technological advancements. Glenn is particularly eager to be accepted as part of the research outpost on Planet 813, and thinks she has a good chance, since she has no trouble quickly assimilating all the math and science necessary for acceptance. Glenn’s only friend, the equally “nerdy” (read: smart) Kevin Kapoor, doesn’t want her to leave. They are close, even though they constantly fight about what is really on the other side of the Rift. Rumors abound that there is actually an entire civilization on the other side and it is fundamentally different from theirs; Glenn dismisses these rumors as foolish, but Kevin thinks they could be true. Even Glenn’s father sides with Kevin: he tries to explain to Glenn that she should think of reality as a set of playing cards:"The cards are always the same – King, Queen, Ace, Jack – but the game you play changes depending on what set of rules you decide to invoke. Use one set of rules and you’re playing poker. Choose another and you have solitaire. What we think of as reality is no different. It’s a card game. Change the rules and you change reality.”Glenn has a chance to find this out for herself. Her father finishes his project, describing it to Glenn, and Glenn thinks he has gone totally crazy. She reports him to Kevin’s father, a psychologist who works for the government, and Dr. Kapoor in turn contacts the “Authority.” Suddenly Glenn and her father are running for their lives, along with Kevin, who would never leave Glenn. Glenn soon discovers what Hamlet contended to Horatio long ago: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Discussion: ALERT! Mild spoilers ahead! Skip to the Evaluation Section if you want to avoid them! Hirsch has come up with a clever premise – a sort of a reification of the epistemological divide. But I didn’t buy into all aspects of the execution of his idea. In his post-apocalyptic universe, one side of the world is dominated by scientific thinking, and the other by non-empirical ways of knowing about the world. Both develop along lines suggested by the outgrowth of their dominant knowledge theories. In The Colloquium, empiricism and its focus on externality lead to great advances in technology. In The Magisterium, a more phenomenological approach (by which meaning is derived from inner subjectivity and perceptions as well as intersubjective engagement with others and the environment) results in the development of extra-sensory capabilities. Combined with the aftereffects of the post-apocalyptic radiation [which inexplicably affected one side of the world but not another], the magical abilities of the denizens of The Magisterium are manifested by different life forms as well. But some of the preternatural images seem bizarrely juvenile – more the result of mimicking children’s fairy tales than of any probable outcomes. And sometimes I thought Hirsch got carried away, throwing in fantastical asides that didn’t fit into his paradigm.The other thing that put me off was the character of Glenn. First of all, as in another recent book that portrayed scientists as rigid and blind to nuance (see my review of Origin), Glenn is totally hostile to new ideas, an attitude that would be anathema to an actual scientist. Secondly, besides the fact that Glenn is identified as really smart by other characters, to me she seemed Too Stupid To Live. Time and again she puts the lives of everyone around her in danger because of she refuses to acknowledge anything but her own interpretation of what is going on, even in the absence of any information whatsoever. She is also naïve to the point of absurdity. Kevin is only slightly better. After a while, the stickies I used to mark “Too Stupid To Live” were far outnumbering the ones indicating character names or other aspects of the plot I wanted to remember.Evaluation: The premise of this book is in some ways very clever, and in some ways inconsistent and overdrawn. The book is mixed in other ways as well. The main protagonist, Glenn, is at the same time profoundly both naive and immature, but also strong and confident beyond her years; that combination seems a bit bizarre to me. As for the villains, most are wincingly cardboardy, but the wonderful mixture of good and bad that is Aamon makes him an outstanding character. In short, I found this book a mixed bag. I’m all for salmagundis in food, but generally not so much a fan of it in books.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    This review will contain some mild spoilers, but I will try to keep it as non-spoilery as possible.Magisterium starts with a sci-fi feel. It takes place in the future, there’s new technology (some of which seems a lot like an iPad a couple generations down the road, but no big deal), and the protagonist, Glenn, is dreaming of leaving her home on Earth with her father to go live on a distant planet. From the synopsis, I wasn’t really expecting a sci-fi vibe, and for a minute, I got really excited that we would perhaps be treated to space travel + magic in this book. That seemed like an amazing combo: everything I never knew I always wanted.Alas, it didn’t really happen.A few chapters in, everything in Glenn’s life goes topsy-turvy, and she winds up stranded with her friend Kevin in the Magisterium. What is the Magisterium, you ask? Well. Um. From what I gathered, it’s this cuh-razy Wonderland-esque world that exists outside the borders of the city where Glenn was raised. As best I can tell, everyone just knows where the border is and doesn’t cross it because they’ve been told VERY BAD THINGS exist on the other side. And it’s true, very bad things do exist on the other side, but not the things they thought were there. But no worries, no one questions this by crossing the border. Ever. (And, for the record, the border isn’t a fence or a wall or a force field or anything…nope, as far as I could tell, you can just step across it. But no one does).Okay. So Glenn and Kevin are in the Magisterium, and there is MAGIC there. Lots of it. And it is weird, mostly because it is unexplained. I mean, I love magic in stories. I do. Almost all of my favorite stories include at least a smidgen of magic. But I need it to make sense. I need it to have a purpose and its own rules and laws that bind it. And the problem with the magic in the Magisterium is that it doesn’t appear to have any rules, nor does it seem to have any purpose for being. There is simply “The Rift,” the event that happened over a hundred years ago that created both the Magisterium and Glenn’s world, Colloquium. And Colloquium seems to have developed “normally,” i.e., humans continued developing technology that allowed them to advance.But for some reason, this massive (and inexplicable) explosion created an entirely different reality in the Magisterium, where magic runs wild and can do all sorts of everything. There is a passing attempt to kinda-sorta explain The Rift and the Magisterium, but it doesn’t really work.And I don’t want to ruin the plot by stating specifics, so I’ll just move on.Once Glenn and Kevin are in the Magisterium, lots of things happen. And here’s another issue I had. Glenn is indisputably the protagonist, but for the vast majority of the book, all the interesting things happen to Kevin. I don’t want to say what happens to him specifically, so let’s just say it’s pretty much everything. Glenn just kind of wanders around, confused, watching Kevin have all sorts of bizarre experiences. Which is why I spent the first 3/4 of the book asking myself, “Why isn’t Kevin the main character?” It made it really hard for me to feel much of anything for Glenn, since she wasn’t the one drawing my interest.Eventually, it did become clear why Glenn was the main character and not Kevin. And that was a kind of neat (if predictable) twist. But it came too late to really make me invest in Glenn.Characters aside, the story was hard to follow. Strangely enough, it kept striking me as something that would make a cool TV show, but not a very good novel, because I just don’t think I was picturing the Magisterium and the action correctly. It was so hard to figure out what everything was supposed to look like, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to have to really concentrate and focus in order to understand a book. I’d rather just be swept away. I have a feeling that if I didn’t have to work so hard on figuring out the setting and the action, I could have focused more on the characters and plot, and thus enjoyed it more. Plus, the plot was rather episodic anyway. It felt for a long time like Glenn and Kevin were just stumbling from place to place, for no apparent reason, and they kept encountering weird characters and situations as they did. I’m not sure why this was really necessary, but it added to the feeling that each little vignette would probably make a fun TV episode. There were also some inconsistencies sprinkled throughout (a character is mortally wounded in one scene, but a couple stitches later and now he’s running and jumping? Hmmm…), but honestly, I was so busy trying to figure out what was happening and why it was necessary that I let the inconsistencies slide.Eventually, when Glenn’s big reveal happens and she finally starts doing things, the story picks up. I still found the magic hard to grasp and the action hard to picture, but I was a lot more interested at that point. No, the big “twist” wasn’t really surprising, but it was welcome because it finally put the focus on the main character, where it belonged. But even then, I still had issues with the execution. The magic got even more convoluted. The inconsistencies grew larger. Characters would disappear for chapters at a time, then magically reappear with no explanation about where they went. And the catalyst for most of the conflict started seeming more and more ridiculous. Then the end comes, and it is…a stretch. Both literally and figuratively. It left me wrinkling my brow and asking, “Really?”Obviously I have a lot to complain about with this book. But I also have some praises. I love – truly and deeply — the idea of mashing up sci-fi and fantasy. The book had so much promise to explore an amazing combination of genres, and while I wish it had explored its potential further, I really applaud Jeff Hirsch for throwing the two together in the first place. Also, despite my issues connecting, I liked that Glenn and Kevin weren’t your average YA protagonists. Glenn was not swept up in the usual torrent of teenage girl feelings, and Kevin was not the typical leading man.And while the imagery may have been a bit off for me, I still enjoyed the world. I liked the concept of the dual realities, the magic battling with technology. It’s an amazing idea, and I loved being able to explore it.I don’t know if I’ll keep reading the Magisterium series, but if they ever make it into a TV series, I’ll definitely watch.
  • (4/5)
    Recommended When we first meet Glenn, she is at home on her tablet and spends her time at school and looking out for her dad. Her best friend is Kevin, but their relationship has just turned weird because he tried to kiss her. Glenn’s dad sort of neglects her because he is working on and invention in their shed. This is part of his never-ending search for his wife (Glenn’s mother) who left 10 years ago. Glenn just wants to get into the Deep Space Service Academy and is trying to skip a year of school. Kevin seems to be reading more and more about conspiracy theories that Glenn does not want to hear about. Glenn’s dad makes a breakthrough in his invention and tells Glenn about it. Glenn and Kevin end up on the run because of this invention and they have to run across into the Rift. Turns out that Glenn has all sorts of magical powers (affinity) and has been lied to her entire life.I think that students who start this book will want to finish it. It did not get rave reviews, but I think as long as it keep kids reading, it’s a good book. I would agree with the reviews about Glenn’s personality and how past events have hardened her outlook on life. I found myself reading the book and not being happy with the choices she made. However, after finishing the book, it’s possible that these are the choices a hurt, teenage girl might make. She was just mad and didn’t want to hear that she was wrong. There are elements of dystopian fiction, romance, action-adventure, fantasy and magical creatures. A lot going on, but I did not notice any glaring flaws. The only objectionable material in this book is some of the violence, but nothing extraordinary. I will recommend it to students. The cover art is well done and reflects the book. I would put this book up on a new book display. I would also book talk it with other dystopian fiction. I think it will appeal to both boys and girls.
  • (4/5)
    Mini Book Review: A truly unique and unusual story that is perfect for the reluctant reader. This was an extremely fast paced story with plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I won't lie I was a little confused at times about what the heck was going on but than again I was reading it while taking care of the kids while hubby was away - mind wasn't completely there. The cover is fabulous and I had to pick it up after promising no more books while at BEA. Glenn is an intriguing and likeable character and I enjoyed the scenes between her and Kevin. I also really enjoyed the scene with Opal which gave the story a little more heart. I think the story would have been far superior if some of what I read in the scenes with Opal could have been developed further. Hirsch is fabulous at world building and prose but I just found the story lacking in something. It was still a nice escape from reality but not something I truly loved. I know this review is kinda rambling but hey its been a long weekend sorry3.75 Dewey'sI picked up a copy of this at BEA last year and just now finally getting to it
  • (4/5)
    Jeff Hirsch’s Magisterium is a complex novel that merges science fiction/dystopian and fantasy with a surprising outcome.Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan’s life changes the day her scientist father gives her a bracelet that he has invented. He believes the bracelet will allow them to enter the Rift, another division of their planet, and the place where he believes her mother may have disappeared. Glenn doesn’t believe her father when he tells her this. While the Colloqium is a futuristic world steeped in science, the Rift is just a barren wasteland in another dimension. There’s no way that her mother could possibly be there. Even if it could be true, Glenn has no desire to enter the Rift. The way she sees it, her mother abandoned them, so why would she want to go find her? She would rather stay in the Colloqium with her best (and only) friend, Kevin, finish school and then escape to planet 813. When Glenn tells her therapist about the bracelet and what her father believes it can do, she soon finds her father imprisoned by the authority and herself on the run from military forces. She and Kevin escape to the Rift (aka the Magisterium) a place of magic, odd people and several things that don’t make sense to Glenn. What she and Kevin will soon discover is that the world they come from is a lie and that the entire universe is much more than they ever could have thought.While the overall premise strikes a familiar chord (bright girl with no mother and a father who pours himself into his work leaving her to daydream about the day she can finally go away), the story is told in a fresh and inventive way. While the writing didn’t blow me away, it certainly wasn’t awful. In fact, it flowed well. I was also able to connect with most of the characters, though I wasn’t all that fond of Glenn. She’s okay, she just felt a little flat and a little too familiar. I much preferred Kevin, though he seemed a little familiar as well (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Honestly, the only character who struck me as truly unique was the character of Aamon, but he doesn’t come along until they reach the Magisterium.The pacing is good, and the story flows well, though there were a few places where I felt it seemed to contradict itself. Maybe it was just me not paying close enough attention. My biggest problem with the book was the cliffhanger ending. It just didn’t work for me at all. I’m okay with cliffhangers if they actually work, but this one, sadly, didn’t.If you like complex stories, and are looking for something different, I would recommend this one.
  • (2/5)
    Background: Glenn and her father have been living in the Colloquium for 10 years since her mother disappeared. Her father is a bit of a scientist, probably closer to the insane kind than the insightful. One day her father seems to go off the deep end and starts announcing that Glenn’s mother never really disappeared but went beyond the forbidden border and now they have to get her back with some glow-y crazy bracelet he has invented. While trying to help Glenn accidentally gets the Authority called on herself and her father and has to rush away, she ends up across the border and discovers that everything she has learned was a lie, and what really exists is Magisterium.Review: This book has a kick-a** creepy cover and the premise seemed so awesome. Sadly I was a little let down. I was very confused throughout reading this, there were so many characters and details that the plot and the important characters seemed to get lost in it all. Magisterium is an amazing place full of the creepy, off-kilter, strange things that can only exist there, but there creepiness is often downplayed and the characters are likable enough but I never really grew attached to any of them, just followed them. I think what makes a great story is the connection you make with the characters and feel as if you are with them throughout their adventure, in Magisterium, I did not feel like that. I think the most I felt for a character was the cat, Hopkins.I enjoyed the complexity of the world Hirsch created, it was beautiful, but I just felt like a lot was lost in translation.
  • (4/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: A world filled with wonder, built with layers upon layers of detail, that includes well-written characters. Opening Sentence: Glenn followed the hum of machinery out to the edge of the forest.The Review: First of all, Jeff Hirsch’s Magisterium has a wonderful book cover. For those of you who have not seen the advanced reading copy (ARC), the cover’s background is in foil. It is luminescent, complementing the dark focus of the cover – a girl who appears to be transforming into a group of crows. The cover demands your attention, and Hirsch’s Magisterium is no different. Filled with both fantasy and science fiction, Magisterium does a fantastic job blending the lines to write this amazing story. Glenn Morgan is a sixteen year-old girl, living in a world filled with technology, the Colloquium, without famine, and without magic. Glenn’s reality is that her mother disappeared when she was only six. Soon afterwards, her scientist father poured himself into his work, consuming his whole life into the secret Project. Glenn is a smart student, always studying and preparing for the day that she can leave the planet and escape. But once the project is complete, Glenn panics and results in her father’s arrest. Only with the help of her closest friend, Kevin, can she escape and together, they escape into the unknown territory known past the Rift. Glenn is a strong protagonist who has found herself questioning everything in her past. At a young age of sixteen, she has managed to grow up into a strong female with respectable morals. But Glenn’s home life wasn’t terrible. Her father loves her, as well as the memories of her mother, providing Glenn with a strong backbone and personality. Growing up in a technological world, Glenn has only accepted life in a certain way. She does not accept magic, for she doesn’t know anything else. Having a scientist brain, she seeks proof, and with magic, there is none. Everything is accessible through her tablet, which does not prepare Glenn for anything once she is on the run. Kevin Kapoor is introduced as Glenn’s only friend. There is a slight inclination of romantic interest, but having grown up together since childhood, it seemed inevitable. Kevin is a good companion, an ally, and a friend, one that Glenn is lucky to have. Stepping into the world of magic and unknown, they both meet Aamon. Aamon is different, a perfect introduction into this world beyond the Rift. He is elusive and filled with secrets, but Glenn feels an odd familiarity. He protects them both, despite his hesitations and concerns, but Aamon is loyal. Hirsch weaved Glenn’s emotions into the story, altering the mood and theme dependent on what she felt at the time. Magisterium erases the borders of technology and magic, bringing them together like they belonged all along. And the world and its magic can easily be characterized as another character. One of the best, in my opinion, filled with creatures, culture, and history, that as a reader, you’ll want more. Hirsch’s world is amazing. Magisterium is amazing. The world that Hirsch built is really and truly filled with wonder. There are so many layers between the two worlds and within the story. The characters were written with so much depth, between both worlds, that the main and supporting characters all deserve recognition. I was in awe with the wonderful imagery and the culture behind magic and technology. Each world separate, but also seamlessly connected. I loved the concept of the story and Hirsch did a fantastic job with his writing and carrying out the plot. The pacing was great, and I never felt bored. I was always anxiously waiting to turn the page, ready to read the next detail or next scene. The lines are blurred between science fiction and fantasy, but on the side of great accomplishment. Magisterium was really a perfect blend of dystopia and fantasy, allowing my imagination to do what it does best. Notable Scene: Glenn scrambled to lift up his shirt. The bullet wound in his side was ringed in tattered flesh. Blood oozed from it, pooling beneath him. A wave of panic crashed into Glenn. She leaned into the wound, her thin arms quivering. Kevin howled but she pressed harder. She had hoped the soaked T-shirt would hold back the blood, but she could already feel it seeping through the fabric and onto her fingers. Kevin moaned again, weaker this time. His eyes opened. They were unfocused and hazy, wild. His life was flowing out of him. Glenn turned back the way they had come, the panic turning to hysteria. She had no choice. “We’re here!” she screamed, shredding her throat, hoping the agents would hear her, hoping they would come. “We’re here! Please help us! PLEASE!”FTC Advisory: Scholastic Press provided me with a copy of Magisterium. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (4/5)
    Hoping this was a sequel to Hirsch’s Eleventh Plague, I picked up this advanced readers' copy from BEA 2012. It’s not but don’t let that deter you. This is a breathless, fast-paced, action adventure. Set in the 22nd century science has banished famine or want. Next to 16 year old Glennora’s home is The Rift a mysterious area that some fear is inhabited by monsters. Glen believes in science. Since the disappearance of her mother 10 years before, Glen’s father has retreated into an all consuming project. Glen dreams of entering the Deep Space Service Academy and escaping her life. Suddenly, Glen’s father’s project attracts the attention of the Authority. They try to kill Glen and she must flee with her friend into the unknown. This book about authority, loyalty, family, and friendship is sure to be a hit with young adult fantasy and dystopia fans. I would use this for high school students to discuss what do you owe to friends and family. Was Glen’s father right to persist in his project even though he neglected Glen throughout her childhood?