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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Title: Magisterium
Author: Jeff Hirsch
ISBN: 9780545290180
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: October 1, 2012
Page #: 320
Source: eARC from NetGalley

"On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.

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 the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape.

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."
First Lines:

"Glenn followed the hum of machinery out to the edge of the forest. 
'Dad! Dinner!'
Balancing a tray in her hands, and her tablet under one arm, Glenn eased around a patch of snow stained blue from the lights of the generator that powered her father's workshop."
Page 3

I don't think I was expecting quite the epic adventure sci-fi craziness that this book offers. It was a nice surprise.

Glenn and Kevin have been friends for a long time - and he has ideas about what is on the other side of the boundary. Crazy stuff, really. They live in a world where science and technology is king and they want for nothing. But Glenn's father is a super scientist... an inventor. And one day, his invention gets him arrested. And Glenn is forced to find out what is on the other side of the boundary. It's not at all what she expects. There are people she didn't expect... and much more.

I have to say that this story kept me on my toes. I never expected what was coming around the corner. There were a few things that I was expecting, but not quite the extent that the author gave me. I was sort of impressed with that. It was sort of hard to get a handle on the whole other universe and how things were different there. I can't tell you much about it without spoiling some of the major character surprises.

But it almost seems like the other world is stuck in ancient history. It's full of magic and mystery, but without all of the major modern comforts. Plus, there are wars going on that Glenn and Kevin never imagined. The especially didn't imagine that someone from there world would know exactly what was going on.

I know this review is a little disjointed - I blame it on not being able to reveal many secrets. But I was also a little confused sometimes. The relationship between Glenn and Kevin being right up there on the confusion meter. Who knows where they stood the entire time?! I guess that wasn't a major storyline, but sometimes it's nice to understand how your characters feel about each other. Just sayin ;).

All in all, this is an epic adventure. Glenn is off looking for a way home - and a way to free her father. She's been given lots of clues and a little help, but still has so much to learn. I think it's a good book for those readers who love a good magical adventure. They will definitely be hoping for a second book to clear up some of the mysteries. And if you haven't read Jeff Hirsch's other book, The Eleventh Plague, I highly recommend you do. 
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