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Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Magisterium (edition 2012)

by Jeff Hirsch

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1491780,266 (3.13)1 / 2
Authors:Jeff Hirsch
Info:Scholastic Press (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, young adult, fantasy, dystopia, post-apocalyptic

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Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch




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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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.

( )
  lmm161 | Mar 30, 2014 |
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. ( )
  JRlibrary | Feb 9, 2014 |

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. ( )
  kmjanek | Oct 2, 2013 |
I hope there's a sequel in the works! ( )
  ayla.stein | Jul 14, 2013 |
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. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 054529018X, Hardcover)

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.
With MAGISTERIUM, Jeff Hirsch brings us the story of a complex, captivating world that will leave readers breathless until the very last page.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:46 -0400)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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