Book Review: Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

How Excited Was I To Read Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch? Very! Because the name and description reminded me of The Golden Compass, which I love.

Book Rating: 5. I’m halfway on this one. It’s well-written and some things I loved (more on that later) but it didn’t grab me, y’know?

Book Jacket: 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.

Book Review: Let me start out by saying I really enjoyed some of the concepts explored by Hirsch through the Rift. A world governed by technology and an Orwellian government on one side. Another in which magic is king. So many possibilities! And almost Stardust reminiscent? The Neil Gaiman book turned into one of my very favorite movies?

People don’t cross the rift – except Glenn and Kevin and a couple notable suggestions because they have been taught to fear what is on the other side. Like kids who stick their tongues to frozen lamp posts? Not sure I liked that bit.

Of course Glenn would never do such a thing. A tough past and being a science genius has given her a very rigid mind. Too rigid to be a good scientist too… (My thinking) and it took me a while to warm up to her.

What I did like was her relationship with Kevin. This was no love obsession at first sight like so many books these days. And there were no electric shocks when their hands brushed blah blah blah. It evolved more organically from a friendship – and delivered some of the more touching moments of the book. I totally appreciated that.

I guess my main complaint with this book was that it dragged for me. Unlike Ready Player One, say, which I recently couldn’t put down. For those to whom the concept appeals though, it may still be worth checking out!

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