Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review: Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I was fascinated. Who is that? And the title, Magisterium, it intrigued me as well. What does that mean? So, I looked it up. Imagine my surprise when I learned the definition: In the Catholic church, it's the teaching authority of the church. 

Huh?!?

How the heck is that supposed to play out in the story? I couldn't begin to imagine, but I was even more curious and interested to find out. Is this a story in which religion is a big focus? Check out the 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 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.

I don't know where to begin. This isn't an easy story to describe. Jeff Hirsch has created a world filled with magic, fantasy and wonder. I read his first book, The Eleventh Plague and loved his description of a gritty dystopian world. I was pleasantly surprised to see him delve into a fantastical world with mystery and magic.

Let me tell you, this is a story you have to read carefully. There's a lot going on and Hirsch plunges the reader right in the midst of it without any backstory. You do get some background dispersed within the narrative, but I found I had to re-read some segments more than once to get a clear sense of what was going on. Honestly, I'm still not sure if I visualized some of the scenes correctly...lol...the Rift is a kind of topsy-turvy world of weird creatures, magic spells and peculiar motivations. Throughout, I was keeping watch for that religious piece. I don't think I found it. I think the author has created his own definition of Magisterium and I do love that title. It's weird---like the story itself.

There is a very light touch of romance between Glenn and Kevin, but it's just a tiny element. This couple is going through so much hell in this story, they have very little time to focus on their feelings for each other. As a romance junkie, I might have been disappointed about this, but there is so much action and strange goings-on in the tale, I was totally caught up in it. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next!

Magisterium is strange, mystical and at times, confusing story. I highly recommend it! It may not be the easiest story to understand, but it is highly entertaining...and kind of scary. If you've read it, I'm super interested in what your take on it is.

I'm not sure if this is a series or not, but the author certainly left room to continue the story, much as he did with his first book. If he continues on with either one of them, I'm in!

Magisterium released October 1, 2012 by Scholastic.

Toodles!

8 comments:

  1. Interesting! I have this, but sort of forgot I had it!! LOL Maybe I should read it next!

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    1. Yeah, Rhapsody! Read it and tell me what you think!

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  2. I have this, too! I will read it ASAP!
    I am all over strange and confusing!

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    1. Patty, you're too funny! I should have known you'd have it!

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  3. Great review. Must check this out. Love the cover too :)

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    1. Thanks, Emily! Get back to me when you read it.

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  4. I'd never seen it before! But thanks for the review. It does sound strange. :)
    I'm looking at your buttons there, and I'll seeing that you're reading Days of Blood and Starlight!! I'm so jealous. I can't download it from kindle here yet. Bah! Hope it's good, though! :D

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    1. Yeah, Monica. It's an awesome story! Thx for dropping by. :-)

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