Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teen/YA Review: Magisterium

I wanted to read some spooky books during the month of October, and Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch kicked off my creepy reading perfectly!  This new novel from the author of The Eleventh Plague starts out as your typical post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel, but it also has a hefty dose of (dark) magic and lots of surprises.

Sixteen-year old Glenn Morgan lives a quiet life.  Her mother left when she was six, and her scientist father is immersed in his project out in his workshop, leaving Glenn on her own most of the time.  She goes to school, hangs out with her mohawked friend, Kevin Kapoor, and dreams of the day when she can apply to a space academy and escape her lonely life.  They live in a world based on technology and science, but Kevin has heard rumors of a different world, filled with magic and monsters, just beyond the Rift that borders their backyards.  Glenn insists that there is nothing beyond the Rift but a barren wasteland, as they’ve been taught in their history classes.

One day, their quiet, dull lives are upended when Glenn’s dad finally finishes the project he’s been obsessed with, a metal bracelet, and the Authority, their police force, come to arrest him.  Glenn and Kevin grab the bracelet and escape to the only place they can – across the border.  What they find there, on the run from the government, is crazy and confusing and hard to believe, but Glenn must continue her quest to save her father.

I don’t want to say much more about the rest of the novel because it is filled with suspense and lots of twists and turns.  It is an imaginative and action-packed adventure story about a dystopian world much different than others I have read about (and I have read a lot of dystopian novels this year!).  Glenn and Kevin are both strong, admirable characters whom I was rooting for.  I devoured the book quickly, and now my 18-year old son wants to read it!

310 pages, Scholastic


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