Monday, December 10, 2012

Dystopian Fantasy: Magisterium

by Jeff Hirsch
Scholastic Press
320 pages

Read the first three chapters here

Unique and creepy, mysterious and dangerous, magical and dreadful, Magisterium is the second novel for YA author Jeff Hirsch (The Eleventh Plague).

Glenn remembers her mother vaguely. She went away years ago and no one has heard from her since. Glenn’s father became depressed and retreated into his workshop spending long hours working on The Project, a nonsensical invention he’s been tinkering with—sometimes for days on end. Glenn has to remind him to eat and to come in and sleep.

Then, her father discovers what he’s been looking for. Proof that the Rift was on purpose; proof the government has been covering up its secrets. Beyond their walls, there is a world out there—a world where his wife has disappered.

Glenn panics and tells her doctor about her father’s outlandish tale; the doctor works for the government and turns in Glenn and her father. Glenn’s father is taken away by armed guards, but Glenn escapes with her friend Kevin. They flee the fence and are soon in a strange land where magic is possible. Is her father right? Is Glenn’s mother here and will Glenn find her? What’s so important about the bracelet her father gave her? Why would the government kill for it?

Part science fiction, part dystopian novel, part fantasy and a little bit of romance, Magisterium will take readers to places they’ve never dreamed of.

Recommended grades 7-up. Some violence. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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