Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Magisterium has a great fantasy plot, but the pacing and details spoiled it a bit.

Glenn’s father is somewhat of a mad scientist. Especially since her mother disappeared ten years ago. They live in the Colloquium, the area of “earth” that wasn’t devastated by the massive explosion in 2023. Since then there is the area beyond the border that is a wasteland. There are, of course stories about mutants living across the border, but no one is allowed to go there.

Glenn’s father finally comes  up with an invention. It’s a metal bracelet that he wants Glenn to put on, so that she can cross the border and find her mother and bring her back. Her father finally tells her that’s what happened to her mother. She went into the desolation, and it’s a place that changes you. So her mom doesn’t know what she was, or that she even wants to come back. The bracelet will allow Glenn to enter that area and still stay the way she is here in the Colloquium.

Kevin, Glenn's friend, ends up with her in what they soon discover is called the Magisterium. He's also the romantic interest, and this was one of my favorite aspects. I really liked Kevin and I liked the banter between Kevin and Glenn.

While Magisterium has an interesting and somewhat unique premise, I got lost in the details. There were lots of characters in the Magisterium and I sometimes got them confused. The final showdown just went on way too long -- part of this may be because there was a lot of just telling instead of showing. My heart really never pounded when our main characters were in mortal peril. There is some really strange wording and descriptions. Some sentences I had to read again and still didn't understand. I can't give you a quote because this is an ARC.

I'll once again readily admit that fantasy isn't my favorite genre, although lately I've found myself really enjoying some of these novels. So, Magisterium had some fantastical characters that I didn't really enjoy or understand completely. Some of these characters were a bit too convenient, which is one of the problems I have with fantasy. If your main character is in trouble, just invent some strange creature with a strange power that can help her out. I did like the cat, though...and I'm not going to say anything else about that.

I was a bit disappointed in Magisterium, after really enjoying the beginning and the set up of the world and situation, I just got bogged down in too much fantasy and a drawn out ending.

Die hard fantasy lovers may feel quite differently than I do, and I won't hesitate to recommend Magisterium to those teens that I know like this type of story. I think this one is appropriate for younger teens, so I'll probably put a copy in the middle school library too.

Published by Scholastic, October 1, 2012
ARC won from Bewitched Bookworms
310  pages

Rating: 3/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2012 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved


  1. Thanks for the review! Great to know it works for younger teens, I will have to put this on a list for books to possibly order at my new job. :)

  2. I've heard similar complaints about this book too. The slow pace and the problematic writing doesn't make me excited to pick it up. I think I'll take a pass on it.


Thanks for visiting! I LOVE comments! I've received several awards and because of the time involved, I now must make this an award free blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...