Review Detail

Magisterium Featured
Young Adult Fiction 2319
Very weird
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Magisterium was one strange book. Seriously, this is probably the second oddest book I've read so far this year, second only to Dust Girl. Though Magisterium definitely does have dystopian elements to its setting, it's really not about that. Instead, this is a novel for fantasy fans all the way. Occasionally, there are even moments where it felt like a fairy tale. Be prepared for all sorts of craziness when you set out on this journey

When the novel opens, we meet Glenn, our heroine, who desperately wants to graduate early and become an astronaut (though it's called something else in their futuristic society. Ever since her mom left, she has struggled with connecting to people and just wants to get out, just like her father escapes into his Project. Her only friends are her cat, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Kevin Kapoor, who pestered her until she accepted his friendship. Now he seems to want more from their relationship and Glenn is really trying to keep from getting attached to anyone here, thus she's putting on the brakes big time.

Her father tells her the secret of his Project, what he's been working on. He has made a bracelet that will allow them to travel across the Rift, a dead area, behind which everything is supposedly destroyed. He believes that there is a whole different society over there, functioning under different laws than theirs and that her mother has gone back there. She doesn't believe him; in fact, she thinks he's crazy and gets the government brought down on them. She and Kevin escape across the Rift, while Dad sits in jail.

Much to Glenn's chagrin, Dad was right after all. Across the Rift is a whole other government and a completely different world. There people have magic. There are animal-human hybrid things, like Aamon, who helps them survive. This world is the Magisterium, and it is ruled by the tyrant, Magistra.

Kevin was my favorite character, as much as I had one. Of course, being that his name is Kevin, he's Indian, he's slightly annoying, and he's incredibly persistent, I could picture him as only as Kevin G from Mean Girls.

I also liked Hopkins, however, all of the characters underwent major changes once they crossed the Rift and things got crazy, at which point I wasn't so much connected as doing my best to follow along with what was going on. Pretty much the whole time they're in there, I had no clue what was going on...mostly weird things just kept happening.

Pretty much the only thing I could think about for most of the book, though, was HOW MUCH it reminded me of LOTR for the two thirds. I know that LOTR influenced a lot of authors and commonalities can probably be found in just about any fantasy novel. However, I am not drawing this comparison just because. There was a ton of stuff. Seriously, let's sit back and think about this okay?

So we have an unlikely individual to be confronting The Man. She doesn't want to take the bracelet (aka magical bling bling) and go on this journey, but she has to. The first official plan is to take the ring...I mean, bracelet...to the only city in the world where it can be destroyed, so that it can be removed from the world, since every power only wants it for EVIL.

They set out in their little small fellowship, Aamon leading Glenn and Kevin. They make a plan for how to get to the city where the bracelet can be destroyed, but find the easy route blocked. Thus, they have to try the more dangerous way, about which Aamon says this: "'I can protect you from Garen Tom and his men,' he said. 'But there are things in the deeper places that...change you. Things I'm powerless against.'" Does anyone think that sounds remarkably like Gandalf's reluctance to go through the Mines of Moria?

As they're journeying, Glenn and Kevin sneak off one evening and see beautiful, magical fairy-like creatures in a scene that brought to mind Frodo and Sam watching the elves. She tries several times to get Kevin to leave her, until he delivers a little speech that seems eerily reminiscent to Sam's "And I'm coming with you" from the end of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Still not convinced? Well, how about the fact that, when Glenn removes the magic bracelet, she suddenly has magic powers and the descriptions make it feel like she's just entered a brand new world, and the forces in that world can act upon her. Taking the bracelet OFF = putting the ring ON. They also encounter a spider lady and fight wraiths. The final comparison, as if this all wasn't enough, was that the Magistra was described as being very powerful but not yet fully awake, so they were initially going to be facing only her servants directly.

In the end, I thought this was okay, but I found myself getting bored with the constant unexpected plot shifts. There were a lot of secondary characters that would flit in for some back story and then leave again, all without me knowing precisely why I was supposed to care about any of it. Hirsch's writing was decent, but didn't hold any special appeal for me.

Fantasy fans that like a more eclectic read will likely want to look into Magisterium. Also, if you're fascinated by concepts of the distance between things, the line between magic and technology, you would probably be interested in the divide of the Rift, which, frankly, I would REALLY like to know more about. As of this moment, I think this is a standalone, but there's space for more.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome! Within...
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Animals--they're cute and fluffy, cuddly and puffy, and ... sometimes...
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Drew Sheneman brings budding paleontologists the truth about...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New...
Soulswift
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must rethink...
Goblin King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Beautiful Wild
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage...

Latest Member Reviews

Once Upon an Eid
 
5.0
"This collection has a wide variety of stories about different aspects of Eid, and is particularly poignant during this time..."
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
 
3.7
"Los Angeles, Ferguson, and Baltimore. Three cities where years of racism, injustice, unchecked police brutality, and rampant anti-Black racism came..."
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
 
5.0
"Hartfield begins her in depth look at the history of the Chicago race riots recounting the events of a simple..."
Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
""Fireblood" was a pretty good continuation of the Frostblood Saga. While the first book took place in the land of..."
Frostblood
 
4.7
"Absolutely incredible! “Frostblood” was an amazing YA fantasy with a touch of romance that quickly burned (or should I say..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
"This sequel picked up not to long after Frostblood left off, with Arcus on the throne and Ruby attempting to..."
The Last Magician
 
5.0
"The Last Magician was a magical and exciting novel set in 1902 that featured time-travel, magic and gangs in New..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
3.7
" Fireblood is the sequel to Frostblood and thus follows Ruby as her journey furthers..."
Frostblood
 
3.0
"Frostblood follows a young girl through a journey of revenge and romance. Ruby is a Fireblood, one of the last..."
Armstrong & Charlie
 
5.0
"It's 1975, and while some middle school problems are the same (weird teachers, school lunches, annoying parents), some are very..."
Frostblood
 
3.3
"FROSTBLOOD was a fantasy story based around two elemental races, fire and ice, and the king that would crush the..."
Flawed
 
4.0
"I received an eARC of Flawed quite a while ago but didn't get around to reviewing it because of work..."
Fortitude
 
5.0
"I thought the idea of a white girl, Claire--not only being best friends with a Creole, Loretta--but whose aunt was..."
Fortitude
 
5.0
"I had never really read a historical fiction, but this one was awesome. I'm so glad a friend recommended this..."
Fortitude
 
5.0
"I'm usually not a fan of historical fiction, but I'm always a fan of beautiful writing with characters that steal..."
Flawed
 
3.7
""I've learned that people aren't cruel. Most people aren't, anyway, apart from the Logans, the Colleens, the Gavins, and the..."
White is for Witching
 
5.0
"White is for Witching is a weird little story, and at the same time, it strikes a chord that anyone..."
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave
 
3.0
"What I Liked: Putting it all out there, I actually really struggled with this book in the beginning. It’s slow-moving,..."
The Help
 
4.3
"Can you imagine a segregation happening between you and your friends because of different ethnicity? Many people don’t know what..."