By Jeff Hirsch
Scholastic, $17.99, 310 pages
The Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch is an interesting contrast between magic and technology. The book has vibes of a post-apocalyptic or dystopian story. There is one world, the Colloquium, and it is separated from another world, the Magisterium, by the rift. The main character is Glennora Morgan. She loses her mother when she is young and her father believes that her mother came from and returned to the other side of the rift. Glenn believes there is nothing past the rift, only wastelands. She mistakenly trusts her best friend’s father, which results in her own father being arrested. Glenn, and her best friend, Kevin, are also targeted because of her father’s research, and the bracelet that her father forced onto her before his capture. They run into the rift to find, not a wasteland, but a whole different world with ‘affinity’ also known as magic. While the Colloquium is terrifying in its controlling government and high level technology, the Magisterium has its own government troubles. The Magistra, the single ruler over the world, has uncontrolled power.
Hirsch tells a dramatic story that keeps the reader turning pages. This reader enjoyed the uniqueness of each world. While not every nuance of both worlds was explained in detail, enough explanation was given to understand how they worked. Readers will want to continue to see which world will survive, which world will win, and whether Glenn will learn the truth about her mother, rescue her father, and live through both endeavors.
Reviewed by Jina Oravetz