Annaleigh Escapes to the MAGISTERIUM

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Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 2012)

Jeff Hirsch’s newest novel, Magisterium, is out now, and let me tell you, this book will take you no time to read in the sense that you will get enthralled in a heartbeat.

First Impressions

Yet another awesome cover on one of Mr. Hirsch’s books. While you don’t know the context of the actual design too much before the end, it’s one that intrigues the casual reader enough to reel in like a tasty morsel on the end of a fishing line. The magic and beauty (and SHINY) of the cover had me simply staring, spellbound. Perfect and fitting enough since the novel itself is magical.

The Novel Itself

Enchanting, magical, thrilling: I loved this book! The world Mr. Hirsch has built is wholly believable, from the advance of tablets to the pollution levels (and other socio-economic problems the world of technology). Let me correct myself now: the TWO worlds Mr. Hirsch has built are wholly believable. There are two entirely separate worlds with their own sets of rules and laws of nature and physics split by the line known as “The Rift.” Of course, the world of magic is just as believable on the other side of the Rift, even with the unique creatures. The magic itself had a certain meditative quality to it, for lack of a better term. It felt druidic and natural, as opposed to the penchant of many writers to create wizardry and sorcery instead.

The characters are filled out, each with their own goals and motivations, each with their own past and backstory. The government lackeys are deliciously evil in that militant and Big Brother-ly way (on BOTH sides of the Rift). The story is a great example of life not being black and white, but it contains gray areas fuzz things up too often. The ending left me breathless. I won’t give away spoilers but, when it comes to it, you realize what’s about to happen. It’s like the moment just before a car wreck, where time seems to slow and you just know. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling the end of the book a car wreck by ANY means, but it was my best example.

So, of course, you NEED this book. Yup, yup, I’m in love again. Get it, get it, get it!

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