I was super excited when I received Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch from Netgalley. It had a really interesting premise and it sounded like something I would like.
Glenn Morgan wants to get away. She wants to get on the next flight to Planet 813 and live out the rest of her days as a top scientist, studying the environment and life there. She would have to leave her genius father (from whom she inherited her own genius) behind, but that’s exactly what she wants; for years he has been totally engrossed in his mysterious “Project,” which he claims is the key to rescuing her mother from the Magisterium, the land beyond the border that most say is a wasteland, but some believe is full of magic beings. When Glenn goes to the authorities about her father’s project, they want to steal it; they know what is actually beyond the border and they want to destroy it. As they try to escape, her father is arrested and she is left stranded in the Magisterium with her sort-of-friend Kevin and the giant half-human-half-cat man Aamon. Will she find her mother and restore her to her former self? Or will the government destroy the Magisterium and all that Glenn holds dear?
Glenn, our main character, was slightly boring. She was smart and sensible, but she lacked fire in the beginning of the book. Once she was in the Magisterium for a while, she began to get a little spark, but she wasn’t exactly a raging fire. However, she was portrayed accurately in that she was greatly shaped by her mother’s “death.” Hirsch definitely rendered her well in that aspect. I liked her well enough, I just wasn’t totally enthralled by her. Considering this book was written by a man, he portrayed this girl really well, so he gets definite props for that. Kevin was much more fun. He had a good sense of humor and he took everything lightly, which I could appreciate. Overall, he had an awesome personality and a Mohawk. All of the other characters were well put together, as well, but Kevin was by far my favorite.
The story line was intriguing. The whole idea that there is a whole other world in which magic can operate, but electronics cannot, is really creative. I thought it was really cool that Aamon turned into a cat when he was in the Colloquium (Glenn’s “side” of the world), but he was slightly human on the Magisterium side. He was like a were-cat or something. This story captivated me and drew me in almost right away and it kept my attention the whole time. The ending of this book was extremely powerful. I was tremendously sad at the end and I felt like I was punched in the stomach. Overall, a pretty good read.