magisteriumMagisterium by Jeff Hirsch
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: NetGalley
Rating: DNF
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.

Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn’s only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn’t for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality: Glenn’s mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape. But when her father’s work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run—with only one place to go.

Review:

I’ll be honest here, I was really tempted to just write “This book took me two months to read,” and leave it at that, because, really, if y0u’re a reader, and a book takes you more than a week…well, that’s saying something. I won’t do that though, as I have a duty to you and everyone else to get this out there! Really, and I hate to say this, I always have problems when male authors write female protagonists (with the exception of Rick Riordan). The girls don’t feel real, or they feel too shallow, too concerned with what girls are “supposed” to be concerned with, like boys, makeup, the opinions of others, and things like that. I don’t seem to have that problem with the opposite (see Ethan Wate, written by two women, and Cas Lowood), so I’m certainly not suggesting men can’t write women (see Riordan, David Levithan, Steig Larsson, and Jim C. Hines). I find that men tend to under-develop characters and emphasize plot, and I rarely find male-written romances believable. (I sometimes wonder if the tendency to overemphasize plot at the detriment of character development is not a male thing, but more a hard sci-fi thing.) It’s a personal quirk that annoys me as much as anyone, but it relates here because I didn’t like Glenn. She was naive and emotionally cold and kind of dumb. I will say that I understand her reasons for wanting to leave and go to space, though. I’d want to leave too if my father was an empty husk. I  hated the “I am a shell of a man without my woman” trope, because for once in YA, I’d like the adults to act like freaking adults, pull themselves together and provide for their children. So this book started off on a bad foot for me. I guess I have a hard time with people who repress.

I only read up to chapter seven (after TWO MONTHS) before I decided I didn’t want to finish this one. It sounds like such a cool idea, such a cool landscape and world, but I disliked Glenn a lot, and I couldn’t find it in me to finish. Don’t take my word for it though, check out Magisterium and see if it’s a book for you.