Review: Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Goodreads: 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.

Expected Publication- October 1st 2012

With a little bit of action, adventure, fantasy, and dystopian elements, this book has a little bit of something for everyone—except me.  It was an OK read but most of the time, I was utterly confused.   Many bloggers have pointed out the similarities of the book to Lord of the Rings (however, I have no idea if this is true as I’ve never had any interest in LOTR whatsoever!)

At first, I was intrigued by the two differed worlds of the Colloquium and Magisterium (land of magic) and how the main character Glenn was connected to both.  However, the lack of explanations really started to bother me and the questions began to rise.  I also didn’t enjoy the amount of unimportant secondary characters.   They didn’t really play a big role and it was like one minute they were there and the next gone.  In the end, the storyline pacing was just a bunch of really strange things happening really quickly one after another.  It felt like I was reading about Hirsch’s crazy dream or bad drug trip!

The ending was also not in any way satisfying.   I detest that kind of cliff hanger! I would LOVE to hear if you liked this book and why.  I’ve never read anything by Jeff Hirsch before, so maybe I just don’t get him or the story he was trying to tell.

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Goodreads–The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

                                                   Partials (Partials, #1)

Partials by Dan Wells is another monster of a book (472 pages) that will appeal to YA dystopian fans. My colleague passed along this ARC after giving it glowing reviews. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t as hyped about it as she was.

The Bad

-Too many characters. New cast members were continually added to the plot making it increasingly difficult to differentiate between them, remember what side they were on and ultimately connect with them.   It was also really challenging to visualize them due to a lack of physical descriptions.

-Slow moving. The characters spent the majority of the story problem solving, discussing what to do, whom to trust, etc.  Since I didn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t really care what their thoughts were so I found myself skimming a lot in this drawn out book. Thankfully, the book really picked up in the latter half of the book—tons of action to get your adrenaline going!


The Good

-Plot Twists. I found the book’s concept really interesting and LOVED the plot twists. They got me every time—especially the big last reveal!

-Wells’ world building. Wells did a fantastic job at describing with detail the future world of 2076.

-Book cover.  Partials has such an intriguing cover and fantastic tag line—‘the only hope for humans isn’t human.’  This cover grabs the reader’s attention!

Like many other YA novels, the next instalment in this series was perfectly set up with the cliff-hanger ending and unresolved questions.  I think it would be interesting to read about their future society post-virus.  Look for Partials at bookstores and libraries February 28th, 2012.

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