Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This version of a post-apocalyptic world wasn't really anything different from what I've read before. Think Gaiman's Stardust, or any other book about a society with a government that has separated the "real" (or "known") world from Out There. Here, the Colloquium (which has advanced science and space travel) keeps the population inside the Rift - outside is a wasteland created when a bomb of some sort went off over a hundred years earlier. Glenn's life is about getting into the space service and taking her rescue cat, Hopkins, with her to 813, a distant star. Mom left 10 years earlier and since then Dad, a promising inventor, has become increasingly obsessed with some mysterious invention he's working on at home.
Glenn's friend Kevin is convinced that on the other side of the Rift is something interesting, but it isn't until the mysterious invention is revealed (it's a bracelet that will take the Colloquium's technology through the Rift into the Magisterium) that Glenn - who has reported the bracelet to Kevin's father, who told the Authority, who arrest Dad and try to take Glenn and Kevin - tries to escape to this unknown realm. Of course there is something there, something that has evolved differently than those on the other side of the Rift.
And equally of course, Glenn plays a major role in the battle between the two. There are many readers for whom this genre hasn't burned out, so they'll enjoy this book. For me, this wasn't as good as The Eleventh Plague and has a strong whiff of "trilogy" to it.
ARC provided by publisher.