By . 8 CDs. 9:15 hrs. Scholastic Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 978-0-545-46597-7. $34.99.
Gr 6–9—It's been 100 years since the Rift that devastated half the planet, killing millions and leaving much of the Earth a wasteland. The government warns against crossing the border to the other side of the Rift. Glenn Morgan, 16, has no desire to explore a wasteland. Her interests lie in outer space, where interplanetary travel is now possible. Glenn's carefully made plans are dashed when her father reveals that her mother, who disappeared ten years ago, is actually trapped on the other side of the border and he has invented a device that will help them get her back. Glenn is certain her father is delusional and, in trying to get him help, inadvertently brings the mighty forces of the Authority after them. In an escape attempt, Glenn's friend Kevin is shot and they are whisked across the border by a mysterious and deadly being. All of Glenn's closely held beliefs are challenged as she is taken deeper into the Magisterium, a place where affinity (magic) rather than technology rules. Julia Whelan gives a solid performance, though Hirsch's dystopian novel (Scholastic, 2012) doesn't reach its potential. Whelan deftly voices multiple characters, and her youthful voice is particularly strong as Glenn, who is desperate to get her life back to the way it was before entering the Magisterium. Though plenty of action keeps the story moving, inconsistencies in the plot, characters, and world-building will temper listeners' enjoyment.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

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