Goodreads Summary: "More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel, and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.
Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense—the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world."
Goodreads Rating: 4.25 stars and over 11,000 ratings
Genre listings: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction/, Steampunk, Mystery, Magic
Get the book: Amazon, Book Depository
This is the first and only of Brandon Sanderson's books that I've read. I should probably remedy that. I found this gem on one of the bargain shelves at a bookstore for under five dollars. I'm a big fan of deals!
I highly recommend the Rithmatist to anyone who enjoys weird things. This is a cute young adult story about a boy named Joel, who wants to be a Rithmatist. Unfortunately, the Rithmatist are elite mathematician warriors who use the principles of geometry to draw shapes. When these shapes are illustrated in chalk and have Rithmatic properties, they become alive and are called Chalklings. These creatures can execute tasks such as defending and attacking, which is useful against wild Chalklings.
The thing I liked most about Joel is he's just an average kid. He doesn't fit in because he's not rich or a Rithmatist. He doesn't have any special powers, and what makes him great is he works hard, practices his skills, and uses his knowledge of Rithmatists.
Melody was annoying at first, but she grew on me. There are reasons for her behavior, and she ends up being super quirky and a lot of fun. Plus, she pushes Joel to do better.
I enjoyed that this book contained drawings of all the chalklings. Throughout the chapter, and at the end there's a new picture of the little creatures. This book had a lot of details, which I enjoyed. Anytime I had a question about what I was reading; it was eventually answered in snippets. Everything was tied up nicely, but still left room for the story to expand.
My only negative about this book is that I would have liked more details on the steampunk gadgetry. It's not described much, but then again it's not an essential part of the story. It just would have let me imagine things a little better.