Author: Brandon Sanderson
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. 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 learn 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.
My Summary: Joel has had one dream for as long as he can remember: to be a Rithmatist - someone who has the power to bring chalk drawings to life and make them do his bidding. He's spent his life studying and learning everything there is to know about the world of the Rithmatists.
But despite his expertise and vast knowledge, it's too late for Joel. All he can do now is watch the Rithmatist students train to protect the American Isles from creatures known as Wild Chalklings and wish he was one of them.
Until Rithmatist students begin disappearing from their bedrooms under suspicious circumstances. With the police baffled and all clues leading to dead ends, Joel and a kindly old professor are recruited to help figure out who is behind the attacks.
My Thoughts: This was a thoroughly engaging novel that pulled me in right away and did not let up until I had turned the final page. Joel was a character I was instantly able to relate to, and one whom I sympathized with throughout the novel. Joel's passion for the world of the Rithmatists was infectious, and it was fun to watch his quest to study amongst them intersect with the mystery surrounding the disappearing students.
The premise was incredibly intriguing; the idea of the chalk drawings coming to life had me wanting to read more from the second I read the summary. Needless to say, I'll be eyeing the chalkboard with a little more suspicion when school starts up again in a few weeks.
Although it is listed under YA, I think this novel would be perfect for anyone looking for a quality middle-grade read. This was also one of the first novels that - upon finishing - I rushed to check when the sequel would be released because I couldn't wait to get back to the world of the Rithmatists. Unfortunately, fans of this series have a bit of a wait ahead - book two is set to be released in 2017. Fortunately though, Sanderson has a slew of other novels to keep me reading until then.
Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys steampunk, historical fiction, and fantasy novels.