Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Rithmatist
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Yes. #1
Pages: 374
Genre: Fantasy. Mystery. Young Adult. Sci-Fi.
Published Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Summary: Goodreads

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.

My Thoughts:

Going into this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had seen a review on the book, but I had no knowledge of what the story would be about. I did know, however, the Brandon Sanderson was a highly respected author, which made me very curious about his writing style, and obviously I was not disappointed. In the beginning, the powers over chalk kind of threw me off, a couple of times I had to sit down an imagine how these horrifying little chalk drawings could cause so much havoc. The longer I sat and considered it, the more horrific it sounded-- there's really no true way to fight back. If your not another Rithmatist that is. The idea sent chills down my spine and Sanderson's descriptions of some of the chalking's attacks were capable of making the hairs on my neck stand up.

Another aspect I loved about this book was the fact that the setting resided in a Steampunk era. The world building was phenomenal and rich. I can really appreciate the thought process that must've gone into creating this story. Sanderson's writing has a way of always keeping you on your toes. Just as you think you've figured out exactly how certain events are going to play out... everything suddenly takes a turn in a different direction. I had such a fun time reading this book and I even fell for quite a few of the characters. I also loved the plot twists at the end and how Brandon tied everything together. I can't wait for the second book! He needs to work on it!!

(Do NOT read unless you've read the book!!) 

Alright, in the beginning we are introduced to a boy named Joel. He's young, lazy, and passionate about Rithmatists. He doesn't really fit in anywhere and his friend's are practically non-existent. Apart from Micheal and Davis whom, personally, I don't consider really counting as "friends". Joel is lonely and that made me feel bad for him-- I felt as though I was easily able to connect with him. In the very first chapter we're introduced to Nalizar and Fitch. Right off the back I think I can safely safe that Nalizar was on my sh** list. He's arrogant, pompous, and his 'better-than-anyone' attitude made me want to introduce my fist to his face. But he's a fictional character and I didn't want to hurt my hand. 
Though If I had to chance to hit him, I would gladly take it. 
Fitch, on the other hand, made me feel very sad. This jerk basically just walked into the campus and took Fitch's job, leaving the poor man with almost nothing. It wasn't fair and it made me hate Nalizar even more. The whole time I kept thinking to myself: Is Fitch really just going to let this P.O.S. walk in like he owns the friggin' place? Is Fitch really that much of a pushover? That was probably the only thing that irritated me about his personality. 

Next, we're introduced to Melody, whom I adore with every fiber of my being. She's supposed to be this really dramatically annoying character,  but every time she was having one of her 'fits' all I could do was laugh. "My life, is a tragedy!" This was probably her favorite thing to say, or at least 'tragedy' was, and each time she would purposely make a big scene of herself. The thing I loved about her was the fact she was the most honest and open character in the book. I never had to be suspicious or unsure about her and that was refreshing. Another thing I really enjoyed about Melody was her character development. When she is first introduced, Rithmatics is the last thing she cares or even worries about-- she is far too busy drawing her unicorns-- and then later throughout the book you can see that she actually starts to enjoy her studies after she starts grasping some of the basics. I believe that she does a lot of growing up through this book and in the end she helps save the lives of all the Rithmatist students. Oh, and her brother of course; that was a shocker, wasn't expecting that at the end either.

Almost through the entire book I though the "Kidnapper" was Exton. I was sure of it. Nothing really could have persuaded me otherwise. I knew there was something strange with Nalizar but it was hard to think that he was actually part of the whole scheme. But closer to the end, when an arrest was made against Exton, I wasn't satisfied. Just like Joel, I knew something wasn't quite right. Some things just didn't fit, but I could figure out just what those things were either. It was almost frustrating. When I found out that the entire time, Harding was actually the culprit I was flabbergasted, the total shift of events kept me on the edge of my seat for the rest of the story. I felt as though I had been played; Harding was our friend! At least I thought he was!! One thing was for certain however... Nalizar was not to be trusted completely. I was fooled at first by his little trickery of the 'defeated hero' and as Joel was accusing Nalizar I didn't quite understand about what... until I did. Oh, the twists just kept going and going. That pompous little do****, never gets caught of course, but Melody and Joel with all of their awesome-ness foiled his plan in the end. 

Okay, can we just talk about that ending for a moment. I think it was brilliant. Melody and Joel are up against impossible odds. Joel is a non-Rithmatist, Melody is a noob who's circles aren't up to par with what they should be, and there's about forty or so competitors. 40 against 2 are pretty sad odds. From the beginning of the fight there seems like no hope at all, but as the melee continues.. not only do the two hold their ground, but they start winning. They are surrounded on all sides, completely outnumbered, and they concur in the end. It's beautiful. I found myself jumping up and down in my seat as I was reading. It was so intense. Surrounded by Nalizar's elitist and still able to kick some major butt. Now he knows he better not overlook them again. Except I'm not 100% positive that's such a great thing. A brilliant end to a brilliant story. I don't have enough words to express how much I enjoyed this book. I MUST continue this series!!!!

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