When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
I would not recommend listening to this book on Audible. This is nothing to do with Michael Kramer's narration; as usual he is very good. Rather, the novel depends on "rithmatic diagrams" which are illustrated in the book. Although Kramer does describe them, if you only listen you will miss a lot, perhaps key story points.
This isn't one of Sanderson's best works. The magic system, usually one of Sanderson's key strengths, didn't grab me the way some of his others have. I also didn't feel very engaged with the main characters who are after all only sixteen. If you're new to Sanderson I'd recommend starting with Mistborn or Elantris rather than this.
Michael Kramer is amazing! He delivers a perfect performance of this nicely written story of awakening, a young boy (16) becoming a capable young adult in an interesting world.
Much has been said about how weird the "chalklings" are. I found them to be quite an interesting, new concept in magic, something that's hard to come by these days. Instead of using wands and casting spells, these people draw lines of power on the floor with chalk. The evil chalklings are only 2-dimensional, but can still consume you.
Otherwise, the story can be compared to many other kids-learning-magic stories. That's okay since it is a YA novel. There are several mysteries to be solved that have quite serious ramifications, and there are surprises in who is really bad and who is really good. This is a fine story, but not as wow-tastic as Steelheart.
One simplistic point is that the hero is known by,and friends with, nearly everyone, so he can pretty much go wherever, and do whatever he wants. The narration is very good. And there is an obvious sequel to come. Not fantastic, but decent entertainment.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
Brandon Sanderson once again roots out a great story and magic system. This is in my top favorite reads amongst his books. The Rithmatist is an excellent coming of age story about a sixteen year old, in a servant class, who must accomplish through normalcy with his ingenuity and smarts, what others are gifted and given with great powers. He is brought up in a school that provides an education to normals and rithmatists. Rithmatists are segregated in their community which creates a problem for the boy who has a passion for their discipline and must create his own path to learn their secrets. And while you may feel sympathetic towards the servant class at the start you will realize that there is a cost to being a rithmatist by the end. I am hesitant to recommend purchasing this book now, because it really needs a follow up due to some rather large loose ends left behind. However, if your a Brandon Sanderson fan this should definitely be in your wish/watch list.
This book far surpassed my expectations but I should've known better. Any book from the master was going to be great. Still I was wary when I saw that it was targeted at the YA demo.
Sanderson has refined his story telling to a precise art form. Like a good artist he has painted a wonderfully rich steam punk world with well developed characters. The magic system fits perfectly in the steam punk world and as always is fully fleshed out with well defined rules.
The only negative I have to the story is that it starts with what seems like 10 minutes of dry textbook like writing defining some of the rules of rithmatists that I am sure will initially turn off some readers/listeners. If you can push through that you are rewarded with a wonderful novel.
At this point I wish Sanderson had commissioned either a board or video game version of his magic dueling system. I yearn to wield the power of the rythmatists in a game!
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
I read a story in Jr. High about a two dimensional world. This was a great story built around a two dimensional world This book has 2D charcaters with 3D controllers. Did you ever imagine that you could draw a tank, and cause it to move on the "floor" and act as a 2D tank? This is somewhat similar.
Ownly certain people who have the gift can make the drawing "live", and they are the Rithmtists. It is a fun read. Rated highly at Amazon and Good Reads also. Brandon Sanderson promised a sequel soon. That should be interesting.
I highly recommend a credit on this book. You will not be disappointed.
Sanderson earned a place in my favorite fantasy author list with "The Way of Kings." I have been willing to buy any of his books since, without reading reviews.
While aimed at a slightly younger audience (not painfully young adult, but clearly not written solely for adults) the Rithmatist is a creative and fun book. A coming of age story set in an unusual alternate-united states, with an almost steam-punk feel.
I enjoyed it and I'll likely read any sequels (but I'm hoping Sandeson will work on the storm light series instead)
The only bad things i have to say about this book are that the characters lack depth and i guessed the ending half way through. other than that its a pretty good book.If you're just killing time waiting for the sequel to the way of kings i recommend it;)
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ¯ Mark Twain
I am yet to read something by Sanderson that I don’t love. Granted, so far that is only four books, but four out of four isn't bad . The Rithmatist is no exception. Although written for a young adult audience, the Rithmatist is a sophisticated weaving of fantasy and mystery.
It is much lighter than Sanderson’s other works, but still has all the elements that make his novels so great. The characters have depth and real personality, the world building is masterfully done, and the plot is complex enough to keep you thinking. Adult and young adults alike should not hesitate to listen to this novel. As an adult listener, I loved it and can’t wait until he writes more in this world. As a parent, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to my teen to read. It is clean, the violence is mostly second hand (no worse than a good Nancy Drew novel), and the characters are people you would let your kids hang out with.
Michael Kramer is easy to listen to and adds depth to the story in the way he reads it. There is a little lost in the listening of this story, in that there are obviously drawings of the rithmatics in the novel. However, the loss of the visual is worth it to hear Kramer read it.
I must be more picky than most people. With all the glowing 5 star reviews I was expecting something....well...5 star. I'd give it 3 and a half.
First of all I was expecting a stand alone novel. This is clearly book 1 of a series. There are MANY loose ends and, without giving much away, even the main plot line of this story is left unresolved. I found the ending to be quite abrupt and unsatisfying. If I knew this was just the start of a YA series I would have passed.
I did find the magic system to be interesting and refreshingly unique. Again, we are teased with many mysteries regarding the rithmatic magic but most are never explained or resolved.
On the positive side, the characters are well written although seem a bit too serious for teenagers. I find this in all of Sandersons writing in that none of his characters ever seem to show much humor or witty banter like the writing of Jim Butcher or Michael Sullivan.
For me this was good but not great. I don't think I will read the rest of the series.