The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

ritharmistArmedius Academy is a school for the special. The children of senators, tycoons, and just plain important people go there. So do the Rithmatists, who are chosen by a mysterious force to have the ability to bring chalk to life. Joel is neither of those things. He only attends because his father crafted special Rithmatic chalk. But, he’s still fascinated by the science and magic behind Rithmatics and learns as much about it as he can. That knowledge comes in handy when he’s picked to assist a senior Rithmatics professor in solving a murder. Stuck with Melody, a girl who’s a Rithmatist but doesn’t want to be, and Professor Fitch, and assisted by government agents, he’s got to make a breakthrough before the body count gets higher and he loses all chances at his dream.

Sanderson has made main characters you can truly understand, supporting characters that aren’t flat but really have heart, brilliant plot twists and enemies popping up in the strangest places. Just like life, except that life doesn’t have magic chalk.

That doesn’t really sound like an amazing force of nature, does it? But in Sanderson’s hands, it becomes really interesting. He creates dimensions and theory behind it and makes it something you might actually want to learn, rather than be forced into at gunpoint.

This novel has a steampunk slash magic slash mystery kind of feel. It isn’t easy to put down, but it takes a few chapters for the story to warm up and get more exciting. The main characters are sixteen, but it’s still a good book to read for anyone who can take 370 pages of amazingness. It even has cool illustrations of the various types of chalk formations.

QG&S give this one a 8.5/10. This is a perfect book for when you’re looking for something a bit different, with an entirely new twist on classic magic.

Who wouldn’t like a book where the main weapon is chalk?