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The Rithmatist Preloaded Digital Audio Player – May 14, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10-The idea that evil chalk drawings pose a threat to humanity quite frankly sounds silly. Add in the none-too-subtle Harry Potter parallels and you have the makings of literary mediocrity. And yet Sanderson has crafted an action-packed mystery that will keep readers hooked, especially toward the end. Joel is an underachieving, charity-case student at the elite Ardemius Academy where his mother is a cleaning lady and his late father made chalk for Rithmatists. In the hands of a Rithmatist, chalk is a weapon keeping North America safe from wild "chalklings," two-dimensional beasts of unknown origins. Only one in 1000 people possess Rithmatic abilities. Much to Joel's chagrin, he is not one of them. But when Rithmatic students begin disappearing, Joel gets a chance to help in the investigation, and maybe get another shot at becoming one of the elite. Part fantasy, part alternate history, part steampunk, this story succeeds nicely despite some flaws (logical inconsistencies and an annoying female lead foremost among them). An exciting ending and skillful setup for a sequel will have readers hungry for the next volume.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Joel longs to be a Rithmatist with the magical power to bring two-dimensional objects, called Chalklings, to life. But he is 16, and Rithmatists are chosen at age 8. Surely he has missed his chance, or has he? When Rithmatists-in-training at the prestigious Armedius Academy begin to go missing, Joel—a scholarship student there—determines to find out what has happened to them. Could it possibly have something to do with the Wild Chalklings of the Nebrask territory? Could his success or failure determine the fate of the American Isles? And, for that matter, could he become a Rithmatist, after all? So many questions and so few answers in this spoiler-free review. Suffice it to say that with an intriguing premise and captivating characters in Joel, his friend Melody, and their teacher Professor Fitch, Sanderson’s first YA novel is a fast-paced mash-up of fantasy and adventure that will grab readers’ attention at the first page and hold it until the inconclusive end, which promises a sequel. An auspicious YA debut that will leave readers hungry for further adventures of the aspiring Rithmatist and his friends. Grades 6-12. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Preloaded Digital Audio Player
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427235597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427235596
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (539 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,367,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

January 2015 marks the release of Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart. When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it's up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. My Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion), the further investigations of an average man whose many hallucinations are all experts in their own fields, and also my novella Sixth of the Dusk, set in the same universe as Mistborn and Stormlight, revolving around an attack on an island trapper's way of life.

My biggest recent epic fantasy is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be. October 2015 and January 2016 will also see the release of two new Mistborn books, Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning.

Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at brandonsanderson.com/library -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Patricia VINE VOICE on April 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First off, if you are a Sanderson fan, keep in mind that this is written for teens, so do not expect anything along the lines of his other books. This is NOT like Mistborn or his other works! So if you are looking for an epic novel in The Rithmatist, skip it and be patient for Sanderson's next work.

As the parent who was always on the lookout for good books, I appreciated reviews that helped me choose what to order. This is written with an eye to helping other parents. No spoilers.

The Rithmatist is about a young man, Joel, who is attending an exclusive school that trains both Rithmatist and non-Rithmatist students. Rithmatists have the ability to bring chalk drawings, called chalkings, to life, and to use symbols in chalk for defensive and offensive purposes. Joel is not a Rithmatist, although he yearns to be one and is trying to learn as much about the subject as possible. His father was a chalkmaker, but died 8 years earlier, and his mother works as a cleaning woman at night while Joel attends the school on a scholarship. He is a very smart, but only applies himself to those subjects that interest him. When Rithmatist students begin disappearing, Joel is assigned as a summerschool aide to a Rithmatist professor, and he becomes involved in the professor's investigation, along with another Rithmatist student, Melody.

From a parent's point of view, this is a good choice. It has no foul language or sexual situations of any sort. There is some violence, but it is generally not seen as it happens 'off stage.' And, the violence is of an otherworldly type and not something a child could ever experience or likely to cause nightmares.

I liked the way that Sanderson put moral lessons in the book, although it is not preachy at all.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful By James Duckett VINE VOICE on April 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Plot (taken from the book description)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

What I Liked
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, boy. Where to begin?

1) Characters. I really liked the characters. I felt the characters of non-Rithmatist Joel and Rithmatists Melody and Professor Fitch were fantastic. They came to life for me, all having their own distinct personalities. I liked the absent-minded manner that Fitch mentored Joel and I liked the type of relationship that Joel and Melody have. They are complete opposites of each other and I thought Sanderson played with that brilliantly.

2) Setting. Most of this takes place at a school, so this does have a bit of a Harry Potter feel to it. In fact, I think you can draw a lot of similarities, almost like if Harry Potter went to Hogwarts with an interest in magic, but could not perform magic himself.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kat Heckenbach VINE VOICE on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me start by saying two things: One, I have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson before. (I know...*gasp*!) Two, I normally cringe when I find out writers established in the adult fiction market decide to jump on the YA bandwagon.

That said, I could not pass up this ARC when I found out I could get it, and I'm sosososososo glad I took it!

There were so many things I loved about this book. The originality of the concept, although I actually loved that something about the practice of Rithmatics reminded just the *tiniest* bit of "sympathy" in Patrick Rothfuss' "The Name of the Wind." The steampunk-y feel, which reminded me a bit of Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan." The drawings--normally drawings distract me, but I felt they added a lot to this story. The tightness of the writing--yet the pace wasn't breakneck by any stretch. There was actually time to get to know the characters and the back story, and both were very rich. A lot of time was spent explaining Rithmatics and the alternate history, but not too much and it was woven in really well.

I will say that the book is labeled as YA but I'd place it closer to MG. The main character is 16, but it's got a younger voice. However, with the type of book that it is--that alternate history, steampunk-like world--it works. It's still very complex and I think it's a book that will appeal to younger kids (say advanced ten or eleven) and older kids and adults.

And judging by the ending, I'd say there will be a sequel, which I will DEFINITELY be reading.
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