Tuesday 6 August 2013


The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Book 1 of the Rithmatist series
Read by Michael Kramer
Genre: urban fantasy YA
Format: audiobook

About The Rithmatist:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.

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.
Source: Info in the About The Rithmatist was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17454731-the-rithmatist on 15/07/2013.

The openning salvo of this book is a technical description of an abstract concept called The Four Rithmatic Lines which took me back to my physics classroom in college. Just as then, my eyes crossed trying to concentrate. That was followed by a rapid-fire action with the heroine running for her life. It dropped the reader right into the middle of the fracas without so much as a preamble. This left the reader with a feeling of bewilderment and wondering "what's going on" kind of confusion. Which abruptly cut-off and plunked the reader down in a totally different and the most mundane scene where two boys were walking through the campus in between classes. It's a hodge-podge of seemingly unrelated scenes which will only connect later on in the book but made it difficult to get into the book to begin with. It didn't make a lot of sense. It's confusing. It's annoying. But, since somebody made the effort of sending me this review copy, it got listened to by hook or by crook!

In my experience in my years of listening to audiobooks, I've come to learn that there are some books which does not translate well into an audiobook. Or maybe it is a lack in the part of the director in the skills and talent department. Or maybe it's the narrator. Or a combination of factors. Whatever the cause, I found that reading the printed copy of that particular book is a whole lot better than listening to the audibook version. A prime example of this is Written In Red by Anne Bishop. The book is brilliant! The audiobook, not so much. I'm afraid that The Rithmatist might also be one of those books which does not translate well into an audiobook. I have difficulty remembering all those Rithmatist concept lectures in between chapters which is used in the plot later on in the book. Too much like an "info dump". And I was left with, "what was that Vigor thingie again"??! So I had to rewind to re-listen to that "Vigor" part again. It made the pace of this book feel considerably longer than the 10 and a half hours that this book is suppose to be. And when I lose patience, I simply skip it. By doing so I believe that I also skipped on the beauty of the world building in the story. To another reader this world building might be more beautiful than it is to me. But I find that, it might be intricate but not as beautiful as I expected from one as intricate a world building as this one. And maybe because I got lost a lot in the story that the story telling quality didn't seem that good to me. However, at the end of it, I was surprised to have enjoyed the book! So it wasn't that bad.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 3
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10hrs & 26mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Rithmatist Series:

macmillan audio Thank you! Thank you to macmillan audio for the review copy received.

FTC Disclosure:
No money received for this review.


  1. With his Mistborn series I kept checking back to what everything meant, so yes I know the feeling

  2. Great honest review. Sounds like something I would lose my patience with too.

  3. Blodeuedd - Yeah, that part wasn't fun :(

    Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com - I am going to re-read this book with a printed copy and we'll see if I would like this book better...

  4. I was curious. Sorry it didn't translate well. I'm still curious of this series by Brandon. I've loved so much of his other works.

  5. This book is great for kids, but it's also a fun and quick read for adults. Good concept and well written.


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