Archive for February, 2014

A GOOD BOOK

Posted: February 8, 2014 in Thoughts on Reading

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Loved this, so thought I would share it. Enjoy

The Rithmatist

Posted: February 8, 2014 in Book Reviews

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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

http://brandonsanderson.com/

Chalk drawings come to life. Some get away and become wild chalkings that will eat you alive. Set in an alternative America where every state and province is an island. Rithmatist are trained at schools like Armedias to learn how to bring chalk drawings to life. Once trained the are sent off to Nebrask to fight off the wild chalkings.

Joel who is not a rithmatist but always wanted to be one has spent his life studying rithmatics and befriends a girl name Melody who is a rithmatic student but is terrible at drawing defensive chalk drawings but excels and actual chalking drawings.

Students start disappearing and these 2 team up with professor Fitch in an effort to find who is responsible and safely have the students return. Strange new rithmatic drawings show up at the crime scenes, this story becomes a bit of a mystery story.

I love the idea behind this book. The system of magic that has been created is inventive and unique, that’s nothing new for Brandon Sanderson. Using chalk to draw your creations and having them come to life. You fight against other chalk creations. Throughout the book you get treated to numerous illustrations and explanations about how chalkings work. defensive circles, lines of forbidding and generally you come to understand how this magic system works.

Sandersons Mormonism comes through in the writing of this book. The inceptions ceremony, which determines if you have been chosen to be a rithmatist, everyone gets a chance to go through, is treated as sacred rather than secret and administered by the church. The one being incepted enters the inception chamber where there is an alter and what happens in there is not discussed outside of those who are not rithmatist. Similar to those in the LDS faith that have been through the temple only discuss with those who have shared the same experience.

I do have some criticism of this book. While the story is a good one that I really like reading, I can’t get past one major flaw I see in the system of magic that has been set up. All chalk drawings can be erased easy enough with water or specially designed acid that is harmless to people but eradicates chalk drawings. It would seem to me be to easy to eliminate the threat of wild chalkings simply by dumping this acid on them and they would be gone. Why use another rithmatist to battle them.

It would seem to me for this to make more sense if the chalkings you draw came to life as 3d creations that would not be made of chalk, then you would have to draw your own defense. perhaps a system where they can only be defeated by defenses drawn by another rithmatist but they would have the ability to be a threat to anyone or anything? At least in my mind that would of made for a more convincing system of magic. It just seemed to lack any credibility for me as a believable magic system that works.

Later in the book these things start to be addressed, Though not very well in this volume or slightly. There is much to be done yet to resolve these serious flaws in his system of magic that has been created. I liked that he started to show some indication that simply throwing acid on them wont necessarily work as easily as this book originally implies and I can only hope that future volumes in this new series resolve the flaws that I see.

Thankfully the main story line makes up quite a bit for the flaws in the magic system. Good story development and great characters throughout the book.

I would love to give this book a good rating but I just can’t do that give the problematic system of magic that he has created, great idea and concept, poor execution. I will read the next volume as I did enjoy it enough for that and hopefully things will get better with further installments of the rithmatist.

I give this book 5.5/10 bookworms

http://gospelperspective.wordpress.com/

STEELHEART

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Book Reviews

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STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson

A new series from Brandon Sanderson. This book has what I believe to be an interesting premise. An event referred to as calamity cause strange mutations in normal people. They gain supernatural powers that corrupt them. They become what is referred to as Epics. These Epics however are not good guys. It is a world filled with super villains and no super heroes.

David our main character at the age of 8 witnesses the murder of his father by a Epic named Steelheart. He is widely consider the most powerful of all Epics. He is invincible. Bullets can’t hurt him, fire cannot hurt him. No weapons known to man can harm him. However on the day David’s fathered is murdered he sees steel heart bleed. He knows he has a weakness and spends the next 10 years looking for a way to exploit it.

David teams up with the Reckoners. A group of ordinary humans who spend there lives fighting and exploiting the weakness of Epics and kills them off.

There are many questions about the Origins of the Epics. Were they the result of a Government experiment? Are they even human? What was it about calamity that changed the laws of physicist and created the Epics?

David has spent years seeking vengeance but starts to doubt the work he is doing with the Recockners. He questions whether what he is doing is right or not. He has effectively become a terrorist. He try’s to convince himself that what he is doing is right. “What we were doing was basically, terrorism. But we’re the good guys, I told myself. Of course, what terrorist didn’t think he or she was the good guy? We were doing something important, but what would that matter to the family of the cleaning woman accidentally killed”

The characters in this book are believable, loveable and really draw you into the story. I love the concept and the writing style. At times quirky but in a way that helps the story along. The characters have some great development and are real. They are not flat and have a mystery to them that really speaks to there humanity. They have there strength, but all have there weakness as well which strengthens them rather than impedes them.

Great story flow and sound development. This book set up a series quite well and I eagerly anticipate the next volume in this series. Possibly a prequel of books as well as you just don’t know much about calamity and what it was. The book leaves that open enough and mysterious enough that Sanderson can really explore the origins of the Epics in greater degree.

A must read for any Brandon Sanderson fan. I highly recommend it. The next volume Firefight is due to be out in the Fall of 2014

I Give this book 9/10 book worms.

http://gospelperspective.wordpress.com/