Sadly, I just realized my NetGalley copy expires in six days, and there's no way I'll be able to finish it by then. So I'm putting it back on my to-reSadly, I just realized my NetGalley copy expires in six days, and there's no way I'll be able to finish it by then. So I'm putting it back on my to-read shelf for the time being....more
I've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relationI've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relationship (after her divorce) where she is controlled. But she falls right into that with the alpha-male love interest, Criminy. She tells him what she wants, and he decides exactly how to accomplish that without her input. He says jump, and she jumps.
The primary problem with this dynamic is that most of the interesting stuff seems to be happening in Criminy's head. He creates a plan and then gives it to her in bits in pieces. I can't feel tension or excitement because I'm not in Criminy's head. And there's little going on in Tish's head, since she doesn't know what's going on until Criminiy tells her what's what.
As a result, the story ends up being very linear: They go to Point A. They go to Point B. They go to Point C. I can't possibly predict where they'll go next or get excited about it because Tish doesn't have a clue. And at the same time, there's zero mystery, because Criminy has all the answers. When a solution is needed, Criminy presents it. Voila!
To add insult to injury, I'm not at all attracted to Criminy, despite his being the primary love interest. First of all, he's bossy and controlling. Plus, I can't help but imagine him exactly like the guy on the cover, since his description is consistent with that. Although that is a sexy torso, the overall effect is not attractive to me. Kind of cheesy and creepy.
I have only a vague idea what it's about. But it's by Sanderson, so *cue droning robot voice* . . . I will read it. IPre-read reaction, October 2011:
I have only a vague idea what it's about. But it's by Sanderson, so *cue droning robot voice* . . . I will read it. I must read it.
If an author came to me and said: "I have a great idea for a magic system. These guys called Rithmatists draw in chalk on the ground, and their chalk drawings have power. They can draw chalklings, which can be given instructions. Some chalklings can actually injure people, especially the wild chalklings. Those guys are dangerous!" I would tell this author: "Have you lost your mind? Chalk bad guys? Ooooh scary. I'm shaking in my boots here. Oh wait, I'm actually not. And I'm also not wearing boots—cause it's summer."
And I would be wrong.
Joel, the main character, has always wished he were a Rithmatist, although he knows he can't be. He's studied Rithmatic lines and knows more about them than many Rithmatists. So when a few Rithmatists are kidnapped, Joel inserts himself into the investigation and proves helpful.
The kidnapping mystery, though interesting, wasn't even the best part of the book. And I don't believe there was enough information given to the reader (at least not for this reader) to figure out what was going on before everything was revealed toward the end. I would have preferred to have a chance at guessing the ending. But that's fine; I still loved the book. The ending did a good job of tying up all the threads in the story, and introducing a new thread to be explored in a sequel.
Throughout the book, without overwhelming the reader, Sanderson presents Rithmatic principles that help us understand his magic system in better detail. the book includes renderings of some Rithmatic defenses, as well as chalklings drawn by some of the Rithmatist characters. While I imagine some people might flip right past the renderings (which I don't think would make the book any less enjoyable), I examined each one. Sanderson put so much thought and detail into this magic system that I couldn't help being dragged along for the ride.
Even before reading this book, I was a fan of Sanderson's. Now I'm just awed....more