By Brandon Sanderson
Tor Teen, 2013. 384 pgs. Young Adult
Joel wants to be a Rithmatist more than anything. Rithmatists have the power to give life to chalk drawings known as Chalklings, and they defend the American Isles from the very real danger of Wild Chalklings. But before the mysterious Rithmatist inception ceremony years ago, Joel was passed over as a Rithmatic candidate. Instead, he can only watch as the lucky Rithmatist students at his school study their magical art. When students start disappearing from their bedrooms with only a trail of blood left behind, Joel helps the professor investigating the crimes and they start to discover something that could change their world forever.
While it seems murky at first, the magical system in this book is very interesting and inventive. Add to that the story of Joel, a likable character who is dedicated and smart and the wider intrigue of world-altering events, and you have a pretty enjoyable novel on your hands. Highly recommended for fans of young adult fantasy.