^^ This dude. What a prolific writer!!
The story is about a young boy living on the campus where Rithmatists study. This Rithmatists, as we discover, protect the world from the dangerous chalklings that threaten to overwhelm the world. Problem is Rithmatist students start to disappear DUH DUH DAAA. Joel (main character) becomes somewhat of a detective and tries to solve the case.
The Rithmatist is a YA novel and it reads like one. The main character is super cute to fun read about, all young and teenagerish, but no angst thank god! Sanderson focuses on the plot and the unfolding of the investigation and the dropping of clues to keep his main character busy and readers turning ages quickly.
It's a great read. Of course it is, it's Sanderson! Here is where I insert all the buzz words that any reviewer writes when they talk about Sanderson ... interesting world building, great characterisation, plot twists. blah blah blah. This guy can write, and we all know it.
If you are hungry for some of Sanderson's work while you wait for the next instalment of The Stormlight Archive by all means pick this up. You know in your heart of hearts this will not satisfy you. It is YA fiction and like all of Sanderson stand alones/novellas or YA novels this does not read like Mistborn : Final Empire Series (Book #1) (Mistborn, Book 1)
or The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive). Nonetheless it's a great fun read, nice and light with plenty of action and intrigue to keep you turning the pages.
4/5 cute chalk unicorns.