I often don’t want to bother with young adult fiction. However, my ten-year-old is now often in the “teen” section at the library. These books require more screening than children’s books.
This is why I like Brandon Sanderson so much – I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything inappropriate for a ten-year-old boy in this book. Even Sanderson’s adult fiction is clean.
Anyway, the plot is classic Sanderson. A lot of questions in the plot, a lot of hints that lead your mind into semi-confident speculation, and then a not-altogether-unexpected twist. (I say not completely unexpected, because I find myself second and third guessing myself constantly, and at one point, often come close to the real deal.) When he unveils the big reveal, it’s incredibly satisfying, yet not necessarily neatly tied up. It leaves you with some questions. And I’m okay with that.
As usual for Sanderson books, there is excellent character development for all the principle characters (and even the side ones to a certain extent). The dialogue is believable, and there is enough detail to bring the world of the Rithmatist to life in my mind’s eye.
The steampunk, parallel universe, in which the United States is the “United Isles of America,” is fascinating! We get to see glimpses of what our world might have looked like in a different plane of existence. Spaghetti, complete with a soy sauce laced tomato sauce, is eaten with chopsticks.
I enjoyed it quite a bit, and would gladly recommend it to anyone with a kid who loves fantasy, adventure, and a little bit of murder mystery. And who doesn’t mind some blood.
PS: Durin LOVED it!