I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: the Publisher
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?
Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.
I’m going to start this review by saying that this is the first time I’m reading one of Rae Carson’s books. Her previous series has been on my wish-list for a while now, but I never got around to reading it. That being said, I was so excited for Walk on Earth a Stranger. I mean, helloooo, it’s about the gold-rush! I’ve always been intrigued by this period, and I jumped at the chance to read this early (thank you, thank you, thank you HC International).
I was hooked from the very first page. Which says a LOT, because I felt like it moved a bit slow at times. Most of the story is the characters’ journey to the west, and besides that (and what happens on the road) nothing really happens. However that slower pace seemed to suit the story. Also, it was easy to overlook, as Rae Carson’s writing is absolutely stunning. There’s this easy flow and comfortableness to the writing, it flows seamlessly. If I didn’t have other responsibilities during the day I, without a doubt, would’ve read this book in one sitting.
The plot was so well thought out. The beginning was incredibly strong. View Spoiler » Lee discovering her parents murder, the shady appearance of her uncle and her decision and plan to get away from it all « Hide Spoiler. Then, as I mentioned before, most of the book is all about the journey. There must’ve gone so much time into research to write this book, the tiny details, it felt like I was part of history. So well thought out and a great amount of world building. I sucked up every ounce of information and I loved every part of it.
There’s a fantasy aspect to this story (Lee being able to sense gold and all), but it didn’t take over the story. Rather it took a bit of a backseat, which REALLY worked for me. This way we got to focus on the journey Lee is on. We get to focus on her epic journey across the nation, her chance at a new beginning, and not so much on her ability (though I feel like it’ll play a MAJOR part in the next instalments).
We meet lots of different characters with lots of different backgrounds. Lee’s best friend, and love interest, is half native-American and half-Caucasian. The company she travels in includes French-Canadian immigrants, German immigrants, a slave owner and his slave, ‘confirmed bachelors’ (another, smart, name for gay men), and others I might be forgetting. This gives Rae Carson the chance to explore the racial tensions, but she includes gay rights and feminism as well. Incredibly smart and interesting! The protagonist, Lee, I have so much respect for. She’s such a strong character. Lee faces her trials and hardships with incredible strength and determination that will be hard not to admire. Loved it. I mentioned that Lee’s best friend is the love interest in the story, and it was a good kind of romance. Slowly building. It’s barely there, but it’s visible enough for the reader to notice the subtle nudges that hint at a budding romance. I can’t wait to see it develop further in the next book! One thing I did think was missing was a little more depth to the secondary characters. Although I liked them well enough, I felt like they were a little on the flat side. But that too, I hope to see change in the next book!
I think this books was incredibly well written, absolutely fantastic. Great writing, incredibly interesting characters, and a very well-thought out and enjoyable plot! Such a great start to a series! Can’t wait to read the sequel. How long do I have to wait again? *winces*