Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson


Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae CarsonWalk on Earth a Stranger
(The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)
by Rae Carson
September 22, 2015
432 pages


Goodreads Summary:
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

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? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

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.



Review

With what I've heard about Rae Carson and her Fire and Thorns trilogy, I had no doubt Walk on Earth a Stranger would be brilliant. Being the first book in a new series, The Gold Seer trilogy, this book not only delivered, it did so beautifully. I felt like I was right alongside the characters going on their journey. Trust me when I say it was one hell of a road trip.

First of all, I love the time period. It was spectacular! It reminded me so much of this game I used to play in elementary school called Oregon Trail. I was really surprised to learn Jen @ The Starry-Eyed Revue knew of the game and felt the same way too. Definitely check out her review and she has a link to the game if you're interested in taking a look. Oregon Trail is the perfect tool to describe what Walk on Earth a Stranger was all about without using words ;)

The story follows the characters as they trek across different terrains to the promised land of gold. The pacing was slow but my enjoyment was not hindered by that at all. In this case, I think the slowness worked in favour of the story. I was able to more fully absorb every incident that occurred on the road. Furthermore I found the timing of events to be impeccable. I was always eager for more. In a way this book did not slow down. Natural and man-made hazards alike posed great threats to our travellers. They came face to face with the ever-changing climate, stampeding buffalos, trading Indians, threatening sickness and just about every awful thing you can think of during that era. They pushed on through sheer willpower.

Stripped down to its core, Walk on Earth a Stranger was a book about survival. At the beginning, tragedy strikes and Leah is left all by herself. When her uncle, her new guardian, shows up expressing his knowledge of her special ability and hints at his ill intentions regarding it, she decides to run away. Disguised as a boy and going by the name Lee, she experiences firsthand, the harsh reality of racial discrimination while fighting her own battle with gender-inequality. Leah had questions and doubts but she was unbreakable. She's got it handled. The hardships she endured and the sweetness she found in people eventually helped her to solidify herself amongst others. Through every awful thing, she carried on and remained a gentle soul.

The group Leah ended up traveling with were less than ideal but even though they were just a group of ragtag misfits, they banded together in any moment of need. At the end, they legitimately kicked some asses (mind you not in a physical way). Family is where your true strength lies. There's also a very subtle romance. I can see it's in the works and with a new beginning, I'm positive the budding romance will blossom sooner rather than later.

I love reading the Author's Note section. It really shows how much time Rae Carson put into researching - to make certain most, if not all, aspects of the book adhered to the Gold Rush-era. I thoroughly appreciated the language, the vocabulary and the accents even if there were words that were totally unfamiliar to me.

While the ending wasn't a cliff-hanger in any sort of way, I still find myself dying to know what comes next. There is room for so much and just thinking about it makes me unable to sit still. The next installment is sure to be glorious just like finding gold ;)

4.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.

8 comments:

  1. I've seen a lot of really good reviews for this and I love the original premises! We don't see that often in YA if at all!

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    1. Right?! The Gold Rush-era just grabs at you! I hope you read this one and love it ;)

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  2. I'm so glad you liked this one. I enjoyed it a lot too, Definitely for the Oregon Trail elements. It did feel like playing that game. The locations, the hardships, the drama! Great review.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. It makes me so happy that everyone knows that game! I feel less old lol. Thanks Cassi <3

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  3. I still haven't read The Girl of Fire and Thorns D: I have it on Kindle but it's taking me forever to get to, of course. What's new there? Leah sounds like such a fantastic character!

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    1. I haven't either so you're not alone! I really want to so hopefully soon. We need more than 24hrs in a day! Leah is pretty darn awesome. I hope you'll love her :D

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  4. I adore The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, so I was really excited about Rae's next book and it really didn't disappoint! I was happy that the ending felt like a complete story but still let us wanting more somehow! Great review Eileen!

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    1. Totally agreed! I cannot wait to see what's next. Thanks Pili <3

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