Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Publication: September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.
Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.
She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.
I received a digital ARC of this book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
An “unfortunate” event forced Leah to leave behind what’s left of her life in Dahlonega and flee to California to start a new life. Her journey begins on a rough road when she has to dress up as a boy so her Uncle won’t find her. She’s also short on resources. Then there’s Jefferson, her friend who had planned on going to California but took off ahead of her, leaving her as a lone traveler… and an easy target for bandits.
This book had me at GOLD. I was so intrigued with how the synopsis says that the main character is able to sense the presence of gold which is something new to me. A historical fiction with a hint of fantasy? Interesting.
To be honest, historical fictions aren’t really my favorite, but I think I have to re-evaluate my preferences or at least give an exception to this book because I instantly got hooked! 1st few chapters and I’m already thinking how much I’m gonna enjoy this book.
Although, it became rather slow in the middle. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of travelling throughout the book! I can’t avoid having thoughts like “Aren’t they gonna arrive in California yet?” but still, I couldn’t put it down. Actually, I enjoyed every bit of it. Buffalo stampede and all.
One thing that is very evident on Walk on Earth a Stranger is its exposition on gender prejudice. The difference on how the gentlemen are looked upon compared to a woman was shown in many ways but most especially through Leah’s experiences. You really wouldn’t notice it at first because of how it appeared to be something that came naturally, like a man is in charge of everything and a woman is in charge of what-is-not-everything, you know what I mean? It didn’t appear to be discriminating at all but is accepted as it is. But then Leah or should I say Lee, is supposed to be a boy. The change in the treatment Leah receives is different from when she is Lee and when she is Leah.
It’s also the first time I’ve encountered the word “confirmed bachelor”. At first, I was totally clueless about it but then it was actually a term used to refer to a gay man. Yep, there’s a gay character in the book.
Aside from the traveling and the take on gender roles, there’s also Leah and Jefferson’s relationship. It was raw in a good way. Leah was going through puberty in the book and her innocence is a delight. I love how they’re mostly not together in the book but you can feel that there’s a bond between them that holds them together. I’m crossing my fingers that this relationship will blossom into something more. #ohstopmyromancefanaticheart
The book wasn’t lacking but I did want to see (read) more of Leah’s “gold rush” in the book. There were only a few moments where Leah senses gold (and I like it every time it happens) but I’m guessing that the out-pour of gold will begin in the next book. I’m also hoping that the questions about Leah’s parents that were opened up will finally be answered.
I’m 100% looking forward to the next book, although it wouldn’t be released anytime soon. As for now, you should all read this book if you still haven’t.
Leah Westfall a.k.a. Lee McCauley – I JUST LOVE HER. Leah is the epitome of what YA Heroine’s should be. She’s independent, strong-willed, smart and compassionate. She has weaknesses but she overcomes it with bravery. She is surely a character you’d root for from beginning to end.
Narrative – Leah’s narration is engaging and being inside her thoughts is one thing that I really enjoyed in this book. It really helped with building a connection between the reader and the book, especially with a story set some years ago, I actually thought that I’d have a hard time depicting what I was about to read but then I was proven wrong right from the very first page.
Jeff and Leah’s chemistry – There’s tension between the 2, you can’t deny that. And then there’s me being giddy. I just can’t with the 2 of them!!!
Mystical Element – I love the added fantasy in this historical fiction. Gold sensing ability? How awesome is that??
Book description and cover image from Goodreads