Friday, October 09, 2015 23:37

Review 242. Rae Carson – Walk on earth a stranger.

17564519Title: Walk on earth a stranger.
Author: Rae Carson.
Pages: 432.
Published: September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books.
Sort: The gold seer trilogy #1.
Source: eARC from the publisher on Edelweiss.
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?
Rating:

Simply the best. I fell in love with The girl of fire and thorns and from that moment I knew Rae Carson was an author for me. She knows how to write and how to create characters you just have to fall in love with. This book about a girl with a magical ability to sense gold on a journey across America to join the Gold Rush is fantastic.

Don't go in this book thinking you will get a lot of fantasy though. This is more on the background and expect it will play a bigger role in the sequel, but it's more about a journey from a girl to a new future.

Leah “Lee” Westfall keeps her family together after het father’s sickness. He keeps promising that he will get back to work once his cough goes away, but Leah and her mother both know that is not going to happen. When Leah returns home after a visit to the village, her whole life is turned upside down. Her uncle claims her house and her life, so she does the last thing she can think off: she runs away. Her best friend Jefferson is on his way to the West and she wants to meet up with him to start a new life. Her magic ability to find gold is both dangerous and useful. 

Leah’s journey, where she disguises herself as a guy named Lee, is treacherous. Gender-bender is one of my favorite things, so I was happy this was incorporated into the story. I loved her strength and how she pulls it off to portray as a guy. First she has to deal with a difficult situation at home and then she manages to survive on her own in the wilderness. Even a robbery can’t break her spirit. It was a tough road and a lot of people would have returned back home. She has a motivational way to look at life and I thought it was inspiring.

Leah also has her weaknesses. She isn’t perfect and she makes mistakes, which made her likeable and realistic. It is the same with Jefferson. He was flawed in such a way that he didn’t turn in a cardboard character. I think it's weird how he reacted in a certain situation, but I think that's how humans are. Sometimes we do strange, unpredictable things.

The focus between them is mainly on their friendship, despite their obvious attraction, and that was good. This part of the story doesn’t need much romance, but I look forward to the development between them. I think they were their best version when they were together and I think we are up for some swooning in the sequel. Their romance was a bit like the pace of this book: a bit slow, which fit the story perfectly, but you got to be in the mood for it!

Leah and Jefferson travel along a group of people and you start to get attached to all of them. The broad cast grows on you and Carson doesn’t shy away to hurt you with some situations. It's something I always appreciate about authors, because sometimes you got to be brutal to make a story realistic. And I want more of that!
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

28 comments:

  1. I really loved WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER! I think Rae Carson's portrayal of life in that day/age/place is spot on, and I love how she decided to tell Leah's story. Definitely curious to see how it continues - and hopefully, her ability comes into play a little bit more!

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    1. It felt like I was THERE and that is prove the author knows what she/he is doing.

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  2. Lovely review, Mel! I didn't love this one as much as you, but I still really enjoyed it. It was quite gritty and very historical which is something I love and who couldn't NOT love Leah?! Jefferson was also too adorable, haha. ;)

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  3. I LOOOOVEE this book! It is a new favorite for me as well. It is like, ALL the things I love in a book, plus The Oregon Trail ;) It just felt so authentic to me, and I just adored Leah so much! I am glad you loved it too, fabulous review :)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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  4. Klinkt als een gaaf boek! En fijn dat de personages niet extreem perfect zijn, want dat maakt een verhaal voor mij altijd heel snel ongeloofwaardig. Maar dit boek komt wel op mijn leeslijst :)

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    1. Ben ik het helemaal mee eens. Ik hoop dat je hem ook leuk vindt!

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  5. The friendships really sold me on the book. I mean, Mrs. Joyner?! TOTALLY wasn't expecting that!!!

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  6. I haven't read a Rae Carson book yet but it sounds like her character development is done really well, along with their relationships. I like the great pacing in the friendship - I'm kind of glad they aren't immediately in insta-love. Wonderful review Mel!

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  7. Oh I'm so happy that you loved this one too Mel^^ All the positive reviews keep coming in and it's making me kick myself that I haven't cracked open my copy yet XD It'll be my first Rae Carson read (I know, I know...I NEED to read Fire and Thorns. I even own the first book, like what even?!) Anyway, I've heard that it's light on fantasy but I'm really interested in the setting, the girl-as-boy trope and the friendships! Excellent review as always Mel ♥

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    1. I hope this one blows you away in such a way that you want to pick up Girl of fire and thorns right away :D

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  8. Again, I couldn't agree more Mel! I thought this one was so well done but I can't wait for the sequel and the opportunity to explore her magic, the romance, and the situation with her uncle in greater detail. I think it's going to be even better!

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  9. This book absolutely blew me away by how amazingly written it was. Yes, it was slow, but I adored the slowness of it all because you never get bored. Leah continues to grow and continues to be endearing, and their journey to get wherever their destination was thrilling nonetheless. Every character in this book, you get to know them and you get to love them (Save for a few of course) so it made the book easier to read. Lovely to know you adored it, too, Mel!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  10. Yesss :D So glad this was a five star for you too. <3 Wasn't it just the very best? :D Yay! Gorgeous review Mel. <3 Just so happy that you loved it as well. I adored everything about it too :) And yess. The veeery slow romance was good. But I also know it will be perfect in book two, lol :) Cannot wait to read it. Hope we will both love it. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this one sweetie :)

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  11. I've been really intrigued by this and have been waiting to read a review, so I'm so glad to see how much you loved it! I've never read any of her books before, so maybe this is a good place to start. :)

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  12. AHH. I've seen nothing but glowing reviews for this, and seeing yours just makes me even more excited for this. I live in California, so most of my history classes as a kid were about the Gold Rush, so I'm really curious to see how that's portrayed here; especially with the added fantasy elements. Thanks for sharing Mel and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

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  13. I definitely need to grab a copy of this one now, you're excitement i absolutely infectious! I'm a massive fan of girls breaking the trend, especially going as to far to disguise their gender. Anything to get the job done in a man's world. I know a but about Australia's gold rush era but can't wait to be transported back. It really does sound epic. Brilliant review Mel, you've got me super excited now too <3

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  14. I haven't read any of Carson's novels, and I have to say that I don't know if I am entirely on board with this one >.< I love the title, and the cover, but I'm not so sure that the premise is something I could really fall in love with. It just kind of sounds ... lacklustre, I guess.

    But I'm super glad you loved it, Mel!

    I do like the sound of the focus on friendship rather than romance, because slow burn romance is always such a plus when reading.

    I'm glad you liked this one, and I hope that the sequel is just as good for you! :D <3

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    1. I know what you mean. In that case, I highly recommend reading her other series. It might pull you in enough that you're willing to give this one a try too :)

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  15. YES! I am so excited to hear that you loved this one. It is one I have had my eye on for the longest time. I love that this focuses more on friendship rather than the romance aspect, and I am a sucker for a slow burn romance anyway. I really hope I enjoy this one and I will definitely be buying myself a copy as soon as I can.

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  16. That cover's super gorgeous, and I love the sound of a slow-burn romance, and gender bender! I remember enjoying Rae Carson's other series (which reminds, me, I should finish it sometime soon!) but I've seen a lot of backlash on certain aspects of this one, so I wasn't terribly interested. But it does sound great, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I might keep this in mind for when I'm in the mood :) Great review, Mel!

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  17. Yey, I loved this one too! I wasn't sure how much magic to expect, but I didn't really care since I love Carson's writing so much! I can't wait to see how things develop in the sequel and I'm still kind of hoping we find out more about Lee's magic and if anyone else has it ;-)

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