young adult • historical fiction
“The most dangerous part of the journey is close to home.”
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. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.
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 series, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer Trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.
I have a mixed feeling about this book. I did enjoy the book and wanted to give it more stars but there’s just a few things that kind of hold me back.
First of all, I loved the main plot. I loved the idea about a girl who could sense the presence of gold. But I found that the story was lacking the main idea itself. Well, there was only a total of three times (one of them even felt like was added last minute) that Lee encounter with the haunting presence of gold. That was what this book was all about right? It’s just a matter of preference but I really hoped that her power was more focused on in the story instead of just a bit here and there. But maybe the author was “saving it for later” and kind of use this first installment as an introduction to the world and the characters.
Although the Lee’s journey was somehow a page-turner for me, at certain point I kept asking what was the main purpose of her journey anyway. Well, obviously she was going to avoid her uncle and looked for a place with gold which was west. I get that. I just felt that it was too simple and she even accused her uncle of murder without confronting him first at least (I really won’t be shocked if it turn out that it’s not her uncle that killed her parents).
At least the journey itself was fun. I loved how there were so many different characters that Lee met in her journey. The character development wasn’t really obvious at the end of the story, except for Mrs. Joyner. I loved that I get to know about Mrs. Joyner and she turned out to be an amazing woman.
Even though so many questions were popped in my head while reading this, I still manage to finish it less than two days, so I guess it still pretty okay to start the series. I hoped Carson would show me more of the magical power inside of Lee in the next installment.