#NYNBC Review: WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae CarsonWalk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 22nd 2015
Pages: 448
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General, Girls & Women
eBook provided by My Wallet (purchased)

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A National Book Award Longlist Title
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 am not a big fan of historical fiction. I am also not a big fan of westerns, this books mostly takes place in the wild west. Admittedly, this story starts in Georgia, and then joins in the great Gold Rush, so it encompasses both. I still wanted to read it primarily because (the cover, and) it features a girl who can sense gold. Think Midas, but instead of creating gold, she can find it. That would be pretty handy in the time of the Gold Rush to California, don’t ya think?

This was my first Rae Carson book. I have been completely won over. I will now read anything she writes. I loved every second of this adventure story. Leah “Lee” Westfall is such an amazing character. She is strong and smart, and she has so much depth. I love her story so much. Lee has an amazing talent but as a women in late 1800’s Georgia, she doesn’t have many options. Raised by her parents to run free and think for herself, her world comes crashing down when someone murders both her parents. Her best friend, Jefferson, runs off to join in the California gold rush. Once her greedy uncle takes over, she knows she needs to go, too. A girl cannot travel alone, so she makes herself look like a boy, she already thinks like one, and she goes to meet him.

The road to California is full of danger. Lee is in peril from from day one; she is afraid of being found out and drug back to her greedy uncle, she is in danger being robbed because she is alone, and because she has no option people take advantage of a boy who is willing to work for company. Fair isn’t something that comes along often. I struggled right along with Lee as she hoped against hope to meet Jefferson in Independence, MO. Lee comes against thieves and good christian folk that would just as soon as spit on you then take you in, but some how she stays positive. The reunion was worth the wait, and the trek they take through hell’s gate and then through the desert kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the night.

The thing that really made this story so amazing for me, besides the awesome protagonist and the awesome premise, is that the world was so easy to imagine. The author did a spectacular job of describing the conditions of the journey, even the girly stuff no one wants to mention, and it felt so flawless. I could easily imagine the hunger, the sweat, the harsh environment, and I also awed at the spectacular views that must have been witnessed on that journey. This author really has talent to make me forget that the story was over 400 pages, and I still didn’t want it to end.

All I can say, without flailing even more than I already am is GET THIS BOOK. Walk on Earth a Stranger is amazing and had so many feels. I cringed, I teared up, I smiled my way through this book. I can’t wait for the sequel.

My Rating

5kisses

This book was a book club pick by the Facebook group #NYNBC (Not Your Normal Book Club). Join us next month as we discuss The Young Elites by Marie Lu and/or The Novice by Taran Matharu.

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About Rae Carson

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I now live in Arizona with my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

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