Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Reviewed by: Cassie

Summary (from

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.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Greetings, readers! Thanks for stopping by. We hope our ever-present sarcasm and blunt nature do not scare you off. 
Today I present to thee a review for the book Walk on Earth a Stranger.

Let me tell you something.
I don't do historical. I just can't.
It just REALLY bores me. 
So you may be asking yourself, then why did you read this book, you idiot?

Because I WAS DISTRACTED. By the gold. And the magic. And the dangerous people who want her powers.
Poor me.

I actually ended up enjoying Walk on Earth a Stranger. Weirdly, I had no urge to give up on it. 
Gasp. I know, shocking, right? Lately I've just been giving up on loads of books.

The plot!
It's a bit slow, I'll admit. It may not sound slow, but reading it was dull. Maybe that's just my aversion to historical stories though? I just wasn't interested in the long haul across America to California. I didn't particularly care for the details prevalent in the trek, like the constant struggles and pains of the times. Horses and campfires and petticoats and gender stereotypes and blah blah blah.
I'm sure it's well-written and well-done (after all, I kept reading it even though I despise the genre) but it just wasn't for me.

The characters:
Oh, how misled I was!
Cue dramatic swoon.

I was led to believe Lee would be magical and gifted and SPESHUL and all that jazz, but alas, I was betrayed. How could you, Rae Carson????
Lee Westfall hardly ever uses her "powers". This may may appeal to some readers. However, I enjoy myself a cliche, SPESHUL protagonist because I think it makes the book interesting and entertaining. When they're advertised as being incredibly rare and intriguing, I expect results.
When books don't deliver on said characters, I get cranky.
Don't get me wrong, Lee is a solid character. Was I a wee bit disappointed she wasn't as witchy as I wanted? Sure. But she's also super feminist and strong and admirable and cool.
Jefferson was a strange one. I understood (I guess) the appeal, but I just didn't FEEL it. I wasn't entranced by him, I didn't find myself falling for him as Lee did. 
The rest of the characters were meh. As in, I understood their purpose but I wasn't particularly attached to them. No real emotional reaction to any of them.

The romance!
Ah, how tricky this one was, too. I kept waiting and waiting, hoping and praying... And yet it STILL didn't appear.
Can you call what went down "Romance"? I think not.
At least, not with my high-standards.
Don't get me wrong- I like slow builds. I find them scintillating and thoroughly enjoyable. But there has to be SOMETHING. Otherwise I get more cranky, and confused, and grumpy too.

So, what I'm trying to say is:
The book is unique. It's interesting. It's very well-written and strangely compelling.
Just not my cup of tea, you see. By all means, try it!

Side note: I did not enjoy the ending. I wanted at least a demonstration of her awe-inspiring powers (like a LEGIT demonstration not just some shoddy river voodoo where she crouches down and digs up a nugget).
Suffice to say, I did not get that demonstration.


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