ARC Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

October 10, 2015 Review 34 ★★★★

ARC Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 448
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Series: The Gold Seer #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Girls & Women, Historical, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

aliseWALK ON EARTH A STRANGER was my first read by Rae Carson and I was not disappointed. This novel first interested me with its intriguing and unique premise and setting. I do have to admit I hesitated a little when I first picked it up, but after a few pages I was like dang, what I have I gotten myself into. It took almost no time at all for me to become completely invested in this story.

youtuber animated GIF.
One of my favorite tropes, where a girl disguises herself as a guy, works so well here. Not only does it allow us a glimpse into what life was like as a woman during the Gold Rush, but it creates another layer of depth and understanding to Lee’s character. As a woman, I was so frustrated with how she was being treated-like an object-but it adds another layer of immersion to the story and allows you to really establish a connection to Lee and care about her. Lee immediately clicked with me, and she was a truly great protagonist.

WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER has such a great cast of characters in addition to Lee, every single one of them is different and plays a role in the story, none of them are just there.

The writing is descriptive but not tedious, you can imagine everything as Lee sees it, almost to the point where you feel like you are actually there. which is important because a large majority of this novel revolves around the journey to California. Usually this can produce pacing issues, but no such thing happened here. There was always something happening to keep you turning the pages and like I said before, the story just sucks you in.

Carson does not shy away from the gritty details of the journey either, nothing is glossed over and it feels so real, even down to the tough, heartbreaking scenes.

I think my one problem with this book was that Lee’s gold sensing wasn’t a huge part of the book. There were a few scenes where it was beneficial, but the synopsis made it sound like the main aspect. So I was a little disappointed it didn’t have a larger part in the book, but since this is a trilogy we will probably seeing more of it later. Still, I would obviously definitely recommend this one.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.9

34 Responses to “ARC Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson”

    • Alise

      Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed this one too :D Yeah, I really want to see more of the gold witching in the next book since the synopsis made a huge deal out of it.

    • Alise

      The gold-sensing power does play a little role, but definitely not what I expected from the synopsis. Everything else was great!

    • Alise

      Haha, a large book about a journey would usually be the end of me but it worked so well here and I’m really thankful because I lack patience xD

  1. Vane J.

    I am so excited to read this book! You know, I’ve never read a book with a girl disguising herself as a guy, so I can’t really complain about that trope, but somehow, that fact makes me more intrigued about this book. You’re right when you say it would provide an interesting view on society during that time. Descriptive yet not tedious writing is so difficult to find in books, so I’m glad this one has a good writing as well. Great review, Alise!
    Vane J. recently posted…Quiet horror or jumpy horror?

    • Alise

      It’s a super fun trope! It really did, I found it to be a pretty authentic portrayal (from what I know, I wasn’t alive then aha) so the whole story felt pretty realistic. Thank you :)

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Oh I’m so happy that you enjoyed this one too Alise^^ it’s been getting such wonderful reviews, it’s making me wish I’d cracked open my copy already! It’ll be my first Rae Carson read too and I love the girl-disguised-as-boy trope just as much as you do!! It’s a shame that the magic didn’t take on a bigger part of the story but hopefully it will in later books :) I loved reading your thoughts on this one ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Fandom Mashup #23

    • Alise

      Thank you!! :D I’ve heard so many great things about Rae Carson and now I know her other books aren’t to be missed. I really hope you like this one!

  3. Tika

    I have no clue why, but this book didn’t catch my attention at first. It wasn’t until reviews started rolling in, and people were gushing about how intriguing it was, that I started noticing it. Nowwwww, I seriously need it in my life. This is my first time hearing that the main character disguises herself as a boy, and HELLO, that’s definitely a trope that never gets old. I’m really excited for this now, and your review has definitely pushed me to pick it up!
    Tika recently posted…Dreamstrider ARC Review — Rambled, Jumbled, Conflicted Feelings

  4. Olivia

    Ooh, I have this one so it is just a matter of time before I get around to reading it myself. I am definitely looking forward to doing it because it sounds like everything I could want in a book and more! I love the idea of the girl disguising herself as a guy, and it seems like the plot is a whirlwind that immediately sucks you in. I’m excited now!
    Olivia recently posted…My Hoarding Catastrophe – New Goals!

  5. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    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 Alise and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…One

    • Alise

      Haha thanks, her videos always make me laugh too! This one was a little outside my comfort zone as well but I was so impressed. Thanks :)

  6. Valerie

    Aww, although I am sad that her gold sensing ability does not play a bigger factor in the book, I’m glad you enjoyed it! This will also be my first Rae Carson book, so I’m hoping I also will like it as well!
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: Illuminae

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