Genera(s): Paranormal/Western Historical Fiction
Subjects: adventure, magic, gold rush
Setting: Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and to California
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Leah Westfall
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 431 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: HarperTeen: Greenwillow Books
Summary/ product description: “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.”
My Review: I don’t usually read historical fiction for fun. I’ve only read the Madman’s Daughter series, which I enjoyed, and A Clockwork Angel and Dead Reckoning, which I didn’t enjoy. But how could I resist trying to read a book about a girl who can sense gold and travels to California during the gold rush? I like Western movies, hot cowboys, all that. Walk on Earth a Stranger is a true western adventure.
Leah is an awesome heroin. When she leaves her home because her uncle murdered her parents, she disguises herself as a boy and pulls it off. She heads to Independence, Missouri to meet up with Jefferson, a guy friend who’s a neighbor. Jeff is part Cherokee and lots of people have negative beliefs about natives at that time. It takes months to get there and see him again. Crossing the plains and the mountain with a caravan takes way longer and some friend she makes even die along the way. It’s a treacherous journey. She hears her uncle took the sea rout to California, which is supposedly faster and easier. She hopes that her uncle won’t find her because he wants her for her ability to find gold.
I really enjoyed this book. Much more that the Girl of Fire and Thorns, which was pretty slow and used a lot of Spanish words, but had fantasy. This book does have some old fashioned/southernisms in it and sometime is a little slow, but not too bad. I wish there was more paranormal stuff that just Leah finding gold, but it’s fine the way it is. I watch Prospectors on the Weather Channel and sometimes other treasure shows. I panned for gold once in Deadwood, South Dakota. It was seven dollar and I got little pieces of gold, like sand grains. I collect rock too. So gold and gem prospecting is really cool to me.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes westerns or pioneer stuff, like True Grit or the Lone Ranger or even Little House on the Prairie.
Cover Art Review: Beautiful Cover. Not sure I like the girl’s dress though. Leah mostly wears boys clothes in the book are a disguise.