[588]: Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

17564519 Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson
Series: Gold Seer, #1
Green willow Books | Hardcover, 400 pp.
September 22nd, 2015
Young Adult Fiction | Historical
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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.

This is a tough one to review. Western novels aren’t really my thing, so I knew going in that Ms. Carson would have to work extra hard to convince me otherwise. While it is a rarely discovered territory in YA, I can see how it could easily be a popular niche. For seekers of adventures in books, what could be more exciting than discovering The Last Frontier? Or the Wild, Wild West as it were.

If you’ve seen any Western movies or tv shows such as Little House on a Prairie, I think you’ll see that the world building in this book is pretty much on par with we’ve seen or read in the past. But if you’re like me who’s not an ardent reader, we’d probably wouldn’t know the difference. Still, I can say in all honesty that Ms. Carson did a splendid job in constructing just the perfect world.

I enjoyed reading about Lee’s ability. It’s something that I’ve not read too many of in this genre. It’s not so much that Lee can find the gold, it’s more like the gold finds her and tells her exactly where to look. Unfortunately, her ability was not really explored in this first offering. She spent most of her time trying to get to California where the gold rush was on a boom. About 40 % of the book was dedicated to this journey – which ultimately slowed the pace down by a considerable amount.

I do like Lee. There’s something to be said about a girl who’d been kicked around by life but was strong enough to keep on fighting. This girl dusted herself off and did what needed to be done to give herself a fighting chance. She’d become an orphan in so little a time. And the only relative she had left was about to take advantage of her ability if not for her quick thinking and the goodness of her father’s old friend.

There is very little romance in here. In fact, I didn’t really feel a spark between Lee and her beau. They were best friends, but I felt like they were more like siblings because they looked out for each other.


This is a well-written book, and with the right reader, it’s a great adventure to experience. If you can get past the lull in the middle, the start and the ending will leave you breathless.


  • I do enjoy a good journey book, but I’m just not a fan of the wild, wild west. The cover is quite deceiving to be honest, it feels more like a fantasy book than a western!

  • Sounds like an interesting read… although, you think her ability would’ve been introduced earlier. Great review!

  • oh man i am still planning to read thus one. It will be my first YA western. I hope I can get over the lull

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I completely agree about the lull in the middle, not to mention I think that there are aspects of this story that could have been more fantasy-esque or mature. Still, it’s a great start to a new trilogy! 🙂

  • I’m really, really excited to read this one.. and while I’m still on a buying ban, I stop and admire it at the bookstore each time I stop by. I don’t like the sound slow paced but I really hope that I’ll enjoy the adventure this book will give me.. and I really, really want its historical setting since it’s not something I see around in historical fiction.. I’m definitely keeping your thoughts in mind 🙂

  • If a book is excited and well plotted 400 pages can feel like 200, but if the story sort of drags the page count can seem endless. This does sound like an interesting story, though. It’s unfortunate the romance wasn’t really developed or moving. :/

  • I’ve heard a lot about this book and the premise of the book really intrigues me… but I don’t have much experience with Westerns and it just doesn’t seem to be a sub-genre that would interest me. I think I might give this a go anyway because I’ve heard some pretty good things about this book and I’ve never read any Rae Carson. It’s just disappointing that there wasn’t much romance, because I think that’s the thing that might hook me if the setting and world doesn’t.

  • Great review! I’ve heard good things about this one. It’s an interesting genre choice for YA.

  • I have this one and I am quite looking forward to reading it. It seems like maybe because this wasn’t your thing that it wasn’t the best book for you, but you do recommend it to others and give them reasons as to why they could like it more than you did. I am looking forward to it, but the middle and travelling does sound like it might get a bit tiring in the middle.

    • Maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did. I think it was the lull in the middle that killed it for me.

  • Gorgeous review Joy. <3 But aw. I'm so sad that you didn't love this one 🙁 Sniffs. I loved it very much, lol. But I understand why you had some issues 🙂 But aw, I ship them a lot, lol 😀 And Rae has promised more romance in book two 😀 Eeek! Hope you will start to ship them then, lol 🙂 Anyway. I'm sorry you didn't love it : But so so glad that you still liked it a lot 😀 Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3

    • Aw. That’s okay. I’m hoping I’ll like the next book better. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    Hmmm it sounds like this may be a good one to hold off on then? I do hope book two is even better and kudos to you for trying something that you wouldn’t normally go for!

  • Nicole Hewitt

    Interesting – I’ve seen lots of good things about this one, so I’m definitely planning to read it at some point, but maybe I should wait for the next book to come out …

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Good luck, Nicole. I do think it’s a well-written piece. It’s an acquired taste, I suppose.

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I definitely was wishing for more about her ability and more romance in this one Joy, but her Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy started out the same way – light on both an explanation for the ability and the romance and then the next two books won me over completely. I’m hoping this series goes the same way, though I did thoroughly enjoy this one:)

    • Something to look forward to then. Thanks for the heads up, Jenny!

  • Nick(Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite

    I felt similarly about her gold sensing abilities. But since this is a series I’m holding out hope that it will be further explored in the next book. 🙂
    I really liked Lee myself and I liked the whole adventurous feel to the story, but I get where you’re coming from. I hope the second book will be stronger for you, Joy!

    • You and me both, Nick. I’m hoping she’ll find the mother load of gold on the next book! Lol.

  • Western and magic, hmmmmmm

  • That cover just draws the eye in. I’ve been contemplating reading this one for awhile. I’m a bit disappointed to hear that it was kind of slow in the middle but I think I will eventually read it considering the start and end are good ^^ Lovely review, Joy.

    • This book has been getting a lot of great reviews. So maybe it’s just a matter of timing for me. I don’t know.. I wasn’t quite taken with it. I wish you luck! I hope you’ll enjoy it better than I did. Thanks for visiting, Kynndra!

  • Can we just discuss the COVER for a second?? Every time I see it, I just want to stare at it. Maybe it’s the gold writing? IDK, but yeah, I love the whole “western” thing and yes, I KNOW the fact that half of it is about their journey and all and that has to get slow every once and a while, but I’m still looking forward to reading it anyway!

    Thanks for sharing, J! <3

    • So true. That’s usually the case for fantasy reads. The quest usually slows it down for me.