I Walk On Earth Disappointed: 'Walk on Earth a Stranger'

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger
Rae Carson

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.

After reading the revenge story 'Vengeance Road', I can't look at Westerns the same
 again. Which sucks for this book since it's also a Western about a cross-dressing girl. To interest me, it had to surpass my prior Western read. (Since 'Vengeance Road' is my baseline for Western stories. I got get around much.)

I sorta-not-really liked Leah. I admired her strength and determination but disliked her emotions about Jefferson. She was brave. She was smart. I admired that. I always do. For a protagonist, she had some admirable qualities. And they weren't taking backseat to things like good looks or charm. That's partly to her male-persona Lee. People thought she was male, and they acted accordingly.
On the other hand, her feelings for Jefferson were annoying. She had no interest before. Why now? There was no reason for it. I wanted her to be that one heroine who doesn't fall for her best friend. That's all I ask. But no, Leah had to do it too.

The family stories was great. I truly did like them. I prefer family stories to romance. The bond. The trust. As they say, blood is thicker than water. You can't trade your family like you do with boyfriends or girlfriends. You're stuck with them. The love between the families and in them really made me smile. They were a tight-knit group. Loving and caring. Friendly.

With a story about the strenuous journey to California, you'd think the plot would have bandits or robbers or kidnappers. Nope. You got more of a family story than a journey. I'd prefer a journey story. As much as I like having family and friends in a story, I like action and massive explosions better.

Because of that, I was bored. I was hoping for a raid or a robbery. I was hoping for someone to take the kids or the women. (I have a fanciful imagination.) I didn't get that. There were more people with cholera and measles than raids. (And that's including the brothers swooping in and stealing someone's stuff.)
Also, where is the gold mining? Leah has the power to find gold. Why didn't she put it to use? I mean, she did, but it was that one off occasion. I felt like she needed to get to California and use it.
And the halfhearted ending with that final meeting with H-man? No. More fireworks, please. More action. More threats. And the ending was so rushed. It just poof! appeared. I wanted more buildup or more tension.
I walk on earth disappointed. 


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