Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Like a River Glorious

Title: Like a River Glorious
Author: Rae Crason
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fantasy | Romance
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Format: Physical
Source: Gifted

After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.
Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom (goodreads).

It could just be me, but I didn't enjoy myself as much this time around. 
Plot: After being sucked into the world of Walk on Earth a Stranger, I couldn't wait to see what adventure awaited Lee and company in California. While California proved itself to be just as dangerous, I didn't enjoy the journey as much. My one major complaint was Uncle Hiram who we saw more of in Like a River Glorious. Instead of being the mysterious baddie, his motivations were fleshed out more in this novel, and I got to say, he was a cliche. I had expected Rae Carson to craft villains with a little more depth, but Hiram was just an asshole. This one seemed to wrap up Lee's adventures really well, so I'm a bit hesitant about the final installment. 

Characters: As expected, Like a River Glorious said goodbye to a few beloved characters and introduced some new ones. While Walk on Earth a Stranger highlighted the inequality African Americans and Natives experienced, Rae made sure to include another group that history treated unfairly: Chinese immigrants. I really liked Mary's introduction and I think she'll be a great companion for Lee in the next book. 

Worldbuilding: I loved Walk on Earth a Stranger because it was a literal road trip; Like a River Glorious explored a few settlements throughout California but it was more of the same. Regardless, Carson continued creating a realistic landscape with secrets to unveil. 

Short N Sweet: While not as memorable as Walk on Earth a Stranger, Like a River Glorious is a solid story.  


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