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.
Like a River Glorious picks up a while after the end of Walk on Earth a Stranger. Leah and her friends are looking to settle finally, to put an end to their travels and start digging up the gold they came for. Unfortunately, California is not a great territory, law-wise and in such dangerous conditions, it is hard to finally relax. More so, because the threat of her uncle looms closer now that she knows he is around. In order to have a peaceful existence, she decides to face it directly. While there, she learns that while they have had it tough, there are others like the Native Americans who have it tougher. Racism is a point brought up but pushed aside very easily towards the end.
While the story is pretty good, and the plot is interesting, what marred my enjoyment of the book was the pace. It was glacial, and I kept getting distracted away from the book. Things are building up, and there is a pretty good climax but by that time I was a bit bored to read thoroughly. The writing couldn’t hold my attention enough in the face of the slow pace – I thought reading about a road trip was slow, but this one filled with developments only got really interesting at the end. Also, that ending felt like this is going to be a duology? I don’t really see what threat can come up for this to be a trilogy, but I guess I am still interested in the series. Overall, a good book but not such a well-written sequel.
Received a free galley from Greenwillow Books, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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