Like a River Glorious
by Rae Carson
–review by SuddenButInevitable
Bad men are never all bad, and good men are never all good, and it makes it hard to know up from down.
Book-a-likes: I feel like I get hung up here…. So, there’s some parallels with The Work and the Glory series by Gerald Lund (obviously…), The Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson (also pretty obvious)
Oh my goodness gracious. I think I just need to reiterate how much I love this time period. Gold rush…. wagon trains…. Indian territory…. so much fun. I read this book in one sitting. I stayed up all night. It was a Saturday, I was sick. Don’t judge me.
So, spoilers for the first book, obviously. (Did I not write a review for Walk on Earth a Stranger? I feel like I did) Anyhow,
They make it to California! Most of them make it to California! And they work to set up claims and start a town. Except Leah’s uncle has hired people to come find her. And they do. So she gets dragged to her uncle’s mine to help him find gold and get himself out of debt.
So, while Leah fends off her extra creepy uncle, (who we are no longer sure if he’s her uncle, or her dad, or wants to marry Leah himself, or sell her off and make a good business connection) she also has to figure out a way to ruin him. Killing is obviously off the table, because this is a Young Adult book, but wow, do we make a strong case for doing just that…
I love the world building that Carson does in this. At times, it seems romanticized, but you get the sense of back breaking work, the absolutely deplorable conditions, and the racism that was prevalent at that time. I love that it wasn’t the focus, but it was definitely brought up and referenced.
And can I just say, that I was expecting this book to end on a cliffhanger? *sings from the mountain tops* It totally didn’t! I’m so pleased! It was pretty well contained. I had some minor issues such as a character that was brought back into the fold for the express purpose of killing him off a few chapters from his reunion. And while Leah and Jefferson are joined in being kidnapped by Tom (who is also a part of their group) he’s largely ignored the entire time they’re at her Uncle’s mine. Like no, he really did just pop up when he was needed at the very end kind of like, oh yeah! don’t forget me! He’s not a main character, but seriously.
So, all in all, I really can’t wait for the next book. (Out in October!) Let me know if you pick up this book and what you thought of it.
Four books were borrowed from the Library. I’ll pick one up later this week to read. Look out for my next review lovelies!