Review (and a GAME!): Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Review (and a GAME!): Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #2
Published by Greenwillow Books on September 27th 2016
Pages: 416

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.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.


Remember that time I freaking loved Walk on Earth a Stranger? I do. It was magical. Literally and figuratively. Now, we’re back with Lee and the gang and… well I mean, go away if you haven’t read WOEAS, because literally just telling you where they are and what they’re doing will spoil that book. Actually, don’t go away, just scroll down and watch me play The Oregon Trail again. As you do.

Still here? Great, let’s do this!

So, this book was full of awesome. In the very beginning, I was the teeniest bit concerned, because the book started off a little predictably. But that was basically my only qualm whatsoever, and that was out of the way within the first 50-75 pages or so. Then things got awesome, but in a totally different way than the first book.

Where Walk on Earth a Stranger was all about the actual getting to California, Like a River Glorious is about actually surviving it. California circa 1849 is… not great. The author does a phenomenal job of showing why it isn’t great, too. The era comes to life on the page, and I could almost feel the discomfort of the unknown, undeveloped land. Lee is of course used to this harsh way of living after months on the trail, but it doesn’t really get easier- she just has to keep coping, as to her companions.img_7864

This book also goes even further in depth with a lot of issues that were touched upon in the first book. Sexism, racism, discrimination of pretty much all kinds are rampant in California. And since the laws are murkier (and in some cases, non-existent) the treatment of women and minorities is downright appalling. Really, it’s quite hard to read, but in a good way because it is clear that this is accurate. The author sugarcoats nothing; she shows us the way people really were treated.

Lee gets even stronger in this book- but in much different ways. Yes, we know she can handle herself on the trail, but this book has Lee in some very difficult situations that require a lot of mental strength.

A few other things I really loved:

  • I feel like we get to know the secondary characters so much better, and I love them! They are very multifaceted, and I love getting to know them better, and as more than just a wagon party.
  • The romance is still super slow burning and sweet- and I still ship it a lot.
  • There’s still plenty of adventure– no one is just hanging around in California!
  • The fantasy element plays more of a role in this book. While I was fine without it as much in book one, I did like how it was worked into book two.

Bottom Line: An awesome sequel with very well developed characters (who I also happen to love!) and a raw and honest look into life in 1849 California. I cannot wait for the third book!


Let’s Play The Oregon Trail!

So last year, I tried to kill off our favorite villains. This year, I decided to see who would actually make it to California if I loaded the wagon with some tougher (and less evil) characters. The verdict? Women are boss on the trail.


We start the game with Clarke at the helm, because of course. She’d never let anyone else make any decisions anyway, let’s be real. Finnick, Celaena, Kenji, Lia, and Octavia round out our happy little wagon party.

Things are pretty boring, at first. Basic river crossings, some fog. I was getting bored and I think Clarke was too. Octavia was definitely ready to kick some ass. Celaena too, I am sure. SO when this happened:


Clarke obviously decided to greet them! But it was rather anticlimactic, as this dude didn’t want to pillage or stab us.


Then there was a buffalo stampede, which I forgot to screenshot because Clarke got wayyy too excited about hunting buffalo, which I obviously chose to do instead of something silly like “wait for it to pass”. Then we stumbled upon this little gem:


And like, who doesn’t look through it? Of course you look through it! I mean, you kind of hope you don’t find the skeletal remains of those before you, but this isn’t exactly Clarke’s first rodeo, now is it? Anyway, we found candles and some kind of candy. I feel like there should have been an option to NOT eat the candy, but whatever.


YAY maybe these ones will try to stab us! No, just this nice lady. Womp womp. O and Celaena are probably itching to fight at this point.


Thanks for the advice and all, but you don’t know my life or my magical powers.

Then on some seemingly benign hill, we tip over. Oopsie. Usually I just get sad about my lost bacon and move on but….


Poor Finnick! Sorry about that hill, dude. So Clarke decides to rest for a day, because no one wants Finnick to die View Spoiler ».


Well shit. That didn’t go as planned. But, onward we go. We stop at this little shop in Salt Lake City, and it helps because this game is like, 20 years old and Windows doesn’t let me click on the map, so Clarke got to see map details, yay!


So off we go, wherever this Hudspeth fellow tells us to go.


So Kenji is sick. Sad, since he’s kind of our comic relief on this trip. But it’s a cold, so Clarke gives him some water and tells him to buck up.


But Kenji is kind of being a baby about this fucking cold, so Clarke rests for a few days. Only…screenshot-175

“See what happens when you rest!?” Clarke screams to the group. They look at her in dismay. Celaena agrees with Clarke, and now everyone is confused.


Clarke is now reminded of the time that Jaha took Murphy across the desert and decides to wait until night. Hopefully there aren’t any land mines and/or Emori this time.


Since the animal is clearly not made for this trip, we butcher it for meat. Fluffy was delicious.


He died of a cold. A COLD. The common freaking cold.  So now, it’s the girl’s team, heading onto California.


Clarke had planned to rest for a bit to help Lia out, but then this happened:


Oh shit. No one wants to be there. No one. Especially this lady:


I feel you, sister. Let’s get the hell out of here! 


We were so close to California, when O decides she needs to get scarlet fever. We have to take a few days off. One of our companions wasn’t thrilled.


Like, we get it, but if Octavia dies three miles outside of town, Clarke will probably kill you, so…


Woo hoo! Our entire badass female contingent made it to California! And in my head, Finnick and Kenji impregnated someone along the way so that they can live on in the west. Or something.


So Clarke got rich, and her legacy lives on. This should surprise no one. I assume she has an awesome settlement with the other women too.

So, have you guys read Walk on Earth a Stranger? If not, you simply MUST, okay? (It’s on sale right now on Amazon, for $1.99 on Kindle too!) 

And also, do you love The Oregon Trail like I do? So fascinating, isn’t it?

Posted September 21, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Funsies, Review / 24 Comments


24 responses to “Review (and a GAME!): Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

  1. I really liked the first book in this series. It’s so different to Carson’s Fire & Thorn series but it’s still so good!

    I’m glad to hear this one is really, really good still. I’m glad the secondary characters get more time and we get to know more about them. And yay! The magic features more in this book?! I’m really happy to hear that bcause I wanted so much more of it in the first book!

    • Yep, the magic is definitely more of a “thing” in this book- definitely more important to the plot 😉 I am so glad you loved the first book too, it is one of my all-time favorites! Basically this series is amazing- and I MUST read the Fire & Thorn series!

  2. I still haven’t read book one, but it’s good to know that book two doesn’t fall victim to the second book slump! OMG. I used to love playing the Oregon Trail. My fourth grade teacher used to let us play in class.

  3. That book sounds really good. Although the title makes me think of that song River by Bishop. It’s a good song, and now it’s in my head. Your Oregon Trail game cracks me up, especially about poor Finnick. It brings back many memories.

  4. Tammy V

    Haven’t read the book yet. The Oregon Trail game – my daughter had to play that in grade school and got me hooked on it too. We kept dying though.

  5. I used to love that game. We played in school back when it was on floppy disks. (Yes, I’m old. lol) I have read that book yet, but I have it on my list on Overdrive.

  6. Yesss I need to get into the series because I need to know about the oregon trial and I love how this one is done really well with the treatment of women and minorities. It reminds me of Bioshock Infinite which is a game set in that era. Lovely review Shannon! I love the oregon trial screenshots as well hehe.

    • Hahhaha thanks! You should read the series- the first one is VERY accurate in regards to the Oregon Trail stuff- and this one is very (unfortunately) accurate about the treatment of everyone who wasn’t a straight white male. It’s really sad, but portrayed very well!

  7. OMG THIS IS FREAKING HILARIOUS AND AMAZING yes. Also of course all the ladies would survive because how could we not? Also laughed out loud at Finnick dying in your game. Guess it was just meant to be.

    Ok the actual book. I will get to it one day because I really did like Walk On Earth A Stranger. But I just have a million other things to read at the moment!

  8. Okay, I have not read the first book, so I just scrolled down and read your Oregon Trails adventures. I’m very sorry for your losses.

    Oh, and thanks for mentioning that the first book is on sale for $1.99! I snagged that right up because I was planning to get it from the library, but I never manage to read library books before they’re due and then I forget to renew and in the end I practically owe $1.99 anyway, so …

  9. I had to skim this review because I haven’t actually read the first book yet and I don’t want any spoilers for anything, but the general consensus I have gathered is that this was a sequel that did not disappoint! Which is brilliant, because second books in series are always tricky things…

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