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416 pages, Hardcover
First published September 27, 2016
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Bad men are never all bad, and good men are never all good, and it makes it hard to know up from down.
The thing with Like a River Glorious is that it's weaker than its predecessor. Simply like that. When I first read Walk on Earth a Stranger, it felt like I've found a gem of a book. Authentic historical settings, flawless language fitting the era, likable characters and Wild West adventures. What more could a girl dream of in a book? So, it was obvious I'd want the similar set of coolness in the sequel.
Alas my dreams did not turn as glorious as the title promised. I felt like there could've been more to the plot and character development. As the heroine - Lee - noticed:
I’ve come so far, but in some ways, I haven’t gone any distance. I’m still hiding from bad men. I’m still trying to figure how to make my own way, my own fortune.
It felt like we were reading the same book as the first one, only with slightly changed settings. The strange thing is, though, this book actually has more action than the previous one, it felt more slow-paced and lacking events. It doesn't mean it was boring - no, I rather enjoyed the plot, but I still wanted more from it.
The author, again, rises important questions like slavery, women's rights, genocide, and I immensely enjoyed the writing style, which was easy-flawing and suited the Gold Rush era perfectly. Plus Lee was a strong reliable heroine I wanted to hug more than once.
I need air and light and a kind word. I need my friends. I need Peony.
I need my guns.
The romance part was extended, so to say, and for me Jefferson was not only a likable love interest, but also a character whose view on things I highly respected. As we know, he's half Native American (Cherokee if I am not mistaken), and it was a hard time for people like him to live back than, but he never bent under horrible circumstances and was a resolute, head-strong young man; his strengths did not only help Lee to keep going, but also helped her to see the world in a more optimistic way. Plus they were so cute together I totally shipped them.
The other thing that bothered me was the ending. Strangely, we have a logical conclusion with tied ends. But there's going to be the third book, and I can't imagine what it will be about, or what there's to write when everything was already said? Maybe there will be different characters to follow or our old characters will find a new adventure? Who knows.
To top it all off, a highly recommended series with authentic historical settings and likable characters. I am sure it will be fun to join the Wild West adventure if you haven't started the series yet.
“The truth is I’ve got witchy powers that lead me to gold as sure as the west leads the sun.”
“I’m not at all a proper lady, and don’t you dare imply that I am.”
“Doesn’t matter who I was born to. He’s the man I’d pick for my daddy, no matter what, and that counts way more than blood, to my way of thinking.”
“Bad men are never all bad, and good men are never all good, and it makes it hard to know up from down.”
“I think you’d better stay extra alert tonight.”
“I’m serious, Jeff. Someone snuck up on both Hampton and Martin, and neither of them are shirkers.”
He grins. “You’re worried for me, aren’t you?”
“Course I am.”
“Know what I think?”
I scowl at him, which only widens his grin.
He steps closer, puts a hand to my chin, and lifts it so I can’t avoid his gaze. “I think you’re in love with me,” he says.
I stare at his lips. What comes out of my mouth is: “Jefferson McCauley Kingfisher, you have the swagger of a rooster and the swelled head of a melon.”