Ever since I read my first Western-style novel (and enjoyed it!), I’ve been picking up more books in this genre. I was actually really intrigued by this story; not only is there a fantasy element, it is also partly historical fiction with its chronicling of the Gold Rush era. I have been super busy with work and meeting deadlines so I have been putting off on reading this novel, but I finally managed to sit and finish it all today!
Leah Westfall may not be rich, but she has a loving and warm family, and a best friend who she can’t imagine life without. Her life may not be perfect, but it sure is close to it. But Leah has a secret: she can sense gold. Any hint of gold, whether it’s in the ground or hidden somewhere in a house, she will sense it and find it. While she has learned to hide her powers, there are those that suspect it … and they are willing to kill for it. When everything Leah holds dear is taken away from her, she runs away to California, where gold has just been discovered. Maybe this will be the one place where she can finally feel safe. But she has to survive the journey first.
The first few chapters were really engrossing. I thought Leah’s ability to find gold was really interesting, and I couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold. At first, the story moved quite quickly. Tragedy struck and an evil villain appeared, forcing Leah to make quick decisions. However, the story soon started to taper off in terms of speed and interest. Most of this novel involved Leah taking on the guise of Lee and travelling with people to California. Her gold-detecting abilities stopped being so important, and she mostly just talked about the physical labor she had to do in order to survive. In all frankness, it got quite boring. I began to wonder if this novel would ever pick up. In fact, I wondered what was even the point of this story. Nothing was happening, nothing seemed like it was going to happen, and I didn’t really know if I wanted to keep going. The writing style itself wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t add anything to the already-boring story. By the time I got to the last few chapters, I was just glad it was done. At the end of the day, I was quite a bit disappointed with this novel; it had a great start, but soon gave way to a boring middle and an even more boring end.