by Seanan McGuire
Series: Ghost Roads #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You can’t kill what’s already dead
I have had a copy of Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire on my Kindle since 2016. When it got a new cover, I decided it was time to begin, and I am delighted that I did. These shorts were enthralling and filled with ghostly urban legends. Travel along with Rose, the ghost girl of the highway, who helps the living as she tries to outrun a man who never sleeps and wants to claim her as his own.
The stories contained within this book all focus on Rose Marshall who died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan. It was her prom night. A dance she never attended because a man named Bobby Cross who sold his soul to ride the highways forever ran her off the road.
Originally published in serial form, the book follows Rose in a non-linear timeline from her death in 1952 to present day. McGuire shares stories about this ghost who is known by many names; the phantom prom date, the woman at the diner, the girl in the green silk gown, and the walking girl of Route 42. She is most commonly referred to as the ghost of Sparrow Hill Road.
I’m the phantom prom date, the woman at the diner, the girl in the green silk gown, and the walking girl of Route 42. But most of all, I’m the ghost of Sparrow Hill Road. Rosie Marshall. Just one more girl who raced and lost in the hand of the forest, the shade of the hill, on the hairpin curves of that damned deadly hill.
People call me a lot of things these days. You can call me Rose.
Now come with me.
McGuire shares different events that occur on the highway as Rose travels. Along the way, we meet routewitches, crossroad guardians and roads that are alive. The story has royalty within the ghostly realm, vengeful humans, and ghosts. We even meet a be`a sidhe (banshee).
I loved the hierarchy, rules, and roads as the author fleshed out the world of the non-living. I came to care for Rose and secondary characters, even her nasty relative. The story has a bit of everything from death to romance.
The suspenseful thread surrounding Bobby Cross allowed me to experience suspense and chills. While I wouldn’t classify Sparrow Hill Road as horror, it does have spine-tingling moments that only a good ghost story can deliver.
McGuire weaved in superstitions while sharing these ghostly urban legends. She fed my inner nerd and expanding my vocabulary. While the original serial format led to some feelings of repetition, I was entertained and cannot wait for The Girl in the Green Silk Gown the next Ghost Road novel releasing in July 2018.
[bctt tweet=”Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire shares tales about the ghost of Sparrow Hill Road introduces us to routewitches, ghostly realms and vengeful spirits. #urbanlegend ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Oh I didn’t realize this was written as a series of shorts, but that can be fun when they’re about the same character. This sounds especially interesting with her being a ghost and all, having different ghostly adventures. And I like both covers!
Yes, it was originally released as a weekly serial. The next book releases in July.
I grew up hearing about this urban legend only of course it supposedly happened where we lived-although I was born in Michigan in 1952, we moved when I was six. This kind of fascinates me, I must say. Glad it was a good one for you.
I love urban legends.
New cover! It has been on my wishlist forever, but it has been so expensive. Dunno why
Publishing house I suspect. Maybe they will do a sale on eBook before next release in July. fingers crossed.
This one sounds unique. A phantom girl and a banshee. I like the sound of this one. I must read it. I love that you are eating up the UF. I am about to start the Iron Chronicles right after Killman Creek. I am exciting for it. This one I am going to put high on my list!
Killman Creek was so good and you are in for a treat with the Iron Chronicles. I am so excited for you.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I need this one! I’ve always been fascinated by the girl on the road ghost story and I love the sound of this version!
Now is the time, book two comes out in July
The new cover is more of an attention grabber. Thanks for the post.
Yeah, it makes you take a closer look and fits the story better.
Melissa (Books and Things)
I thought that sounded familiar! Oh I REALLY need this one now especially with that new cover. LOVE! I so need to just start devouring this author’s work!
Happy reading Melissa!
I love that you introduce me to so many new books! Thanks!
This isn’t one I’ve heard of, but I do like the new cover. It gives off a Ghostrider vibe! I feel like this would be a good one to read in October. 🙂
Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?
Exactly and the next cover for book two is rad too 🙂
I listened to this I think three years ago. I enjoyed it but I was a tad disappointed. I wish it had been more cohesive. I was under the impression there would be more, but so far nothing. Maybe it’s been abandoned?
The non-linear timeline was a little weird, but no, the next book The Girl in the Green Silk Gown releases in July
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
They really did change that cover and I am not sure which one I like more. This sounds really good. I do want to read more from McGuire and I like that this book is told in stories. I might have to get my hands on this one the next time I am looking for a ghost story.
I like both, but everyone is raving about the new covers.
I don’t have this cover, I have the other one too. I was surprised because we see the character in the last Incryptid book, it was fun!
*whispers* Right…it was so cool!
I haven’t read this one but it does sound good.
It was different and I like urban legends.
This sounds fascinating, Kim. I want to read this in October to get in the Halloween spirit! Definitely adding to my GR shelf. Thanks for your review.
Nice. Book two is out in July The Girl in the Green Silk Gown so watch for sales.
I knew I was going to regret not grabbing this one for review when it was offered. LOL It really sounded good, but at the time I could not fit it in.
Oh well, I’ll snag it eventually.
I feel you. I have had regrets myself.
Very cool looking book Kim. hmm not sure which cover I prefer but am leaning toward the original
I think our age is showing but yeah I like the old one, but the new one is cool too.
Angie @ Ba_BAMB
Oh WOW! This does sound good! To be honest, the blurb didn’t grab me. But your review sure did; it sounds like it has a bit of a Gothic feel to it.
Think urban legends, Angie. It is filled with different encounters with the ghost.
I’ve been meaning to try this author for forever now, Maybe I will just start here? Great review Kim!
*whispers* Incryptid first.
oh so creepy and cool! I feel bad for Rose, and I hope she manages to outrun the creep
Right. Poor girl just wanted to go to prom.
The cover is a true work of art. This authors books sound so good and I cannot wait for my TBR pile to go down so that I can start reading them.
I feel you *looks at TBR pile and shivers*
Jenea’s Book Obsession
I love the new cover so much! I certainly need to read this one too.
It is kind of cool.
I have this! I keep collecting her books but one day I’ll eventually read one!
With book two set to release now is the time 🙂