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.
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 Click To Tweet
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