Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

April 25th, 2018 Kimberly Review 42 Comments

25th Apr
Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
Sparrow Hill Road
by Seanan McGuire
Series: Ghost Roads #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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

freaky urban ebook SUSPENSE

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.

My Cover: 

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

42 Responses to “Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire”

  1. 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!

  2. Lorna

    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.

    • Kimberly

      Publishing house I suspect. Maybe they will do a sale on eBook before next release in July. fingers crossed.

  3. Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

    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!


    • Kimberly

      Killman Creek was so good and you are in for a treat with the Iron Chronicles. I am so excited for you.

  4. Lindsi

    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?

  5. Heidi

    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?

    • Kimberly

      The non-linear timeline was a little weird, but no, the next book The Girl in the Green Silk Gown releases in July

  6. 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.

  7. Melliane

    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!

  8. lisa thomson

    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.

  9. Sophia Rose

    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.

    Great review!

  10. 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.

    Great review!

  11. Cindy

    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.