Review: Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Review: Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuireSparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
Series: Ghost Roads #1
Published by Daw on 6 May, 2014
ISBN: 9780756414405
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

drey’s thoughts:

Oh. Emm. Gee. If you enjoy ghost stories, you’ll want to meet Rose Marshall. If you’ve read and liked Seanan McGuire’s stories, infused with her one-of-a-kind sense of humor, you’ll want to read Sparrow Hill Road.

I grew up with ghost stories. The ones who cross the road in the dark, mist-covered night, revisiting the place they died. The ones who haunt the angsana trees, with the shrines containing food offerings. The ones who scare the bejeesus out of you when you’re doing something you shouldn’t be. Lots and lots of ghost stories.

Sparrow Hill Road isn’t like those ghost stories. They’re a cautionary tale, told to scare your wits out of you so you don’t get any (stupid) ideas. Don’t ask me how that works, ha! But enough about that, let’s get back to Rose Marshall.

Rose is a hitchhiker, traveling the roads to help some other poor hapless soul transition after their own accidental death. She’s been doing it for 60 years, helping others when called, avoiding Bobby Cross as much as she can. After all, he’s the reason she’s dead. Or is it un-dead? I forget the “official” terminology for ghosts who can take on form based on rules of the road.

That’s what I most enjoyed about Sparrow Hill Road — the world that Rose traverses, and the defined roles and rules for the other inhabitants. After Rose herself, of course. She’s something, is Rose. Eternally a teenager, doing what she needs to do to hitch a ride, you’d think she’d be a crotchety cynic by now. It’s been 60 years, after all. Instead, she’s nice. Helpful. Warm (or as warm as a ghost could be). Sassy, but aren’t most teens? And smart. Smart enough to get the better of Bobby Cross? We’ll see…

If you’re in the mood for a story of a girl who can’t leave this world, who has stories to tell and crosses to bear, you’ll want to pick up Sparrow Hill Road. As for me, I’m waiting for The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, coming in July!

drey’s rating: Excellent!

Have you read Sparrow Hill Road? What did you think?

About Seanan McGuire

seanan mcguire

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn’t killed for using her typewriter at three o’clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite.