Is there anything that Seanan McGuire can’t write, and write well? Sparrow Hill Road begins McGuire’s take on ghosts.
There are legends of ghosts all over the country: The Girl in the Diner; The Phantom Prom Date; The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Though the stories have deviated and changed from the original tellings, they are all based on one story, one legend, one myth … except that she isn’t a myth. She’s Rose Marshall and she died in 1952 in Michigan, at the sweet age of sixteen. She was killed by Bobby Cross – a former movie star who sold his soul to stay young forever. The catch is that he has to take life from the living in order to do it.
Rose escaped Bobby’s clutches and now Bobby is trying to finish the job. It’s been sixty years since Rose died and became a Road Ghost and she’s determined not to let Bobby terminate her completely.
As with just about everything I’ve read from McGuire, she’s a master at creating worlds with their own rules and sharing that world with the reader. Here we’re in a shadow of our own world, traveling through time. This spirit world … these spirit worlds … have an incredible set of rules and McGuire helps us navigate those rules the way Bobby Cross navigates the roads.
In addition to her world-building, McGuire is just a great story-teller. Her characters (even her dead ones) seem so real; they feel like people you know (or want to know). Her stories build naturally and her way with words keeps you reading.
In her Special Edition Introduction, McGuire relates the story of how these Rose Marshall tales came to be. In essence this book is a collection of short stories that have been tied together to make it a novel. However, it still reads like a series of short stories despite the ‘fix-up.’ Still, I’d rather read a Seanan McGuire fix-up novel than most anyone else’s work.
Looking for a good book? Sparrow Hill Road is a ghost novel by Seanan McGuire. By Seanan McGuire I said. That means it will surprise you and entertain you and you will be glad to have read it.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Sparrow Hill Road
author: Seanan McGuire
series: Ghost Roads #1
publisher: DAW Books
paperback, 336 pages