Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: May 6th 2014
Sparrow Hill Road came out in May 2014, and I honestly have no idea how I have never read it before now. It’s a ghost story, but not your typical ghost story. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Seanan McGuire so far, so I wasn’t even remotely surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel.
It’s been long enough since this book came out that I managed to get my hands on an alternate cover edition, and I love it (no offense to the original). I’m hoping the sequel will end up with a similar cover, that would be fantastic (I prefer my series to look like they’re well, the same series).
Every area has their own favorite ghost stories to share. But what if those stories were actually true? Rose Marshall died at the age of 16, so that is the age she’ll always be. She travels the roads as a hitchhiker, and has many names she goes by. The ghost of Sparrow Hill Road, the Girl in the Diner, the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Green Silk Gown, and probably even more than that. Her story is a captivating tale, and one I hope you give a chance.
It’s been a while since I found a story about ghosts I was able to fully throw myself into. This was so refreshing and beautifully written; I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. This isn’t’ a standard ghost story, Rose doesn’t haunt people or places in the typical sense. She has a purpose in life, well death I suppose.
Rose ushers those that die on the road to the next natural step. That may mean that they end up as ghosts on the road much like her, or it could be they move on to somewhere else. Rose doesn’t know where they go through; she hasn’t been given the luxury to see what is beyond that road.
You see, Rose’s death forged her path for her – she was never consulted in it and she certainly wasn’t given a choice. Her story is heartbreaking and compelling, and I ate up every word of it.
I loved Rose as a character. Sure, she was a little harsh at times, but really, considering all the girl has been through already, can you blame her? Despite the life and death that she’s lived she truly does care and she even goes out of her way to save those that she can.
The system for ghosts created in this universe was beautifully done. Their world is as complex as ours, which makes sense considering they’re a reflection of our world. I loved the intricacy and details added throughout. Seanan McGuire has a way with world building.
One thing that really struck a chord in particular for me was the way Rose could sense death and accidents. It wasn’t a sixth sense, so to speak. She could smell it. Each accident was a combination of scents, the cause, the result, who was after them, it all added to the aroma. As somebody that lives by her sense of smell, this little touch meant so much to me. I wasn’t aware that I missed this being represented in media until I found an example of it. I know that may sound weird to say, but it’s the truth.
I’ll be honest and tell you that there were parts of this book that sincerely broke my heart, or were so bittersweet I broke down in tears. If you’ve read this book than you probably know the parts I’m talking about. They were beautifully done, and really push you to feel the full extent of emotions involved.
The antagonist for this series is interesting. He’s the sort of character you love to hate, but it doesn’t feel cheap to have it that way. He’s made a deal with the devil (in this case a crossroads witch) and his victims are the ones who pay that price. I look forward to seeing him get what he deserves.
I can’t wait for the release of The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. It looks fantastic. I can’t wait to start reading it (almost there!). Yet another series by Seanan McGuire that I’m thoroughly hooked on.