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Ghost Roads (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671027492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671027490
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, Of Saints and Shadows, and the Body of Evidence thriller series. He has cowritten a number of novels and comic books set in the worlds of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. There are more than eight million copies of his books in print. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Nancy Holder has published more than 200 short stories and seventy-eight books, including the New York Times bestselling Wicked series. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, and far too many animals. Visit her at Nancy Holder.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Prologue

The ghost roads.

A place of madness.

A limbo, a vacuum of nothingness: no sound, not even Buffy's gasps of shock, no light, just a dull gray that formed no boundary, met no horizon. No heat, no cold. Simply...nothing.

Oz and Angel had tried to prepare her for the terror of the experience, but Buffy Summers, the Chosen One, knew now that there was no way to prepare. By instinct and by training, vampire slayers fought against -- against a target, an enemy. While every cell in her body screamed at her to defend herself, there was no enemy to focus on. And yet she sensed overwhelming danger.

Fists clenched, she took a breath and calmed herself. She released the tension from her body, dangling her arms at her sides. As contrary as it was to everything she knew, the only way to conquer this place was to do nothing. The only defense was passivity. She had to find a way to accept the lack of form and structure, the storm-colored, endless gray, and know that it was...what it was.

It was the ghost roads.

As soon as Buffy had the thought, she felt solid ground beneath her boots. Everything snapped into focus and she heard a strange shushing sound. She blinked and saw Oz and Angel standing beside her in their travel clothes -- Angel in black jeans, a black turtleneck, and a duster, with a duffel bag slung over one shoulder, Oz in a flamingo-pink bowling shirt, jeans, and a denim jacket, with a canvas backpack -- both of them looking at her with deep concern.

The sight of Angel's dark, deep-set eyes was like a steadying rock as he put his hand on her shoulder and said softly, "Buffy, are you okay? Are you with us?"

Awkwardly she moved her head, feeling something like a puppet minus vital strings. "That'd be a yes," she said uncertainly. "Unless you're figments of my imagination."

Both Angel and Oz visibly relaxed. She wondered how she had appeared to them during the time she hadn't been able to see them. They had both traveled the ghost roads before, and it made sense that they would be able to adjust to it faster than she. Oz had been the first, going to Sunnydale to retrieve Angel when they needed him for the Ritual of Endowment at the Gatehouse. When he and Angel had returned to the house together, Angel's face was smeared with bloody tears, shed for someone here, someone who walked the ghost roads.

Buffy wasn't sure who she herself might see.

Then she snapped her gaze left, right, and tensed. An aura of menace wrapped around her, stealing in like a coastal summer fog. It caressed her cheek and touched her heart. It chilled her to the core, and she shivered.

"Something's here with us." She assumed a fighter's stance. "Something evil."

Oz said, "I gave this part a lot of thought. I think it's the shadow of death." He cocked his head at Buffy and put his hands in the pockets of his denim jacket. "Interesting. When the shadow crossed my path, I wanted to wander off the road and go to sleep. Give in. Seemed peaceful. To you, it's dangerous. You want to fight it."

Because she is a Slayer, came a voice. As I was.

All around Buffy, the gray dissolved into a blinding white flash. The road beneath her feet crumbled into dust, white and searing through her boots. She covered her eyes, blinking, as crimson glowed on her retinas. She remembered Angel's tears of blood and wondered, briefly, if they had been tears at all.

Slowly she opened her eyes, squinting through the afterburn.

Before her stood a barefoot girl about her age, in a long white robe knotted at each shoulder. It was covered with dried blood. The girl was chalk white, her eyes almost black, and her deep red hair tumbled am her shoulders like a waterfall.

She stood alone against a field of black, her outline quite distinct. Buffy had the feeling that if she reached but her hand to the girl, she would touch solid flesh. But there was a strange quality about her, something ethereal, otherworldly. Something that spoke of a land of ghosts. She raised a hand and extended it toward Buffy. Slayer, know me. I am of your house.

"Then you must be one of the Southern Summers," Buffy retorted. "Our side of the family tends toward blonds. She cleared her throat and asked, far more seriously, "Why are you here?"

I was a Vampire Slayer, like you.

Though the girl's lips moved, it was as if a thousand people were speaking. Buffy glanced around and saw brief, blurred images of faces and bodies. People. Some stared at her, some averted their gazes. Many wept. Others were whispering, laughing, almost crazily.

When those faded, others took their place. There was a vast multitude of them. The dead who still wandered, seeking journey's end. Blurring and fading, like a great creature breathing. Like hopes rising and ebbing.

Angel stiffened, took her hand, and squeezed hard. Buffy searched the crowd to see what he saw. The only face that remained distinct for her was the dead girl's.

Buffy glanced at Oz, who in turn looked back at her. He said softly, "What do you see? Who are you talking to?"

"What do you see?" she asked.

He shrugged. "No one I know." Then he lowered his voice and added, "But the last time I was here, I saw Kendra."

Buffy frowned. Was this where dead Slayers ended up? After all the struggle and the relentless fighting, the nothing world of the ghost roads was what lay ahead?

"Why are you here?" Buffy asked the girl again.

The girl raised her chin as tears welled in her eyes. But she wasn't sad; by the set of her jaw and the pulsing vein in her neck, Buffy realized she was seething with anger.

I was careless. There was a lad I liked. I thought he was just a stable boy, a nothing. He betrayed me to Fulcanelli and his devils. She raised her chin as the voices emanating from her mouth whispered and echoed the name, Fulcanelli. He was one of them.

"Fulcanelli," Buffy said slowly.

"The Sons of Entropy. He founded them, acted as their first leader," Angel supplied. "Giles read about them in the Gatekeeper's grandfather's diary. The first Gatekeeper, Richard Regnier, was a rival of Fulcanelli's in the court of the French king, Francis I. Fulcanelli engineered Richard's fall from favor, and they hunted each other all over Europe." He looked curiously at Buffy. "What's going on? What do you see?"

So she and she alone could see the dead Slayer. That creeped Buffy. What was the reason each of them saw different dead people?

"What's your name?" Buffy asked.

Maria Regina served me in my lifetime.

"I'm looking at Maria Regina," Duffy told Angel. "Fulcanelli killed her." She looked at the dried blood. "With a gun, I'm guessing."

A knife. I was murdered in the year of Our Lord 1539.

And she had been here ever since? Buffy shuddered. Four hundred sixty years of wandering the ghost roads but never reaching a destination, not heaven, not hell. Just nothing. So not what she wanted in an afterlife.

I was called. To warn you, Slayer.

"By the Gatekeeper?" Buffy asked.

I know not. She shrugged in the exact way Buffy shrugged. That distinctive Buffy gesture was something Xander had pointed out to Buffy just the other day, so now she noticed it.

"Warn me about what?"

Death walks these roads with you. It would be better for you to turn back.

Buffy scowled at her. "And you call yourself a Slayer?"

I was killed.

Buffy huffed and gave a short little laugh. "Well, I don't intend to get killed."

Then turn back.

"Angel," Buffy said, "do you know how to change the channel?"

But his attention was elsewhere. He was staring in the distance, his eyes lidded, a strained expression on his face. In his black duster and turtleneck, he reminded her of a sailor longing for the sight of land.

"Angel, what is it?" she asked quietly.

He shook his head. "Nothing. I thought I saw someone." He returned her intense gaze. "But I didn't."

"Jenny," she said slowly.

He looked away. "Yes."

He was tormented by the memory of her death, which was exactly the way Jenny Calendar's Gypsy clan, the Kalderash, wanted it. When, as the evil vampire Angelus, he had killed a beautiful Kalderash Gypsy girl, the Gypsy shaman restored Angelus's soul to him, along with the knowledge of every foul act, every drop of blood that stained his hands. Then he was Angel, the only vampire to possess a soul, perpetually remorseful, finding no peace...until he lay in the arms of Buffy. There was love, happiness, and bliss...the very things the Gypsies swore always to deny him. So his soul was ripped away once more, until Jenny died trying to restore it one last time.

Buffy tenderly touched his cheek as sympathy and longing swept through her. They could never be together in that way again, never express the love they still felt for each other. It was over. It had to be over. There was no choice.

As there was no choice for Angel but to bitterly regret everything he had done and accept with as much grace as he could manage everything that had been done to him.

He gritted, "It's all right."

Buffy slowly lowered her hand and turned back to Maria Regina, the dead Slayer.

But she was gone.

"Hello?" Buffy called.

Then Oz said, "Whoa."

The space around Buffy, Angel, and Oz filled with wafting as the dead rushed toward them, arms extended, hands open. In rows they came, wave after wave of indistinct bodies and faces, silver tears coursing down their cheeks.

Help us. Show us the way out, they pleaded, crushing against each other in their anxiety to get close to the three travelers. Free us.

"You hear that?" Oz asked, as the three backed away. "Intense."

"Loud and clear," Angel affirmed.

Oz looked at Buffy. "What do we do?"

Angel said softly, "Walk away. There's nothing else we can do. Not today."

Buffy bit her lower lip. Much as she hated to admit it, Angel was right. This was not their battle.

The wailing rose as the three turned their backs on the sorrowful dead.

The shushing noise returned, like surf or...

"A car," Buffy said. "Look. We made it."

She pointed to a distant night lands... --This text refers to the Unbound edition.


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Customer Reviews

Definatly buy the Trilogy.
Kirsty Batchelor
Nancy Holder does it again and truly captures buffy and the gang in full action.
heather s
These are by far the best Buffy tales I've read yet.
"lemza"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By heather s on August 31, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Buffy books aimed for adults have always been good and this trilogy is no exception. If you are a fan of the show, you will appreciate how authentic the story line is. Nancy Holder does it again and truly captures buffy and the gang in full action. You cannot stop reading until you have finished all 3 books. Please start with the first book ,"Out of the Madhouse" and continue the books in order. (Ghostroads is book #2) The story will make sense and i promise that you will be fully satisfied at the end. I only wish that this and other buffy books had a chance to be added as shows for the tv series!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By algerina on September 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second book in the Gatekeeper's Trilogy, Ghost Roads is an interesting installment. While Giles, Xander, Cordelia and Willow fight demons at home. Buffy, Oz and Angel take the Ghost Roads to Europe to seek the young heir. An overseas trip is always difficult but traveling with a werewolf and a vampire has a whole new set of challenges. Of course, the closeness of Angel and Buffy brings a new torture to their non relationship. An excellent read. As usual Mr Golden and Ms Holder have written an excellent novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Since the characters never get out of Sunnydale, it was cool to read about them in Europe.Angel knows French and Italian (who knew?)Evil acolyte people really do wear funky robes with hoods (who knew?) Xander dies (who would've thought?) But the best part about this book is that Spike and Drusilla are in it.They're some of my favorite characters and they haven't been on the show in a long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Ghost Roads," the second book in The Gatekeeper Trilogy, is even better than the first volume in this epic Buffy the Vampire Slayer story. The Ghost Roads of the title are a network of inter-dimensional shortcuts that allow Buffy, Angel and Oz to travel quickly to Europe to search for the son of the dying Gatekeeper. What they do not know is that Spike and Drusilla have the boy and are looking to make a deal with the Sons of Entropy. Meanwhile, back in Sunnydale, the Flying Dutchman has appeared off shore causing problems for Giles and the rest of the Scooby Gang. Even worse, the Sons of Entropy have kidnapped Joyce Summers in an effort to force the Slayer to return so Buffy can be sacrificed by Il Maestro to the greater glory of his demon overlord and the end of the world as we know it.
Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder really hit their stride in this original novel. The tendency to work too many quips and one-liners in the first volume, a perpetual problem in these Buffy novels, is reduced to the perfect level. This is due in large part to the fact that the writers have clearly upped the ante on the serious side of the scale. What makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer one of the best shows on television is that in addition to the clever quips and innovative fight sequences there is drama acted out on an operatic level (the highpoint of which was Buffy having to slay Angel). Golden and Holder are working on that level in this book: Giles has to leave behind students to die during an escape, Angel tortures a wounded man to get vital information, and Joyce deals with the idea of sacrificing herself so that Buffy can save the world. Consequently, this is NOT a Buffy book FOR YOUNGER READERS. Things get pretty heavy here and the characters have to deal with these issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
C. Golden & N. Holder have once again captured the magic of Buffy's world. This novel is in no way only for young adults. It deals with the dynamics of the slayerettes and the growth of evil in the world in a mature yet action-packed novel. While the continunity line is different than the BTVS show it in no way takes away from the story line. BUFFY ROCKS! As does all of the books written by C. Golden and N. Holder for this series. Good slaying. LOVED BUFFY? Read the Laurell K. Hamilton series about Anita Blake vampire executioner. It starts with Guilty Pleasures. 8 books so far in the series. Also L. Hamilton has a web site with ties to the Buffy sites. Check it out! Also read the Vicki Nelson series by Tayna Huff 1st book is Blood Price. 5 books so far in series. Also read Brian Lumley's Necroscope series. Approx. 10 books is series. They Thirst by Robert McCammon% stakes also Under the Fang edt. By same author is amazing. By for now fellow fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am later fan of Buffy...I started to get interested and serious when the feature ANGEL who wouldn't ? Anyhow , being an avid book reader and collector, i started thinking.. hey, they must have a book about this series. It is quiet hard to find them in stock in Brunei but then that is why they invented the online bookstore.Talking about the book , it is the BEST i had ever read and i am happy that all of the characters in the show are there and kicking. The book ,obviously, makes me understand the series and the characters. The story is gripping.. i enjoy OZ and Willow being a spellcaster and Buffy and Angel's dilemma of whether to be in love or not...Heck,,Love conquer all!!{ Or is iT?}. A definite MUST for all Buffy fans. Ciao !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Brand on April 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying I enjoyed the last book, and for the most part enjoyed this book. But their was a few major problems. While in Europe Buffy and friends get attacked by a person with a lot of guns, instead of leaving the guns, which is what Buffy would of done they take them. This is completley out of character for Buffy. After all she's never been big on guns. Another problem is throughout the book Buffy watches humans die with little to no emotion. Sure they are the bad guys but Buffy doe'snt kill humans period. She always finds a way around it. This book does not stay true to the things Buffy stands for, and for that I give it one star. I mean Buffy with guns, come on guys you know more about the Buffyverse than that.
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