Sparrow Hill Road Paperback – January 1, 2014
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|Paperback, May 6, 2014||
"The Last of the Moon Girls" by Barbara Davis
A novel of secrets, memory, family, and forgiveness by the author of When Never Comes. | Learn more
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Praise for Sparrow Hill Road:
"Hitchhiking ghosts, the unquiet dead, the gods of the old American roads—McGuire enters the company of Lindskold and Gaiman with this book, creating a wistful, funny, fascinating new mythology of diners, corn fields, and proms in this all-in-one-sitting read!" —Tamora Pierce
"Seanan McGuire doesn't write stories, she gifts us with Myth—new Myths for a layered America that guide us off the twilight roads and lend us a pretty little dead girl to show us the way home." —Tanya Huff
"McGuire is a writer to be reckoned with, landing stone-cold emotional blows in quick succession while simultaneously stringing laugh-out-loud moments alongside lush descriptions, knife-sharp badinage and quickfire action sequences." —Strange Horizons
"McGuire applies a hard-boiled mentality and a keen appreciation for mythology to a blend of politics, magic, and romance." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The first volume of McGuire’s Ghost Stories is an evocative and profoundly creative work that instantly wraps around readers’ imaginations. Providing a new point of view for an old ghost story, this emotional, consistently surprising collection of adventures is also a striking testament to the power of American myths and memories.” —RT Reviews (top pick)
About the Author
You can visit her at www.seananmcguire.com.
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0756409616
- ISBN-13 : 978-0756409616
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Publisher : DAW (January 1, 2014)
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,623,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The characterization is beautiful. Rose is a complex character, not at all limited by her urban legend(s). (Naturally in the decades since she died she’s been the source of a handful of them, some more accurate than others.) We gradually learn more and more about her own death, until finally it’s time for her to tell us the whole story. We also see her square off against a ghost that doesn’t know it’s a ghost, fight to save someone who’s approaching their fate, and do an unpleasant favor for the Queen of the routewitches. She tags along with some ghost hunters on a whim, and discovers that some of her own family still has an interest in her. The stories are varied and interesting, as is the world in which they take place. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys ghost stories.
The dark circles under my eyes today are a testament to my unwillingness to put it down, and all I could think about all day at work was getting back home to finish reading.
I've had a few big hits and a few misses with this author before, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It is different than anything of hers that I have read, as far as plot, but the cynical, snarky protagonist was similar to one I had loved before. Funny, smart, heartbreaking, and fresh.
I'm skipping a synopsis because other reviewers have given plenty of insights into the story arc.
I fully agree with the reviews that said there were too many repetitions. A little slice and dice to make it more of a novella would have made it much better. But then the publisher would have to sell it at a lower price. We all know they hate That. ;)
The back and forth in the time lines did not bother me a bit. Those were very well done and easy enough to follow.
Letting me know in the beginning of the book, that there was a "field guide" of the terms and ghosts would have been a plus. Instead I found this out from a review. Hyperlinks for the kindle version would have been even better!
The book definitely ties in with the Incryptid series and that's the reason why I'll read the next book. :D
Rose is dead and she has been for about sixty years now but that doesn’t stop her from hitching a ride now and again and dropping into the living world to have a little bit of a good time or help someone in need. Sometimes she is able to save them, but other times she is only able to help them after and make sure that they don’t get stuck in the in-between of life and death.
Some of these stories could see really sad depending on how you view death. I tried to just go with this stories version of it that it was just a doorway to a new adventure and so it was okay when one of the people Rose tried to help live ended up dead. At least she was there to hold their hand and make sure they ended up where they were supposed to go.
Rose is the main character of a thousand different ghost stories. Some of them more true than others, in some she is the source of death and in others she is the guardian angel looking out for the living in diners, truck stops and on highways.
Overall Rose is really likable and she has a pretty good understanding of her death now. She even has a bit of a calling and a few friends to boot. Still she is always looking over her shoulder watching out for the man that killed her on Sparrow Hill Road and trying desperately to save more people for becoming another victim to the man in the car that made a deal with the devil.
There are parts in this that made me happy and some that made me almost cry. I really loved getting Rose’s story of her death it was beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I have mixed feeling about Gary and his choices BUT I reserve judgement because I think later it is going to work out as a really weird type of HEA if ghosts get those.
The world building of the twilight and midnight was interesting and I liked the glimpses we got into the different kinds of ghosts that can be made and what they might be up to. I also really liked the possibilities this presented for future stories and other things from death lore that popped up like Valkeries (I’m very interested in those creatures). It seems like just about anything could happen and I like jumping into Urban Fantasy that stretches the norms of the genre and takes chances on new ideas that you don’t see often, especially as the main focus and a dead girl being the MC is definitely not something I’ve read until now.
Top reviews from other countries
For the first few chapters, I didn’t really enjoy this. It’s very episodic, each chapter feeling a bit like a stand-alone short story. And it is trying to build a myth out of the depth of history, which I find hard to take seriously when it’s about American highways. (“Americans think 100 years is a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way.”) However, I persevered, as I like the author’s other work. And that perseverance was rewarded; the tale builds in depth, and character, and tension. Rose moves from being a naive teenager to an experienced ghostwalker (even if the timeline skips around, to help build the background), realising that she has to confront the being who killed her. And the various other characters – alive and dead – flesh things out well.
So as well as the gritty urban fantasy of the October Daye novels, here we have McGuire doing a more lyrical rural fantasy.
Seanan McGuire has developed her own writing style over many years, but here she's not afraid to let Ray Bradbury or Stephen King into the back of the car, and having listened to them, she builds her version of Americana: the roads, the people who move along them and sometimes stop alongside for a while, and the old, falsely familiar places out of legend adjacent to them where her own brand of power, awe and dangerous whimsy has a place.
There's the occasional small misfire in this collection, but when the engine is truly needed it roars and the road speeds by under the eternal autumnal twilight. Enjoy the ride.
It also avoids most religious themes, making no statements about the final destination of souls, only about the time before they leave the earth/ Ghost roads. It's a shame Rose is limited to Continental North America (Maybe south too) as I'd like to know what the Ghost roads in England are like. Particularly the M25 and the old Roman roads.