ARC Review | Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire | Ghost Roads #1
Urban Fantasy
Publication Date | May 6th, 2014
ARC from the publisher



Book Blurb:

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.

| Review |

Sparrow Hill Road was a book that took me by surprise. I had no expectations going in, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. This is the story of Rose Marshall, a girl who was killed at 16 when a young man makes a deal with (essentially) the devil, for eternal youth. And poor Rose is a casualty. This book has Rose sharing her stories of her life after death as a hitchhiking ghost, and what’s interesting is that Rose’s stories (we get a lot of them in this book) usually consist of two timelines – one from the past, and one from the ‘present’ she’s in when she’s relaying the story. Parts of this  were sad, parts were hopeful, and I liked how Rose’s character was sometimes unpredictable. It was shocking to me, as a reader, that when she knew she couldn’t help someone, it seemed so easy for her to walk away. But then there were other times when she was devastated if she wasn’t able to help. I’m sure there was rhyme and reason in her head, but it left me as a reader unsettled (in a good way) and it made me feel like I never knew what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed the mythology here, but I will say there were some parts that I found confusing. And once I got to the end of the book, there was a glossary of afterlife creatures that would have been helpful to have at the beginning of the book so I could refer to it when I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, or what a particular ghost’s purpose was. I also found it interesting that even while Rose is haunting, she is also still being haunted by the man who stole her life, and it was this man that was part of the overarching plot of the next book – and who I am sure we’ll see in the next one. I was surprised to find recurring characters in this book, and even more surprised when I became attached to them. With her often times snarky demeanor, I found Rose’s interactions with them fascinating. Last but not least, there’s even a little something extra in here for romance lovers. I’m not going to spoil it for you, and you’ll never see it coming, but I thought it was done perfectly.

I found Sparrow Hill Road to be an interesting take on the afterlife, and I cannot wait to see what adventures are in store for Rose!

| Rating |

Series | Ghost Roads


10 thoughts on “ARC Review | Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Add yours

  1. Ghost stories are fun for exactly the reason you noted. They can get quirky and unsettling. I’ll have to catch up on this series at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really different kind of premise. Rose sounds like an interesting character! I like when books are unpredictable, and if the book made you feel unsettled, then it means it made you feel *something* which is good! I never understand why they put those glossary/index things in the back though. I literally never realize they’re there until I’ve finished, and by that point I don’t need them anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was a unique story idea! And I agree – a middle of the road read is the kiss of death, but one that either makes you happy or moves you to anger? GOLD!

      Yeah. The glossary at the end really isn’t a huge help at that point.


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