Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road began life as a series of short stories published on The Edge of Propinquity. The author reworked the material into a single novel, mashing it into one mega ghost story, with enough free-ranging creepiness to fuel a dozen camp outs.

The plot of Sparrow Hill Road isn't chronological, but all the stories are narrated by Rose Marshall—better known as The Phantom Prom Date, The Girl in the Diner, or The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Rose died in a mysterious car accident in 1952, but she's been hard at work ever since as a hitchhiking ghost, leading the spirits of people who die on the road to their final destination. She's gotten pretty good at navigating the rules of the afterlife, but there's one entity she's careful to avoid: Bobby Cross, the man who killed her.

My one objection to Sparrow Hill Road is Rose's matter-of-fact attitude about being sexually exploited by many of her trucker “clients”. While that's obviously a danger a real hitchhiking teenage girl might face, hello: Rose is a GHOST. If I wanted to read a fantasy novel that equates creepy-at-best sex scenes with hard-hitting realism, I'd finally buy a George R.R. Martin book. Thankfully, this is a very minor element of the story. Most of Sparrow Hill Road reminded me of a clever fantasy take on a police procedural. Like a hardworking cop, Rose has a gritty, risky, frequently distasteful job, but she does it to the best of her ability. I could easily see her adventures turned into an ongoing TV show about the day-in, day-out reality of being a hitchhiking psychopomp, and if said TV show ever gets made, I fully intend to watch the hell out of it.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.