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Highway to Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil Series)

Highway to Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil Series)

4.3 16
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Destination: South Padre Island! Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it’s as good as a road map to the dark side. And Maggie and Lisa plan to enjoy every bit of it—just like nice, normal college freshmen. Fire, brimstone, and demonic


Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Destination: South Padre Island! Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it’s as good as a road map to the dark side. And Maggie and Lisa plan to enjoy every bit of it—just like nice, normal college freshmen. Fire, brimstone, and demonic sorority girls: these ladies are officially off the clock.
   But Maggie doesn’t have to go looking for trouble. Trouble has started looking for her. One dead cow and a punctured gas tank later, she and Lisa are stuck in Dulcina, Texas—a town so small that it has an owner. And—you guessed it—lately life in this small town hasn’t been all that peaceful. An eerie predator is stalking the ranchland. Cattle are dying mysteriously, with strange bite marks on their hides. And judging by the rising body count, whatever's doing the killing is getting bolder by the day.
   Everyone in town has a theory, but not even Maggie’s psychic mojo can provide any answers. And the longer the girls are stranded, the more obvious it becomes that something is seriously wrong. Only no one—not even Maggie’s closest ally—wants to admit that they could have been forced on a detour down the highway to hell.
   It looks like fighting evil isn'at a job with vacation time.

"A first-rate mystery."—School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
This novel is the third in a series apparently subtitled "Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil." Maggie and her best friend Lisa seem to find demons to conquer everywhere. It's good that they have discovered that pure ocean salt will defeat a demon every time and that they tend to land in places (such as the middle of Texas on their way to spring break) where such salt is readily available. Maggie and Lisa are driving through Texas on their way to South Padre Island. Maggie is on a research assignment as she is also an intrepid girl reporter for her college newspaper, and Lisa has come along for the ride. Naturally, Maggie's ever-reliable Jeep breaks down in a remote town owned by a single family where cattle are mysteriously being killed by some animal that is not a wolf or a dog, but bigger and apparently self-regenerating. The girls take a room in the town's only motel, encountering handsome young cowboys, gossipy town mavens, and a strange Senora with psychic powers who never leaves the ranch. Ultimately, Maggie and Lisa must call upon Maggie's boyfriend (also a demon fighter as well as a demon researcher), the grandson of the mysterious Senora, and a would-be priest to fight off evil. This may be good escape literature for girls twelve to fourteen, but it can be scary, too. Good always ultimately wins over evil and it seems God is on Maggie and Lisa's side, but the source of demons and the theology thereof is a tossed salad of European and South American folklore, voodoo, demonology, and, apparently, Catholicism. The writing is witty, the plot engaging, and the philosophical underpinnings murky enough that it can be read as just another adventure for two high-spirited girls on the road.Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
VOYA - Stacey Hayman
The mysterious forces of Good and Evil come together for another throwdown and it's a lucky thing that Maggie is leading Team Good. The college freshman and her best friend, Lisa, are working on a new rite of passage into adulthood with a road trip to a beach for spring break. On the way to South Padre Island, the girls hit literal and metaphysical obstacles that prevent them from leaving Dulcina, a little town in the middle of nowhere Texas. Something is killing the livestock. A small faction says coyote have been driven to kill bigger prey than usual, but a more vocal group is naming it el chupacabra. Lisa's potential crush, Zeke Velasquez, might belong to the most powerful family of Velasquez County, but his refusal to consider a supernatural predator may be endangering everyone. Soon Justin arrives bringing his best friend and future priest, Henry, to even the odds of survival for the side of Good. Using local mojo, religious faith, and Maggie's gifts, the Evil One should be headed down for the count. As Maggie's abilities develop, the opposing forces also seem to be getting stronger. It is great to witness her confidence grow, sending a subtle message to the reader about the strength of believing in oneself. Although there is more action, adventure, and suspense than in the two previous books about Maggie Quinn, the friendships and budding romances remain equally important. It is difficult to imagine teens who have enjoyed Charmed, Buffy, or the Twilight books not loving this series. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Maggie Quinn has psychic ability and a history of fighting demons and other evil manifestations, as proven in Hell Week (2008) and Prom Dates from Hell (2007, both Delacorte). She and her D&D-loving friend Lisa, who is a practitioner of spells and magic, are on a spring-break trip to south Texas when their jeep slams into a slaughtered cow on the highway. Stranded in a small town while the vehicle is being repaired, they meet many of the locals, some of whom are convinced that el chupacabra , a legendary evil creature, has been released from the underground and is killing their livestock. Doña Isabel, the wealthy matriarch of the area, seems to know something, but isn't talking; her handsome grandson, Zeke, does not believe in "Ol' Chupy," but he is forced to face the truth when humans as well as cattle are attacked by the demon creature. Maggie and Lisa are highly likable and genuine college freshmen, and when they spring into action against the terrifying creature, the adventure really takes off. The background information on the evil being is logical and believable, and the two belief systems of Catholicism and Hispanic magical culture sustain a respectful coexistence. This story flows quickly with thrills, chills, and a first-rate mystery.-Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil Series
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Some people think that Texas has only one season, that it's summer all year long. In fact, the Lone Star State does have four seasons: Hot, Humid, Horrible, and Hellacious. But when I decided to road-trip with D&D Lisa to South Padre Island, I didn't think that last one would be so literal.

I shouldn't have been surprised. I'm Maggie Quinn: Psychic Girl Detective. Lisa is an amateur sorcerer. We aren't exactly normal college freshmen. Yet there we were, doing the normal college thing, setting off on a Rite of Passage: Spring Break at the Beach.

An odd choice, since I hate any water deeper than a bathtub, I already have a boyfriend, and if you couldn't tell from her nickname, D&D Lisa isn't the beer and boobfest type. Neither am I. But we'd wanted to take a road trip, and the destination had started as a joke. Then I pitched an article to the editor of the Bedivere University newspaper-who seemed amused by the whole World's Least Likely Spring Breakers angle-and to my surprise, Lisa went along with it.

In the end, our reasons don't matter, except to explain how we came to be cruising down State Highway 77 in the smallest hour of the morning, even though we knew-better than most-what kinds of things go bump in the night.

I flexed my hands on the Jeep's steering wheel and sank lower into the seat. It was a long drive, which hadn't seemed so daunting until I realized how much of it was through landscape so desolately featureless, it made me think Dante must have visited here before he wrote The Inferno.

“If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell.”

Lisa paused in fiddling with the radio. “What's that about?”

I shrugged. “Something I read once. Like . . . Did you know Velasquez County has more cows than people in it?”

There was just enough light from the dashboard to see her roll her eyes. “Remind me to never go up against you on Jeopardy!”

Under a nearly full moon, the coastal plain was as flat as a silver-gray sea, cut by a black ribbon of highway and a smaller thread of railroad tracks running alongside. Now and then we'd reach a crossroads, where there might be a grain silo, a water tower, or a tiny fruit stand, deserted for the night and only adding to the barren atmosphere.

It seemed like there should be more traffic-other spring breakers, semis on their NAFTA routes, minivans loaded up like the Griswolds' station wagon in Vacation-but since we'd passed Corpus Christi, the signs of civilization had dwindled to zero. We'd passed the last minimart an hour ago, and with nothing on the horizon but more road-and eventually Mexico-I was beginning to regret the twelve ounces of Coke I'd downed to keep alert in the unrelieved boredom.

“You didn't have to come with me,” I pointed out.

Lisa had given up on the radio and plugged my iPod into the adaptor. “Is it so weird to want to do something normal?”

I glanced at her silhouette, arching my brows wryly. “For you? Yes.”

“I'm taking a break from my sorcerous studies. It will be just like the old days, except that instead of sitting around in the caf mocking the jock-headed and lame, we'll be sitting on the sand mocking the drunk, sunburnt, and slutty.” She bent her long, denim-clad leg to an impossible angle and propped her foot on the dash. “Besides, I'm ahead on all my coursework, so what else am I going to do? Sit around and play World of Warcraft all week?”

Our friendship had endured four years of high school, freshman semesters spent at colleges half a country apart-not to mention the forces of darkness. In the past year, one of us had summoned a demon, one of us had vanquished it, and our friendship had nearly fallen apart. Then we'd had to team up to defeat a sorority who had the devil on speed dial. Lisa had saved my life, which went a long way toward reestablishing trust between us.

That's a grossly abbreviated summary of events, of course. The important thing is, Lisa isn't a bad person, though she sometimes thinks she is. Really she's just . . . complicated. Which I guess you would have to be to summon a demon, even sort of unintentionally, in the first place.
So I could see her wanting a break from that for a week. As for myself, a feature article for Bedivere U's Daily Report was just an excuse. My real reason was tiny, pink, colicky, and possessed of a wail like an air-defense siren.

I'd been an only child for eighteen years, and while I didn't mind sharing the bright center of my parents' universe, I'd been completely unprepared for the disruption that my infant sister brought to the house. Lately I spent long hours away on campus, or at my boyfriend's apartment. But with school out for the week, and Justin going out of town, too, I was at loose ends. I would have jumped at a chance for a trip to the moon.

Lisa clicked through my playlists, looking dissatisfied with the selection. “You're going to have fun this week, right?”

I glanced at her doubtfully. “Surrounded by the drunk and disorderly? We are going to study the natives, not to become them.”

“Which does not preclude having a good time. You're not going to be all goody-two-shoes?”

“What does that mean?” Since I had already taken the unprecedented step of lying to my parents about our departure time in order to avoid the “Two girls driving alone at night” speech, I really didn't appreciate being called a killjoy.

“Don't get pissy. I just don't want you to mope around because Sir Galahad isn't there.”

“Sir Galahad” is my boyfriend, Justin. He and Lisa had started off on a bad foot, though they've since reached a kind of détente. Lisa, in her D&D terminology, says that Justin is a Lawful Good Paladin. She doesn't always mean it as a compliment, but it's absolutely true, so it's hard to take offense.

“Just because I have a boyfriend doesn't mean I require a guy to be happy. And if I ever do, just shoot me.” Needling me was Lisa's way of breaking up the monotony of the drive, but that didn't stop me from getting defensive. “Besides, it's good to have some time apart.”

“You're sure?” She prodded me like a bug under a microscope. “It doesn't irk you he's spending the week with this buddy of his?”

The only thing more provoking than Lisa in a good mood was Lisa in the throes of boredom. “Why should it irk me?”

“It's your first school break as a couple.” She was fishing, and I was determined not to take that bait.

“Henry's been his best friend since forever. They're going to hang out and do guy stuff. It's not any different than you and I going off to do girl stuff.” I shot her a look.
“Not that I can remember why that seemed like a good idea.”

“Because we're best friends.” Lisa unplugged my iPod and replaced it with hers. The screen cast her face in a cool glow, at odds with her devilish smile. “And when I take over the world, I'll appoint you to a place of distinction in my Council of Evil.”

“Can't wait.”

Meet the Author

ROSEMARY CLEMENT-MOORE is also the author of Prom Dates from Hell, Hell Week, The Splendor Falls, Texas Gothic, and Spirit and Dust. She grew up on a ranch in south Texas and now lives and writes in Arlington, Texas. You can visit her at ReadRosemary.com or follow her on Twitter @rclementmoore.

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Highway to Hell 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Maggie and Lisa are doing Spring Break - if only so Maggie can get a newspaper article out of it. On the way there, they run over a dead cow in the middle of the road, which damages the car. The closest town isn't too far away, but it's a town in the middle of nowhere - and it takes some time to get the parts required. While they wait, they discover that something's not right in the town. Animals are dying...and not naturally. Legend surrounds the town of a creature in history that might be back. For Maggie and Lisa, fighting demons isn't new. They begin to investigate. However, not everyone takes kindly to their nosiness and not everyone is willing to talk. Things quickly get worse. Animals aren't the only ones getting hurt. It's time to take action, even if it means going against very important people in town. Can Maggie and Lisa survive another fight with demons? HIGHWAY TO HELL continues the fight of Maggie against demons, with her fabulous sidekick Lisa and her trusty white knight, Justin. The once-again solid friendship between Maggie and Lisa fills the story with tension and humor. This is a fabulous supernatural series that will leave readers wanting more.
M-Miles More than 1 year ago
Highway to Hell is the third installment of the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil books. Personally, it's my favorite of the three. It could be that it's set in South Texas and my home state is close to my heart. But actually, I think it's a combination of things which I'll get to here in a sec. It's Spring Break and Maggie and her best friend, Lisa, are headed to South Padre Island. Maggie's excuse is to do an exposé for her college newspaper. But on their midnight drive, Maggie and Lisa encounter a dead bovine in the road, causing them to wreck the Jeep. Maggie knows something is up right away, due to her Sight, and realizes there are bigger, badder forces at work here. They're rescued by one of the locals, Zeke, who is a young good ole boy and the grandson of the Matriarch of the County. As Maggie and Lisa dig deeper into the mystery of the dead cow, they realize they've stumbled upon a demon-infested town. El Chupacabra is terrorizing the locals and killing livestock. Now with the help of her Super Evil Genius best friend, Lisa, her paladin boyfriend, Justin, and his theological friend, Henry, Maggie sets out to solve the mystery and vanquish the demon. Go, Maggie! There's a lot for me to love about Highway To Hell. It has sharp wit, a kick-ass story and characters you love. Oh, and did I mention the awesome movie references? That's quite appealing to me because I'm a movie-nerd myself. And it does help the author refers to some of my favorite movies of all time (Star Wars and Indiana Jones, anyone?). I loved this YA Paranormal, which I think is some of the most unique storytelling I've seen in the genre. Maggie's narration (it's written in first person) is spot on. Her observations are intelligent and witty. I felt like I was in Dulcina watching the action unfold with her. If you're after a book with awesome characters who double as demon-slayers, you'll want to read Highway To Hell. And if you've missed the other books? Pick them up, okay? Check out Rosemary's website for more information.
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TipsyReader More than 1 year ago
Never ceasing to push the YA envelope, Highway to Hell is a must read for all YA lovers. It's quick and fun, but without being fluff -- you don't even need to read the two previous books (although it is advised). My favorite of the series, I'm still debating whether the ending is perfect or shake RCM and Random House Publishing until they promise to continue the series. Clement-Moore has said she hoped to let the reader imagine what happens next, so perhaps that's better than perfect.
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Cid More than 1 year ago
The Setting - is southern Texas on the great highway to South Padre Island, great mecca of spring breakers and vacationers wanting fun in the sun. However, the destination is halted in a tiny ranching town with more cattle than people, and a very racially diverse population. The Characters - are some returns of the favorites from the previous books. Maggie, D&D Lisa, and Justin, as well as a colorful cast of locals. I think one of the things I adore about Rosemary's books - are her characters. I love Maggie's sharp wit and Lisa's dry sense of humor and Justin's sense of do-goodedness. They seem like living people to me. Like I might actually meet Maggie at the coffee shop or something. The Plot - is at first nothing more than a spring break road trip - but when you're the paranormal version of Nancy Drew nothing is that simple! A turn of circumstances leaves Maggie and D&D Lisa stranded in a small town with a strange situation of disappearing livestock. Maggie, Lisa, and eventually the uber cute boys must figure out what's going on and how to defeat it! But all along the way there are other problems to solve, things in their way and questions to answer. Rosemary's books are so much fun to read. The stories may or may not be simple and straight forward, but part of me could believe them - which I think is rather important when you write paranormals these days. It's a world on top of our own and we know this one well enough to spot a bad copy when we see it, so being able to overly those tones and make me suspend my own reality is a thumbs up job.
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GirlwiththeBraids More than 1 year ago
After casting a demon out of her best friend Maggie Quinn is ready for a break. Stuffing her first-aid kit and safety pack into her jeep, Maggie starts off to South Padre Island with her witch-crafted friend, Lisa. But as you may have guessed, Maggie isn't a normal college freshman. She's a psychic and her vibes are going on overload when they drive through a small Texas county, on the way to their destination. They soon find out that something unusual is going on there. Livestock are being found dead with deep gashes on their necks. It's unnatural, they say. But how can Maggie and Lisa help when there is a handsome cowboy, religious grandma, and mysterious chupacabra getting in the way? Highway to Hell was a guilty pleasure. The main topic of demons isn't exactly up my alley. In fact, it's far away from it. But when I started reading, I found that the characters were all-around likeable. It had a quick-moving storyline and unexpected turns that kept my attention the entire time. This book put other famous works to shame. Author Rosemary Clement-Moore has a brilliant talent that I have never seen demonstrated by any other writer this way before. I was fascinated at how much the scenes are described though I wished, at times, it would be more straightforward. The cover, sadly, I think may not bring the book justice because it doesn't appeal to most audiences. But, like many people say, don't judge a book by its cover, right? Contains: *brief strong language *sensuality *creepy little demons