Sparrow Hill Road (InCryptid Series Stories)

Sparrow Hill Road (InCryptid Series Stories)

by Seanan McGuire
4.6 9

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Sparrow Hill Road (InCryptid Series Stories) by Seanan McGuire

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698145825
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: InCryptid Series
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 49,426
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about anyplace capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren’t). Early exposure to a vast number of books left her with a lifelong affection for the written word, and led, perhaps inevitably, to her writing books of her own, starting somewhere around the age of eleven. The October Daye novels are her first urban fantasy series, and the InCryptid novels are her second series, both published by DAW and bother of which have put her in the New York Times bestseller list. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; Rosemary and Rue, the first novel in the October Daye series, was named one of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade; and her novel Feed, written under the name Mira Grant, was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. She also won a Hugo for her podcast, and is the first person to be nominated for five Hugo Awards in a single year. You can visit her at

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Sparrow Hill Road 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a marvelous ghost story, told as a series of linked stories that move backwards and forewords through time. Rose is a great narrator with a distinctive voice and a strong sense of purpose. If you like travel stories, ghost stories, or strong female protagonists, your must give this a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rose Marshall's story starts as a tragedy, blossoms into an urban myth, and yanks you sideways into the mystical byways between life and death. Seanan weaves a masterful tale around one of the urban myths we've all shared around a campfire or by flashlight. I would love to visit this world again. Thank you for sharing the road with us, Seanan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kaylexanna More than 1 year ago
I found Sparrow Hill Road at my local Barnes & Noble when I was picking out books for my birthday present from my parents. I've read and loved several of Seanan McGuire's other books, and I definitely don't regret one of her books being a birthday buy. :D For those familiar with the InCryptid books (Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, etc.), Rose's story takes place in the same universe, and while some of the characters from that story are mentioned very rarely (the Healy family), I have only read Discount Armageddon so far and didn't feel that I was necessarily missing anything. :) I do think that someone who is more familiar with the universe will definitely appreciate the mentions, though! Going into Sparrow Hill Road, it is necessary to mention that it was originally serialized. Due to the original format, there is a lot of repetition across the stories, so if that's something that you as a reader wouldn't be able to look past and would get horribly annoyed by, Sparrow Hill Road may not be for you. That said, there is a really awesome story here, so it would be a shame. :) The collection opens up with "The Dead Girl in the Diner," and the story completely blew me away and even made me cry. It was creepy, sad, and awesome all at once. While some of the following stories didn't grab me quite as much as that one did, they all showed us another piece of Rose's world, and I really liked what I was seeing. I will warn potential readers that the stories don't seem to have a connection between them until about halfway through. At that point, the skips through time between stories becomes much smaller and each story is more closely linked to the one before it. While I liked the short story-esque aspect of the collection, it also has the downfall that, for the most part, once a story concludes, the reader doesn't feel a huge need to continue on to the next one until they want to know what Rose is going to get herself into next time. I think this is basically just because of the original way the story was told, so be prepared for the beginnings of most of the stories to slow down a bit, but I will say that once each story gets going, it's hard to put down again. My only complaint in terms of the writing (which I'm not factoring into my rating) is that a lot of the terms of this world are mentioned and then not really explained. While it can be gleaned from the text what and who these terms refer to, I personally found it a bit overwhelming at first. I was happy to discover that there is a field guide at the back of the book which explains some of them in more depth (however, there are some minor spoilers in the explanations, as a warning). My confusion with the terms may be related to not having read other stories from this universe, though, and the field guide at the back of the book cleared up the grand majority of my questions. I also admit that it would probably be a little strange for Rose to need to explain them, since they are and always have been a part of her world. :) I LOVED the idea of the different layers of America, and the ghostroads, and the twilight and midnight and daylight and all of it. I just... I can barely express how much I loved it. Such an awesome idea and McGuire does awesome things with it. I was completely entranced by the imagery of the several layers of America, and I just... AHHH, I just loved it. So awesome. Overall, I found this to be a really enjoyable collection, and I'm really looking forward to (hopefully) seeing where Rose's story goes next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Talekyn More than 1 year ago
I didn't have the pleasure of reading Rose Marshall's story when it first appeared in serialized form on the Edge of Propinquity website, so everything in this book was new to me (whereas some of it might have been old news to long-time McGuire fans). There were some very pleasant surprises and reveals throughout, and even a somewhat subtle connection to McGuire's InCryptid books, which I really love. (I think there's also a solid connection to McGuire's short story "Homecoming" from the September 2013 issue of Lightspeed magazine, but I don't think the author's confirmed that one yet.) Rose Marshall herself is a fascinating focal character, and with a small exception here or there, the novel is told in first person from her point of view. It's not easy to write a character who is forever sixteen but has been around for seventy-something years and manage to keep her feeling young without also having her feel too precocious. McGuire walks that line by showing us in various flashbacks how Rose was as a living teenager versus a newly-minted road ghost versus how she is now. It's also not necessarily easy to take short stories that were published independently of each other and whip them into shape as a cohesive novel; sometimes the cracks show no matter what the author does. Not so here; if any massaging of the serialized website version was done for the print edition (such as removing repetitive "here's what happened last month" info-dumps), it wasn't noticeable to this reader as it has been in similar books I've read. The time-jumps in each section of the story also build the reader's suspense, not only about what actually happened that night on Sparrow Hill Road, but also about how Rose has "lived" (for lack of a better term) from then to now. The constant jumping around might annoy some readers, but it kept my attention and enhanced the world-building with plenty of small "a-ha" moments as I made connections Rose herself hadn't necessarily revealed yet or as connections I hadn't made became evident. Rose is the narrator but she's far from the only well-developed character: McGuire takes the time to develop the demonic Bobby Cross, the baen sidhe (and proprietess of the Last Chance Diner) Emma, and several other supporting characters who become more or less important to Rose's story as it jumps from present to past and back again. I'm always enamored of McGuire's world-building, whether it's in the Toby Daye books or Incryptid or in self-contained short stories. Here, she takes various ghostly urban legends (like "the girl who just needs a ride home / a ride to prom") and spins a whole universe of different types of traveling ghosts out of them, with her own unique touch. Around the ghosts, McGuire also creates various cultures that interact with road ghosts and with the roads themselves: ambulomancers, routewitches, trainspotters and umbramancers. The routewitches are the most well-developed because of the way their own cultural story connects so deeply to Rose's personal journey; I'm hoping that in future volumes (and clearly I'm hoping there will be future volumes), McGuire will likewise develop the ambulomancers, trainspotters and umbramancers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great ghost story! I really hope there will be more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so confused by what is happening in this book! I actually put it down and didn't bother picking it up again. It runs in circles, zipping from story to story. I would need to start some schizophrenia medication before I consider picking it up again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charlaine Harris never disappoints. I cannot wait for the next book. How does she keep coming up with these great story lines. I would not have believed there could be anything new to be said about ghosts. I am really happy to be proven wrong!ooo