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Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Review: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads) by Seanan McGuire

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads)
by Seanan McGuire
July 17, 2018
Publisher: DAW
ASIN: B0768Z8K7T ISBN: 9780756413804 Audio CD: 9781541465169
The second book in the Ghost Roads series returns to the highways of America, where hitchhiking ghost Rose Marshall continues her battle with her killer--the immortal Bobby Cross.

Once and twice and thrice around,
Put your heart into the ground.
Four and five and six tears shed,
Give your love unto the dead.
Seven shadows on the wall,
Eight have come to watch your fall:
One’s for the gargoyle, one’s for the grave,
And the last is for the one you’ll never save.

For Rose Marshall, death has long since become the only life she really knows. She’s been sweet sixteen for more than sixty years, hitchhiking her way along the highways and byways of America, sometimes seen as an avenging angel, sometimes seen as a killer in her own right, but always Rose, the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

The man who killed her is still out there, thanks to a crossroads bargain that won’t let him die, and he’s looking for the one who got away. When Bobby Cross comes back into the picture, there’s going to be hell to pay—possibly literally.

Rose has worked for decades to make a place for herself in the twilight. Can she defend it, when Bobby Cross comes to take her down? Can she find a way to navigate the worlds of the living and the dead, and make it home before her hitchhiker’s luck runs out?

There’s only one way to know for sure.

Nine will let you count the cost:
All you had and all you lost.
Ten is more than time can tell,
Cut the cord and ring the bell.
Count eleven, twelve, and then,
Thirteen takes you home again.
One’s for the shadow, one’s for the tree,
And the last is for the blessing of Persephone.

It was 1952 
sixteen-year-old Rose Marshall set out alone for the prom and was killed by actor Bobby Cross who had made a bargain at the crossroads to stay eternally young. Rose became an urban legend, known to most as the Girl in the Green Silk Gown or the Phantom Prom Date. Sixty years later, she's still sweet 16 and hitchhiking her way across America, helping travelers get to their destination unharmed or holding their hand to guide them into the twilight. Her boyfriend Gary is now dead and became a car so he could spend his afterlife with Rose. But Bobby had used a routewitch to kill, ruining the protection from the Persephone tattoo Rose wore to keep Bobby from harming her. The queen of the routewitches sends Rose to a farm where she must survive Halloween night in mortal form again, for her protection to return. Unfortunately, Bobby has thought of everything and when Halloween is over, she's still alive. If there's one thing Rose is more afraid of than Bobby Cross, it's living. Now she must find a way to return to her dead hitchhiker self before Bobby finds her and kills her again. 

We return to the world of Sparrow Hill Road that touched on a lot of the rules and mythologies of Rose Marshall's world. In the second book (a novel this time), The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, we get to see more about how all of this fit 
together. I have really enjoyed how she took the hitchhiking girl in the party dress tales and layered the mythology to her and even using her the mythologies of the underworld of the dead. This time around, the novel is about wanting to go home and wanting to be with the family you've made, despite the fact that these things might not be conventional, or recognizable to anyone but yourself. 

Seanan McGuire has allowed the reader to take a road trip with Rose, not to go camping in the mountains or to relax at the beach or visit places with kitschy, oddball things or where famous people might reside, but instead, the road leads you to visit where ghosts, gods, witches and spooky legends inhabit. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is another great read by Seanan McGuire that hooks you right at the first page.

I give The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads) 5 “ghostly” sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:

Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about any place capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren't). Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; Rosemary and Rue, 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 fivHugo Awards in a single year.

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