Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2018
The description I read of this book made it sound like a novel, but it’s actually more of an anthology of interconnected stories about Rose and the Ghost Roads. An intricate level of worldbuilding has gone into this milieu. Ghosts of all different kinds, following different sets of rules, abound. Routewitches pop up quite a few times, and on the whole they seem inclined to help Rose achieve her goals, although not always in the manner which she’d prefer. It was hard to imagine how Rose’s setup would support a book this large, but we’re talking Seanan McGuire here, so I trusted. I was right to trust–the stories are fascinating and imaginative all the way through. I’ve already pre-ordered the sequel: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.
The characterization is beautiful. Rose is a complex character, not at all limited by her urban legend(s). (Naturally in the decades since she died she’s been the source of a handful of them, some more accurate than others.) We gradually learn more and more about her own death, until finally it’s time for her to tell us the whole story. We also see her square off against a ghost that doesn’t know it’s a ghost, fight to save someone who’s approaching their fate, and do an unpleasant favor for the Queen of the routewitches. She tags along with some ghost hunters on a whim, and discovers that some of her own family still has an interest in her. The stories are varied and interesting, as is the world in which they take place. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys ghost stories.