Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sparrow Hill Road: 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.


Sparrow Hill Road was absolutely fascinating.

One of the most ubiquitous shared experiences, that can be seen not just throughout the country but across the world, is the telling and reshaping of ghost stories.

Seanan McGuire takes this premise of the traditional campfire ghost story and turns it into a full novel. But she does it in a very unique way. The story reads as a hodgepodge of different stories throughout the ghost Rose Marshall death, showing her obligations, her adventures, her sorrows, and really developing a character that would normally be left to the shadows of a story. Further, McGuire does all of this in a nonlinear fashion. While jumping between the decades may seem off and disjointed, it is fitting for the character and tone of the book. Further, while the story is being told in disjointed snippets the development is not, throughout each story readers will get a better sense of Rose and who she really is.

As usual McGuire’s talent for writing comical situations and strong protagonists shines through in this book. Readers will not be disappointed with Rose, and now that she has been introduced I look forward to hearing more from her in McGuire’s InCryptid series. All in all a fun read.


Publisher: DAW

Published: May 6, 2014

Price: $16.00

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Sparrow-Hill-Road-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B00FX7LV12/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398781258&sr=1-1&keywords=sparrow+hill+road

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Nethergrim: By Matthew Jobin



Everyone in Moorvale believes the legend: The brave knight Tristan and the famed wizard Vithric, in an epic battle decades ago, had defeated the evil Nethergrim and his minions. To this day, songs are sung and festivals held in the heroes' honor. Yet now something dark has crept over the village. First animals disappear, their only remains a pile of bones licked clean. Then something worse: children disappear. The whispers begin quietly yet soon turn into a shout: The Nethergrim has returned!

Edmund’s brother is one of the missing, and Edmund knows he must do something to save his life. But what? Though a student of magic, he struggles to cast even the simplest spell. Still, he and his friends swallow their fear and set out to battle an ancient evil whose powers none of them can imagine. They will need to come together--and work apart--in ways that will test every ounce of resolve.


The Nethergrim is a great middle grade novel.

It maintains a constant level of action that will keep readers ages 10 to 13 engaged in the story, the pacing is good, and The Nethergrim's author, Matthew Jobin, does a great job creating likable characters that readers will easily relate to.

But in my mind, the best feature of this book is that I couldn't put The Nethergrim down. I finished this engaging book in one reading session, staying up late in the night. And in my opinion, if a book can keep you engaged to the point that you fight sleep to finish it then it's a good book.

As for other features, Jobin creates an interesting magic system that I look forward to learning more about in later books. Further, because of the way this book ends, I am excited to see how the series continues in later installments. 

All in all I liked The Netgergrim and look forward to reading further books in this series.


Publisher: Philomel

Published: April 8, 2014

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Nethergrim-Matthew-Jobin-ebook/dp/B00D29CAQS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396975559&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nethergrim