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.
“Now that you’re here…how do you pee?”
The pause is long enough to become worrisome. Finally, flatly, Laura says,
“I can’t remember how to pee.”
While I really liked Sparrow Hill Road, I procrastinated reading this for a few days. Probably because I was still trying to come to terms with Rose dating a ghost car. Car ghost? Whatever you want to call it. In reality, it was probably because while I enjoyed reading the first book in this series, I was also bored by large stretches of it.
That didn’t really change with Girl in the Green Silk Gown. I was bored in the beginning. It wasn’t until Rose became alive that I became alive with attention. I went from meh to “oh my god this is the best thing ever” with one sentence. “Now that you’re here . . . how do you pee?” I started laughing so hard, and it just kept getting better and better from there.
I have a soft spot for stories where someone who wasn’t human becomes human and has to figure out how to be human. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown hit a spot for me I had entirely forgotten even existed because it is so rare. I loved how Rose had to adjust to being human. I loved that she fucking hates being human. I loved how she complained the entire book about it, and how it never ceased to be funny.
And…I love the idea of Home. I love how Rose’s Home isn’t being human. Her Home is where she has lived for the last few decades, and that isn’t a Home a human can have. This isn’t the first time that Seanan has played with the idea of Home. For example, I especially loved how she handled it in her Newsflesh series under the Mira Grant pseudony. In Newsflesh, it wasn’t where you were, it was who you were with. Here, home isn’t where you are, but what you are and where you belong. I like it.
I also like the expanded mythology. As this series is part of the InCryptid world, I mostly just expected to see more things from that idea. Only, it wasn’t. It was something new, something I didn’t expect. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown expands on what we learned in Sparrow Hill Road in a way that, to me at least, was entirely unexpected.
My one real complaint is the end, I suppose. It isn’t really a complaint so much as an observation. This is the second book in the series, and the second book with the same bad guy. I realise now that all of the books in this series are probably going to follow this mold, since Bobby isn’t dealt with yet. The series won’t end until Bobby Cross ends. While I understand, I just kinda hoped he’d be dealt with sooner and we could go on to magical Rose Marshall and car boyfriend adventures across America instead.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Ghost Roads series page!