Those of you who pay attention to my reviews (and I’m not saying you should) really shouldn’t be surprised that my So Shiny slot will be a book by Seanan McGuire. I tend to read her books either on their release date, or shortly thereafter. Her books are always, always pre-order status for me (less so the books written under Mira Grant, and I’m not sure why but they just don’t appeal to me in quite the same way). This one took me a little while to get to, but I definitely read it within a week of it’s release, but I’m so backed up on on reviews it’s taken me a while to get to it.
This book is the second book in her Ghost Roads series, which is adjacent to her Incryptid series. I don’t think you need to read the Incryptid books to read this one but I would definitely recommend that you read Sparrow Hill Road, which is the first book in the series. In this book Rose is caught up in a scheme of Bobby Cross which leaves her a live girl. She races across the continent (and an ocean) to stop him from killing her (again) and resume her natural place as a hitchhiking ghost.
The story involves several characters who were introduced in Sparrow Hill Road, but none from the Incryptid series and it kind of bothered me if I’m honest. The biggest plot point is that Rose finds herself inadvertently alive again. She’s alone, she has no money, and Bobby Cross will be after her very soon. And instead of calling the people she calls family, the Healy-Price family, she calls on the angry, bitter girlfriend of someone who she lead to the other side 20 years ago. A woman who blames Rose for the death of the man she loved and tried to kill her in the first novel. It doesn’t make sense to me at all. I understand why she doesn’t call Mary, the Crossroads ghost, and the book delves into that further, but I don’t understand why she doesn’t call the Price family beyond McGuire having a specific plot in mind and maybe not mixing the two series up to much. It’s my one real complaint with the book, but it is kind of a big one. It makes the plot feel too manipulated and not organic. Despite that, this was a fun book and if you’re a fan of McGuire or any of her series I really do recommend these.