The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

Seanan McGuire

In the second book in the Ghost Roads series, hitchhiking ghost Rose Marshall runs from the lands of the living to the lands of the dead, trying to find a way safely home...and safely back to her grave.

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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.

Advance Galley Reviews

"Talk to the poltergeist, talk to the haunt, Talk to the routewitch if it’s what you want. Reaper’s in the parlor, seizer’s in a host, But you’d best keep away from the crossroads ghost." I received a free e-ARC through First to Read from the publishers at Penguin Random House. Seanan McGuire is one of my newer favorite authors, and my TBR officially includes everything she’s ever published. It will take me a while but, hey, I’m nothing if not a dedicated reader. There are mild spoilers ahead for Sparrow Hill Road. Rose Marshall, famous hitchhiking ghost of Sparrow Hill Road, the Phantom Prom Date, and the Girl in the Green Silk Gown is locked in an ongoing afterlife battle with her killer, Bobby Cross. Bobby was the James Dean of Hollywood before there was a James Dean, but he made a deal at the crossroads and became something more. As long as he keeps feeding the souls of roadside ghosts into his car, he’s immortal. Protected by the blessing of Persephone, Rose is determined to find a way to stop him, but Bobby will stop at nothing to end her first. If Sparrow Hill Road got stars for writing, character, and world-building, this one gets them for all those things, plus plot. The first book was, by admission, not entirely novel-like and somewhat meandering in its narrative, but The Girl in the Green Silk Gown revs its engine and takes the plot on a wild and gripping race through the ghostroads, the daylight, and the underworld. Presented early on with about as extreme a problem as a ghost girl can have, Rose spends the rest of the novel desperately trying to right the wrong Bobby has inflicted on her world, and it’s a hell of a ride. The storyline is much tighter and more straightforward, to awesome effect. I still love our sassy deadgirl heroine, and her character development is surprisingly good for someone who died more than sixty years ago. The plot forces Rose into a whole new, not always charitable, light, and I empathized a lot with her situation, while also finding it hilarious (in true McGuire fashion–she pairs horror and humor better than many). I like that it demands she reevaluate some of the things that happened in the previous book (trying not to be spoilery). Professor Laura Moorhead also returns and has more page time than probably any other character besides Rose, and her involvement is fascinating. They’re not friends, but circumstances temporarily force them to be allies, and I really enjoyed Laura’s utter moral grayness. She isn’t evil, but she isn’t totally good; she’s not all that likable, but she can be sympathetic, and McGuire constantly keeps us guessing about her. Given the mark of Persephone that Rose acquired in the last book, I probably should have been prepared for more Greek mythology tie-ins in this book, but it still caught me a little off guard. McGuire is so good at building her own mythology that I wasn’t expecting her to pull in someone else’s, but it works better than I thought it would. Her underworld reminded me a lot of her Hall of the Dead from Wayward Children, which is an interpretation I enjoy, and her characterizations of gods are both mysterious and a little terrifying–without giving them so much page time that they become watered down. The ending is satisfying and nicely wraps up this particular adventure, but there’s obviously more to come in Rose’s world. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book. I review regularly at

I usually don't read books about ghosts, but I liked this one. It is a mix of the paranormal, and crime and adventure all mix in the same bag. I have not read the first one, but according to the author, the second (this one) is a full novel, the first is a series of stories loosely link together. There is enough information in this book to know what happened to the protagonist on the first. The story is told from the point of view of the ghost, Rose, who died as a teenager, but has been dead for sixty years. She was killed by Bobby Cross, who really comes across as an evil being, obsessed with "killing" Rose again. Of course, there is going to be a third book, so Bobby's life doesn't end in this book. Why did I like the book? because it mixes American folk culture with Greek mythology, with Irish mythology, etc. and the author does a good job. There are some twists to the story I didn't expect, and I liked that. It is an easy book to read, maybe perfect for Halloween.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I first want to say that I did not read the first book in the series, but was able to pick up on everything fairly easily. Rose was murdered decades ago, and has successfully avoided her killer in the after life. She is a famous hitchhiking ghost known as girl in the green dress or the phantom prom date. However, her killer is obsess with finding her, and won't stop until he captures her. The overall story I thought was intriguing, but at certain times I would lose interest. The characters were fun, I just did not feel like I cared what happened to them. I feel the series as a whole as a lot of potential, the world is interesting and creative. I just had a hard time connecting with the characters. Maybe if I go back, and read the first book I'll feel differently.

I was pretty excited to read The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Up until this point, I haven’t read anything by Seanan McGuire but have heard about her books for what seems like forever—especially the Wayward Children novella series. So, I was looking forward to this book. And I liked it. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown was a pretty good book. I enjoyed McGuire’s take on a ghost story, because there were so many unique elements that made it stand out from others I’ve read. I liked the characters. The paranormal elements were cool in an otherworldly/ mysterious way. The writing was awesome and the descriptions were vivid and brought the setting of the “twilight” to life. I actually liked the “twilight” a lot thanks to the different types of ghosts and the rules they had to follow. It was interesting. Overall, The Girl in the Green Silk gown was good, and I’ll definitely consider reading other books by this author. This copy of the book was provided by First to Read for this review, thank you!

Rose Marshall died on Sparrow Hill Road at the age of sixteen. A victim of murder when Bobby Cross ran her off the road as she was on her way to her prom. In death she became known as the Phantom Hitchhiker or the Girl in the Green Silk Gown, along with a few other names giving her down through the years. And Bobby Cross wants her to fuel his quest to remain forever young. She's the one who got away. Now she hitches rides with people who are about to meet a deadly fate unless she can save them. Sometimes she can. Sometimes not. After sixty years, she likes being dead. She's made friends. She has a purpose. But Bobby Cross threatens all of that when he tricks a Route Witch into sacrificing herself to weaken Rose's protection. Suddenly, Rose finds herself back among the living, and having to depend on a woman who hates her to get back to the land of the dead before Bobby Cross finds her. "The Girl in the Green Silk Gown" draws you into the world of the dead as they travel the ghost roads across America. I admit, I had to put this book down after the first chapter and go back to read the first book in the series "Sparrow Hill Road" to get acquainted with the characters and not get confused about who was who and what was what. With that said, I love this series! I simply can't wait for the next book to come out. Ms. McGuire has created a spooky and often times friendly world of the dead on the backs of numerous Phantom Hitchhiker ghost stories handed down through the years. Rose is a tough, but likable teenager who stands and fights and does her best for those she's been summoned to save or help cross over if she can't. Deeply haunting and entirely engaging, you'll be lost in the twilight not eager to leave as you turn page after page and hold your breath through the suspense. Awesome read!

I'm not sure what I like best about Seanan McGuire, her characterizations or her way of turning myth, magic, and history on their ear. I loved The Girl in the Green Silk Gown and highly recommend it for anyone who likes their ghost stories with a side of snark. I adore the mythos that she's written in this world. How the roads work, the different people you find among them, the rules of the road, the goddesses that rule it. The descriptions are complex, yet I never feel like I'm in infodump territory. Most engaging in this story I found was the way McGuire chose to try answering the question, "How do the dead see the living?" It's a question I know I never thought to ask. Rose's story gave me a lot of laughs, an interesting perspective on what it means to be a living creature, and also ran my emotions down a twisty roller coaster. I'll be rereading both this and it's predecessor for years to come.

I have read other works by this author and prefer some of her other series work. I did read parts of Sparrow Hill Road but since it was serialized short stories it was a bit repetitious and I did not finish it. However, it did give me an idea of the concept and the characters. This was a well written book fleshing out ( yes, a joke) a ghost story everyone hears in one form or another. The ending had a twisty bit of a shocker that I liked and a happy ending.

I think not reading the first of the series really prohibited me from enjoying and finishing this book. It was just not for me. The fantasy world created in this book was difficult to grasp. The writing seemed overly complicated without a purpose behind it.

Rose Marshall is known by many names, the Phantom Prom Date, the walking girl of route 42, Graveyard Rose, or the Girl in the Green Silk Gown. One thing doesn't change Rose is dead and has been sweet 16 for the last 60 years, hitchhiking her way across the ghost roads. Some legends say when Rose appears as a young hitchhiker, she is a savior, protecting those drivers who give her a ride from imminent death. Others say if Rose appears in her green gown, beware, she is filled with rage, out to punish the guilty and anyone else who gets in her way for the crime committed against her. Bobby Cross made a deal with the crossroads in exchange for eternal youth and life he must drive the roads filling its tank with the souls of those he kills on the road. Rose was one of Bobby's first victims and although he managed to kill her body she retained her soul. Determined to possess the soul he let slip away, he will stop at nothing to find a way to get to Rose...and this time Rose may not be able to escape. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is the second novel in the Ghost Roads series. Rose is finally feeling like everything is going to be ok. She has friends, the roads, her boyfriend Gary...even though he is currently a car, and she is protected from Bobby by Persephone's blessing. Bobby finds a way around the blessing by altering her protection tattoo and bringing her back to life. Rose must navigate a world and a life she hasn't inhabited in 60 years while staying out of Bobby's grasp. Rose is going to need help and she calls on the only person she knows...her worst enemy. I love different layers of each world that Seanan McGuire creates in her novels. She creates a whole world in which there are different types of ghosts, bound by different rules, and layers of afterlife to travel between. There are routewitches and goddesses who rule the layers, as well as characters from myth and folklore. All of these elements and characters interact flawlessly to create a wonderfully entertaining plot. I have not read the first Ghost Roads novel yet and so there was some information that was a bit confusing for me, but overall it was easy to navigate as a standalone book. I really enjoyed this novel and can't wait to read more about Rose and her adventures.

This American road ghost story was anything but ordinary. I found its perplexing and a little confusing to get started but that’s mainly due to the fact that I have not read the first book. The first couple of chapters did a good job of trying to recreate this interesting universe and paint a picture of what went down in the previous story and boy did I miss a lot. This wouldn’t be a great standalone but it held my interest enough to keep me going and enjoy this quirky novel. If your a lover a ghost stories and sci-fi/paranormal books then you may just love Sparroe Hill Road series. I’m definitely going to be looking into the first book to fill in the missing info on what went down before the girl in the green silk gown.

Ghost stories are far outside my wheelhouse, but the first story in this series had me intrigued with alien vernacular that I still have a hard time sorting, and rules of an unfamiliar universe that may or may not be easier to assume while reading. I found this to be a better story, and a better read - maybe I'm starting to understand? - and though I had a week's worth of distractions taking me away from reading more than a few pages at a stretch, I was finally able to dedicate time to reading it. Note: I almost never spoil fiction with synopses - I feel that is unfair to the author; let the reader unravel the story herself. What I will share is that rare is the book that is a true page-turner ( is a modern world, now) for me. I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next - remember, this is unfamiliar landscape - and Ms. McGuire gave her titular character depth, connection, threw wrenches, even caught me with a rarer "didn't see exactly that coming, though expected something" twist. For both of those characteristics, I give a higher nod in my rating. I was only a few months to hang for the sequel that others had to wait four years for. I hope that the next - and there has to be...unfinished business, and all - comes sooner. Regardless, I shall find it and read it as the outlier in my eclectic but still focused reading interests.

Loved it! An appropriate sequel to Sparrow Hill Road. Now I will have trouble waiting for the next one :( Anyone interested in ghost stories, in particular American road ghosts, will enjoy both books. I highly recommend it to those that like ghost, horror, urban fantasy, fantasy and SF. There were only 3 typos or grammar issues that I saw (sorry, but this is usually a thing for me as a former proofreader). Not bad enough to knock me out of the story, which has happened with other books. So if stars are appropriate, I give it 5.

I loved Sparrow Hill Road, so I jumped at the chance to read The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. I was not disappointed!! Roses' story is wonderfully written and I enjoyed following her down the ghost roads again. McGuire's ability to weave folklore and mythology together to create a unique story is superb.

I was glad that I read the first Sparrow Hill Road book before this one. While the first is more a collection of short stories, tied together but not necessarily in chronological order, it still held information that I felt was necessary for me to fully enjoy this book. I probably could have figured enough things out to follow along, but I'm still glad that I read the first book first. This one is a proper novel, which is more to my liking anyway. I really liked Rose's journey, and McGuire threw in enough twists to surprise even this cynical reader.

I was glad to get access to an early review copy. Seanan McGuire returns to the roads and ghostroads of America and beyond in this continuation of the story of Rose Marshall, the Phantom Prom Date. It's a strong return to McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road territory, a world adjacent to her Incryptid series of urban fantasy novels. She excels at intricate world-building and here she drives deeply into the intracacies, dangers, and powers of the American ghostworld. Recommend highly for fantasy fans and horror fans.

This is a follow-up to the Sparrow Hill Road stories. I don't really care for short stories so I have not read the 1st book. I don't think that hampered my enjoyment of this one. Seanan McGuire has created a full and believable world, with a nice sprinkling of humor and well developed characters with whom I enjoyed spending time. This was a nice, fun read.

Great urban fantasy book! The world of ghosts in this series focuses mostly on cars and highways and I've always loved a good road trip in a novel. Rose was hilarious when she was trying to remember how to be human! And she shows that you can't believe all of the ghost stories that have been circulating about her for all these decades - some just aren't quite true!

A mix of urban legends, mythology and the paranormal, Rose travels the ghost roads, mostly as the phantom prom date. The man who killed her and set her on her path is determined to finish what he started no matter what it takes. The boy who loved her is now in her reality, but in another form. She wants only to return to her friends and the twilight but has to defeat Bobby Cross to return home. An interesting view of the ghostly prom date and the roads she travels and insights to her rules that guide her through the twilight. Recommended if you love ghost stories also.

In 1952, Rose Marshall set out for her prom and instead became an urban legend, known to most as the Girl in the Green Silk Gown or the Phantom Prom Date. 60 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 in to the twilight. Her boyfriend Gary is now dead and has become a car in order to spend his afterlife with Rose, so their relationship (as well as the rules of being dead) is obviously complicated. To complicate matters more Bobby Cross, the man who killed Rose, has never stopped looking for her. He made a deal on the Crossroads to live forever and keep his youth, but it's all tied to his iconic car. He has to keep his car on the road and the tank filled with souls. Rose is the only soul that got away and he intends to correct that. Summoned through a ritual, Rose finds her protections from Bobby have been weakened and she has to survive Halloween night as mortal 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. Traveling through the twilight and depending on help from unlikely allies, Rose attempts to escape her killer and return to her life of ... well, being dead. A thrilling ghost story filled with all the rules of the road you didn't know about, The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is a clever combination of urban legend, greek mythology, and paranormal fantasy. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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