Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Review: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rose Marshall, a ghost in the Seanan McGuire's InCryptid world (2017 Hugo Best Series finalist) was first introduced to readers as a character in the serialized Sparrow Hill Road stories, featured on Jennifer Brozek's semiprozine The Edge of Propinquity, back in 2010. In 2014 McGuire adapted the Rose Marshall short stories into the book Sparrow Hill Road and the book was recently re-released (paperback ONLY*) with a snazzy new cover and some additional material (primarily the Pretty Little Dead Girl filk songs). While I loved Sparrow Hill Road there has been a bit of criticism that its episodic nature didn't feel quite like a novel. (I didn't care, mind you. On reading it again, I was so interested in how Rose's stories interface with the InCryptid world.) But now... welcome to your fully cohesive and exciting Rose Marshall novel: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown!

As readers of any edition of Sparrow Hill Road will recall, Rose Marshall died when she was driven off the road by Bobby Cross, an evil actor who made a bargain with the Crossroads for eternal youth. (All he has to do is fuel his car with the souls of people he's caused to die! Forever.) Rose has been trying to avoid Bobby for about the past six decades and has already recently escaped one of his plots. Sadly, you could say he's hung up on Rose, in a murderous stalker kind of way. If you thought Rose was done with Bobby after Apple, Queen of the Routewitches put Rose under her protection, you'd be dead wrong. /cough/ This time Bobby has outdone himself; he manages to undo the Persephone protection Rose received from Apple and from there the whole situation rapidly goes to hell in a handbasket. The extent of Bobby's plot is wide and deep. So very deep. It will take Rose all the way into the mythological underworld to undo what Bobby has done to her. With the help of Apple, Emma (her beán sidhe friend), Gary (her car-spirit boyfriend) a snarky dullahan named Pippa, and, in the first of many surprises, Professor Laura Moorhead, Rose aims to put things right. It might take divine intervention to fix things, though.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown broadens Rose's story but also gives us more details about the world of routewitches, and puzzling simultaneously alive and dead beings. Melding her own ghost folklore and Greek mythology, Seanan McGuire has written a fun novel, set mostly in the InCryptid world. The rest of the time? Well, be sure to pick some asphodels while you visit.


*If you can't swing the new edition in paperback you can still find the lyrics to these songs on Seanan's website, here.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from DAW via the First to Read program.

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