Review: Angel of the Overpass (Ghost Roads #3) by Seanan McGuire

This book contains mention of violence, homophobia and sexism. If topics like these are ones you’d rather avoid, consider reading another book

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. Before I continue with the review, I feel the need to point out the bias my judgement may be based on. Seanan McGuire has been one of my favourite authors (if not my favourite author) for about a decade now, so my standards for her may have simply grown to unreasonable heights. That being said, this is a review, so I’m about to share my honest thoughts and feelings now that I’ve read The Angel of the Overpass.

I like the cover, it’s relevant, with a strong style, and while it’s not very specific about book events, it does relate and give a fairly accurate impression of the books tone

Lady of shadows, keeper of changes, plant the seeds of faith within me, that I might grow and flourish, that I might find my way through danger and uncertainty to the safety of your garden. Let my roots grow strong and my skin grow thick, that I might stand fast against all who would destroy me. Grant to me your favor, grant to me your grace, and when my time is done, grant to me the wisdom to lay my burdens down and rest beside you, one more flower in a sea of blooms, where nothing shall ever trouble me again.

Rose Marshall died when she was sixteen years old and on her way to her high school prom. She hasn’t been resting easy since then—Bobby Cross, the man who killed her, got away clean after running her off the road, and she’s not the kind of girl who can let something like that slide. She’s been looking for a way to stop him since before they put her body in the ground.

But things have changed in the twilight world where the spirits of the restless dead continue their “lives.” The crossroads have been destroyed, and Bobby’s protections are gone. For the first time, it might be possible for Rose to defeat him.

Not alone, though. She’ll need every friend she’s managed to make and every favor she’s managed to add to her account if she wants to stand a chance…and this may be her last chance to be avenged, since what is Bobby Cross without the crossroads?

Everything Rose knows is about to change.

This book was very slow to start, to the point that I had to keep making myself read until I was nearly half way through, the descriptive language that I usually enjoy in the Ghost Roads books for whatever reason seemed to just slow things down this time around. I also miss the loving food descriptions, this is the first book in the series that hasn’t made me crave a burger.  

I felt like Rose, Bobby and even supporting characters like Emma and Apple were flat versions of themselves, with narrated motives that were established in other books, and the turns of phrase or habits with which we are accustomed. Even characters unique to this book seemed uninteresting to me, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. The ties to the InCryptid series seemed a bit clunky, and nothing was learned about the animus mundi or James’s father, so the crossover seemed more like in-book advertising for the other series.   

The plot of The Angel of the Overpass was established fairly quickly, and then there was some strange stalling while Rose was convinced to do something that she was very obviously going to do. Bobby Cross appeared much closer than ever before in this book, so I was surprised to find that a lot of his threat fell away at close range. Maybe this was intentional, a comment on the ordinariness of most abusive people, but the effect it had (at least in my opinion) was to kill the tension a little, to the point where mundane travel was drummed into a potential threat to drive the plot forward.

This complaint is a small one, but I think it deserves to be mentioned. The title of the book is never tied into the plot. We never learn the true meaning behind Rose being known as ‘the angel of the overpass’ as opposed to her other names, and we never learn what it is about this aspect of her that is distinct from her other roles.

A lot of loose threads are tied up in this book, a little quickly for my taste, but I am glad that several matters were settled. I wish the way Rose completes her quest in this book had been foreshadowed in previous books to make it seem more earned, as it was, the ending seemed both anti-climactic and convenient. I was a fan of the ending of this book for Rose though, and think her character will become more interesting as a result.

Overall, this book was a better entry in the Ghost Roads series than it was a stand-alone story. If you’re a fan of the Ghost Roads and InCryptid series’ you should read this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it to people only passingly interested, or looking for an entry point to the world or series.


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