Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
I've known about Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant for a few years, as she is a favorite author of one of my best friends. I tried reading her book Feed a few years back but got too creeped out -- tension being a difficulty for me, even in reading.
But I attended ConCarolina this year, and she was there, and I heard her at a few panels. She's funny and too damn smart, and I liked her right away. So I decided to take another run at Feed and look at some of her other books. On a whim, as I am on a reading marathon this summer, I looked through what is available as ebooks (I had some credit to spend). I read the sample for Sparrow Hill Road, bought it, and finished reading it within a day. I would have finished it faster but I'm on vacation and really don't want to sleep through the days. I put down the Mercedes Lackey book I was reading to spend my time with Rose Marshall.
Ghost stories from the POV of the ghost aren't unusual in the paranormal fantasy genre family, although they aren't as common as wizards, vampires, werewolves, and assorted hero types. Rose is a particularly fresh character and the book unfolds as a series of interlocked short stories. But it's the writing -- McGuire is the kind of writer who makes other writers wonder why they try. She just opens up the world and dumps you into it like you are a loaf of bread in her grocery bag, that you just belong there, you're bought and paid for. I've missed the feeling of submerging in a book, needing to keep turning pages and not really seeing text. That's what reading this was like. I know I saw words, but I remember colors and scents and sounds. I remember names and faces, places and weather.
That's the kind of reading experience I love best, so thank you, Seanan McGuire. I'll give Feed another try now.