4 reasons The Girl in the Green Silk Gown drives off with a win


The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is one of Seanan McGuire’s best novels to date, and it’s a must-read for any urban fantasy lovers.

There’s no point in hiding it: this reviewer is a big fan of Seanan McGuire’s work in general. And like any reviewer or reader when it comes to a favorite author, I can point to some of her books and say “that one is so good.” Her latest, The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, sent to me in an advance copy by DAW?

Urban fantasy fans, that one is so good.

But yours truly is a reviewer, and I can’t simply end this review here. What I can do, however, is give you a little taste of why The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is something you should very strongly consider picking up (as well as the preceding book, Sparrow Hill Road).


McGuire’s other two series, InCryptid and October Daye, both borrow heavily from other mythologies. Green Silk Gown does too — there’s a bean sidhe among the characters, and let’s just say there’s a reason pomegranates are on the cover of the book — but Rose Marshall and Diamond Bobby Cross, our heroine and our antagonist, are legends made from the American love of the open road, cars, and Hollywood. (Yes, this series is tied to the InCryptid series, but you can probably get away with only passing familiarity.)

In this novel, it all feels seamlessly blended together, from the use of Halloween as a traditional night where the living and the dead can co-mingle to the fact that there’s the remnants of a highway that is still powerful enough to be called the Ocean Lady rather than by its actual name or number.

Rose Marshall

Rose herself, meanwhile, is the kind of complex protagonist who will easily draw you in. She died at 16, but she’s spent all the time since as a hitchhiking ghost. That means that there’s a careful balance between the age she should be and the age she actually is. Fortunately, McGuire handles it quite deftly thanks to a certain plot development that sets the quest of the book into real action; is it perhaps a little disgusting?

Well, yes, but this is an urban fantasy novel. A little bit of disgust is practically required. There’s a lot of weird out there, after all. But it’s never overwhelming, and it’s counterpointed by our next reason to pick this up.

Beautiful prose

There were moments in reading this book where I had to put it down and simply exhale, like when you’re a little overwhelmed and you need to just let it all process for a second. Pay close attention to when the stories of the Ocean Lady come up, for example, and you’ll see what I mean.

There are some choices in diction that I might argue with a bit; sometimes McGuire overuses a run-on sentence or two; then you get to those particularly impressive sections again, and you’re back to needing a second to just breathe.


Here’s the thing though: this book also slips in sentences or quips that are worthy of a smirk or snicker at the very least. Considering that the material involves a movie star who uses souls to fuel a demonic car to keep himself immortal and a hitchhiking ghost and also more than that, it’s good that the book doesn’t always play things so seriously. If you’ve read any of McGuire’s previous books, then you’ll know she has a penchant for wit and humor; it’s on display here as well. As with the myths she uses to create the world, it’s all blended together quite impressively.

Next: 4 ways Willa of the Wood is an above-average middle grade fantasy

You can pick up The Girl in the Green Silk Gown at your favorite bookseller.