Member Reviews

One of the most immersive, atmospheric books when it comes to actually feeling freezing cold while you read it. Gives new meaning to "thrills & chills*. One of my favorite tropes ala "Last Days" by Adam Nevill, a couple of guys making a documentary wind up getting more involved in the research than they initially plan on.
Tieg and his best friend are in Siberia to cover a legend called Road of Bones. They have a near-death experience in the freezing elements and find themselves in an uninhabited village where they learn that the townspeople have all fled to the forest. This is when both the protagonists and the reader realize things will only get worse for the duration of the novel and it is sublime!
Golden is a fantastic storyteller. I absolutely loved his novel RED HANDS from 2020. Will read all his books.

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Christopher Golden has done it again! Road of Bones is a creepy, atmospheric horror story set in the frozen tundra of Siberia. Golden's writing is so vivid, you can feel the wintry freeze in the air. This is the story of an American documentarian who travels to Siberia to drive the highway known as the "road of bones." There is a great amount of tension and excellent writing tying it all together. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a great new horror novel to read.

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The concept of this book is absolutely fantastic. The “road of bones” is a real place and the story that surrounds it is dark and sad. The Kolyma Highway is a 2,000 km highway in eastern Russia. The road was built on permafrost during the Stalin era by gulag prisoners. Since it was during WWII time many of the prisoners were overworked and malnourished so something like 250k to 1 million prisoners died during construction and their bodies were just interred into the road because it was easier than digging graves. What a fantastic horror/mystery novel setting and premise! Furthermore, the concept was stirring up memories of Camilla Sten’s The Lost Village (which I loved).

It was, however, nothing of the sort. It was as if the author heard about the road of bones and wanted to make that the setting the story but didn’t even consider that there is A TON of myth or lore in Siberia that could have been used. The whole time I was just annoyed and kept wondering if it would get better. Eventually, I stopped reading and just skipped ahead to read snippets of other chapters before realizing that it really did just ramble on.

This was definitely one of those times where you read the description and get excited for the story, but then read it and realize that all the excitement will lead to a dead end. There was so much room for a fantastic story. A rich background and exciting folklore in a region of the globe known for its exiles and prisoners. And it went nowhere. It just fell flat in every aspect. Frankly, I would love for another writer to pick up on this setting and do it right.

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Christopher Golden can give you chills and thrills no matter what he writes! Another great one for horror fans.

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First of all, I LOVE a good spooky story with a wintery, snowy setting---and this one definitely was that and so much more!

This setting was perfect, the writing was superb, and the story line was dark, spooky, eerie, frightening, and atmospheric. The pace was perfect as the author did a great job keeping my attention as I did not want to put this one down!

This one definitely is high tension, and even gave me some feelings of anxiety---I love when a book can do that!

What an electrifying horror story, such amazing character development, and the spookiest setting and terrifyingly haunting plot! READ THIS ONE IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY--YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

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I have been reading Christopher Goldens books for many years, and they just get better over time. I really enjoyed the trip this book took me on.

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Road of Bones is an amazing atmospheric horror thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I just wish I read it during the winter ❄️. Enjoy!

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Get ready for an ancient frozen evil in this supernatural thriller set in Siberia.

A film crew is covering an elusive ghost story about the Kolyma Highway, otherwise known as the Road of Bones, a 1200-mile stretch of road where winter temperatures can drop as low as sixty degrees below zero. Under Stalin’s rule, some 80 gulags were built along the route to supply the USSR with an available workforce. It was heartless work, and hundreds of thousands of prisoners died from their labors. Their bodies were buried where they fell, plowed under the permafrost, underneath the road.

Desperate for a hit show, documentary producer Felix “Teig” Teigland envisions driving the Road of Bones for a new series. Accompanied by his camera operator, Prentiss, he hires a Yakut guide to take them to the town of Akhust, “the coldest place on Earth,” hoping to collect ghost stories and local legends along the way.
Meanwhile, Ludmilla, a determined and dying old woman, travels the frigid Kolyma Highway to bless the buried—a self-appointed task that has cost her several fingers and toes.

When Teig and his team arrives in their guide’s village, they find the town mysteriously abandoned except for a catatonic nine-year-old girl Teig becomes determined to save. He is still tormented by the abduction and murder to his younger sister when they were little. As they try to discover what happened to the settlers a new horror arrives. They’re attacked by a pack of otherworldly wolves, faster and smarter than any wild animals should be.

Then chaos ensues. Teig and his companions are pursued by a malignant, animistic shaman and the malevolent forest spirits he commands. It is a harrowing journey that will drive the travelers past all reasoning and escape.

The writing is fast-paced and relentless, and Golden increases the horror throughout the book. He doesn’t shy away from the gore, and his descriptions of Siberia are so atmospheric you can actually feel the cold.
The specifics of what is after them is not really explained, because Teig and Prentiss are outsiders who have no idea what they’ve stumbled into. They’re operating without much cultural awareness even if they weren’t dealing with supernatural entities.

And that’s the minor complaint I had about the book. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of the folkloric character Ludmilla, but as the book progressed, I felt she became a ‘throw away’ element, rather than a developed character. I wanted to see her efforts to save the souls buried under the Road of Bones contrasted with the unfeeling savagery of the forest spirits.

Was Golden contrasting her motivations versus the more commercial interests of Teig and his group? Even at the end, I wasn’t sure. I felt some important questions were left unanswered regarding why things were happening. I get that sometimes horror stories don’t always have a rhyme or reason, that’s what makes them scary. Still, with a local guide character and other local people, the author had an opportunity to enrich the story by weaving in more insight into the supernatural myths of Siberia and this road’s history, which are truly terrifying.

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If you enjoy a creepy slowburn, i recommend this book. If you liked the combo of folklore and horror in Midsommar, I recommend this book.

Road of Bones is set along Siberia's Kolyma Highway, one of the world's most unforgiving environments. Felix “Teig” Teigland is an American film producer. He's convinced his friend Prentiss to come with him on a last ditch effort to find financial success by filming a documentary about people who live, well, in the middle of a winter wasteland. But then they arrive to the northernmost outpost village, they find it deserted except for a mute 9 year old girl. But are they really alone?

Crippling temperatures and isolation, a sprinkling of Russian folklore, and a paranormal element? I mean, buckle up, this book has it all. Not to mention fantastic action that, once it gets going never lets up, and holy bananas the ending!

If you are a thriller/horror fan, I highly recommend picking this one up. Thank you so much to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for access to this title.

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This supernatural thriller should only be read in the daylight hours.
Set in Siberia the characters who are making a documentary about ghosts in the area are driving down the Kolyma Highway otherwise known as the Road of Bones. Named for the souls who died while building it—Stalin’s prisoners: they were just plowed into the pavement and became part of the permafrost.
The weather is blowing at 60 below, every inch of your body needs to be covered to prevent frostbite, breaking down in this no man’s land is a signed death certificate and the reader is mesmerized in every scene by the descriptions of the starkness and silence.
The main character, Tieg, has had many failures as a movie maker and is hoping this job will be the one that will put money back in his pocket. A sequence of events results in him meeting the these ghosts but the recording of the siting is superseded by trying to stay alive and leave the area. The author’s description of these apparitions has the reader feeling as threatened as Teig as he is chased by the shadows that follow him in his attempt to flee.
Not my usual genre but was totally caught up: the folklore of the area, the men with antlers, skulking wolves, a never ending chase scene……worth the read

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4.25/5

Road of Bones by Christopher Golden has a bit of a slower start, but I was invested immediately, and I finished it in one sitting! The story gradually becomes creepier and creepier, and I don't know if I would want to read it at night all alone. It had a nice mix of elements for me and felt part supernatural suspense, part horror, and part thriller while also having a great ghost aspect as well. The cover of it is what immediately caught and held my attention and now after having read the book, makes perfect sense and is quite fitting. I virtually felt like I was in Siberia the entire time myself, and I loved Teig and his cameraman Prentiss as well as their banter in the first part of the story. While we start with just Teig's viewpoint, that does change, but I honestly loved the book from every viewpoint. After reading the acknowledgments I also went down the rabbit hole that is the Kolyma Highway trying to find the article that Golden mentions. After reading the book and the Googling I did, I am now really fascinated with this tragedy of a road.

The pacing did start out a little on the slow side as previously mentioned but picks up as the story goes on, and by the time I was at the end, it felt very fast indeed. The audiobook is a real winner here, and the narrator Robert Fass did an unbelievable job. Between his narration and Golden's writing, I was practically glued to the book and couldn't wait to see where it would go next. It does get a little on the gross and violent side which is where it started to give me those horror vibes, and I don't think anyone with a weak stomach will be able to handle it. Road of Bones also got more than a little weird and there was a lot going on, but it all worked together for me in the best possible way. I have no idea why I am only just now reading Golden but now I will most certainly be reading more of him and can't help but agree with Stephen King's blurb about this being atmospheric and creepy as hell.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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AHHHHH! This is a great story with the wrong setting!

What does that mean? I'll tell you. But first......look at that spectacular cover! I mean, that cover alone is worth buying this book. I could stare at it all day and get chills. If there was ever a book that called out to me to pick it up and see what’s inside, it was this one! Wow! It is chillingly fantastic!

Ok. Ok. Moving on.

So there are two separate themes going on here in this book.

First is the Road of Bones. If you don't know what that is, look it up! This is a fantastic setting to write a creepy as hell ghost story, thriller/horror book. And the small thread in this story that focused on the activity of the spirits from the road was interesting, but super weak and didn't match with the actual main storyline, like at all.

Second, the main storyline, two documentarians, travelling to one of the coldest, least populated places on earth and having some weird shit go down? Now that's what we want to read. That story was fun!
Far out there- yes!
Believable - no!
Chilling- yes!
Relating to the Road of Bones - no!

So I'm a bit flummoxed as to how to write this review or rate this book.

The overall idea of the main story was so interesting and could have been even better with a few tweaks. It does not have anything to do with The Road of Bones other than they are driving on it. And the subplot that does have something to do with the souls trapped under the road, was a weak, throwaway plot line.

So if you can wrap your head around all that, if you like thriller/horror reads and can totally buy in to unbelievable horror story plot lines, definitely pick this one up. It's fast paced. I couldn't put it down and I overall really liked it.

So … 4 stars I think. Now I’m going back to look at that cover some more…

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This was a very strange book that’s a combination of horror, folklore, and thriller elements. It was mostly fast paced, though I did start to lose focus about halfway through to the end. This book is definitely good to read in the winter. It feels chilly and takes place in Siberia where freezing to death is absolutely something that could happen.

I liked the idea of these characters trying to make a show only to have very strange things start to happen. The Road of Bones itself is quite interesting and horrifying since it deals with the gulags and people dying where they’re forced to build a road. I felt like this setting increased the tension levels, and it really escalated once they reached a certain place. There’s a very eerie atmosphere overall, as well as super creepy creatures following them. Admittedly, I didn’t entirely understand what all happened with some of these elements and feel a bit unsatisfied with the explanation, but I also think I generally like what happened.

In terms of characters, we have Teig, this guy who’s trying to create this show after some failed ventures. He’s decent overall - he’s trying to do the right thing and be successful. He has had a terrible thing happen in his past that he’s trying to atone for and that motivates him in these ideas for more supernatural shows. While some of his ideas haven’t paid off and he owes people money, he seems to be a good person. Teig is accompanied by friend/sponsor Prentiss who was alright. He’s there to protect his investment but also seems to be actually be friends with Teig. We don’t know much about him aside from a few tidbits about his history, and Prentiss really doesn’t have a ton of character growth. I feel like he was mostly there as a motivating factor for Teig, but I did ultimately appreciate his presence. Teig and Prentiss do pick up a few locals along the way. I liked these characters and learning more about their way of life in this pretty inhospitable place.

Overall, this book was enjoyable enough - I liked it more than some books but less than others of the books I’ve read by Christopher Golden. If you’re looking for a book that combines the elements I mentioned above with a cold, inhospitable setting, this could be worth checking out.

My video review can be seen on my booktube channel (around minutes 6:17-9:15 of this video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMXeOmpPEpc

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For some supernatural thrillers it can be difficult to capture the atmosphere of fear intermingled with creepy. Golden does an excellent job of bringing these facets to the pages as the MC, Teig, takes a journey he never expected.

Because I'm a curious person occasionally, I did a little Googling and learned the Road of Bones is an actual place in Siberia. The number of deaths is devastatingly astounding. The backstory added so much more to the different POVs and themes in this book.

What I loved most is the myths and Yakut culture. I recently watched Antlers and I have got to say that there are some perfectly creepy animalistic similarities in the horror. I think that has also added to my imaginative appreciation surrounding the descriptive writing style.

There are some choppy segments that I felt could've been left out but even then I enjoyed the narrative as it played out. The build up is slow, the characters took a little getting used too but the atmosphere was perfection.

Thank you St. Martin's Publishing Group for the gifted digital copy. You brought a little spook to my January! Recommend to my readers who like supernatural thrillers with unique historical background!

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Although at times Road of Bones was slow and I was waiting for things to happen, I appreciated how the author kept you wanting more and more, and therefore I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommend.

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An American documentarian travels a haunted highway across the frozen tundra of Siberia in search of not just Ghost, but another chance. In an area of Siberia where the temperature can drop to 60 degrees below zero on an average night, Teig and Prentiss travel a road that was said to be paved with the bones of Gulag prisoners. People who were worked to death, and paved over where they fell.

That alone is a great premise for a book. But Golden goes further, taking the team, set on making a documentary into a town where everyone is missing, except one little girl.
What starts as an idea to film a ghost documentary about the Road of Bones turns into a flight from creatures they have never seen or have any idea of what they want.

The writing is excellent and Golden keeps the suspense going throughout the entire book. His descriptions of Siberia and the towns they go through are so creepy you actually can feel the cold.

I wish there had been a deeper explanation of the creatures and the lore they come from, but that did not take a thing from the atmosphere of this novel.
This novel is available now, and worth the time.

Thanks to @netgalley, St. Matin's Press, and Christopher Golden for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Interesting take on this subject. Definitely creepy vibes. Great break from epic fantasy. Enjoyed how it takes you into the story almost immediately.

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ROAD OF BONES is an atmospheric and creepy horror story that completely transports the reader into a world they could barely imagine to be real. It’s hard to believe that somewhere so cold and isolated is actually inhabited by people. The setting is a perfect place for an isolated story, which Golden hones in on to create a claustrophobic and anxious vibe. The mystery of what happened to the town our main characters are in unfolds slowly with moments of intensity as they are hunted by spirits and a force that seems unstoppable. The source of horror is downright unsettling, but not because of overused gore. It’s the unknown that makes this story creepy. Why are our main characters being hunted? Will it ever stop? Is anywhere safe? These questions are ultimately answered in a satisfying finale. This is one of the most unique stories I’ve read this year and it has made me excited to dig into other books from Christopher Golden.

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Synopsis: Teig and Prentiess head to a small town in Siberia with only about 400-500 residing in it. They want to create a pitch for a reality documentary catchers type show. To get to this town, they have to drive down a very long stretch of road where a long time ago, many bodies were buried and the highway had earned the nickname ‘road of bones.’ After arriving in this town, Akhust, everyone had vanished except a lone 9 year girl who was not talking. Deep in the woods lived a family of wolfs. When you mix these elements, it makes for an excellent thriller/horror book.

The chapters were medium length. Some were short and some were longer. The story is told from multiple POVs. The beginning was a little confusing, but when things became clear a few chapters into it, I could not stop reading and could not put it down. I stayed on the edge of my seat, not knowing what would happen next. The writer makes you feel like you are right there in Siberia. The characters were well developed. The storyline was clear after the first couple of chapters. It was full of thriller twists with a horror spin. It created some uneasiness towards the middle to the end. I really enjoyed this book. This author is brilliant how he presented the characters and storyline, without a doubt, I would read more by him. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller/horror.

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Desperate for a hit show, Felix Teigland has packed a van full of supplies, and his only remaining friend, Prentiss, to explore the ghosts hidden deep in the permafrost of the Kolyma Highway. Known as the Road of Bones for the prisoners bodies buried deep in the ice.

With the help of a local Yakut guide, Teig hopes to capture the ghosts that haunt this road by visiting the coldest settlement on Earth, Oymyakon. When they arrive at the settlement though things are off. Doors are left open, food left untouched. Everybody is gone except a lone 9 year old girl in a catatonic state.

As they try to discover what happened to the settlers a new horror settles in. Hungry vicious wolves. Attacked and maimed by these relentless wolves, and a horned deity that won’t let them escape, a race against the unknown starts. Can they outrun these terrors to safety, or will they become new tenants of this ghastly terrain?

Unfortunately this story felt hollow, like the marrow was sucked out of its cracked bones. Without spoiling anything, there is a specific detail that’s very important to the plot that isn’t ever revealed, which is super frustrating as the reader.

Overall it is action packed, but I was left wanting more character development, more of the description of this icy climate, and more of the reason this supernatural entity they’re battling is active NOW.

If you want a book that’s all action this may be for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an ARC of this novel.

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