Cover Image: Road of Bones

Road of Bones

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I felt like there were a couple storylines that never really connected in a way that made sense. The old lady seemed like she should have played a more prominent role due to they way she was built up. The writing was not clear, which made the supernatural elements difficult for me to follow. It was almost like the author was trying to subtly hint at what was happening — and then he just assumed the reader had figured it out and moved on with the story. It left me feeling confused and trying to figure out what I missed. There were also a few times that the names of the characters were definitely switched. It would take me a few re-reads to realize the author just wrong name.

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Road of Bones was a fantastic horror for the colder months. Extremely atmospheric, it makes the reader feel like they are with the characters running from the parnee. The beginning of the novel was far more terrifying than the ending, but the build up was fantastic. The open ending was far more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be at first. I will say that I wasn't a fan of our main character Teig, toward the middle and end of the book since his past was leading him to make questionable decisions. Overall, this one was a solid read for any horror/thriller fan.

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I absolutely loved this one! It was well-written with good character development and very, very gruesome! I did find that I was expecting more of a ghost story than what it ended up being but it didn't disappoint at all.

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This book is about two friends, Tieg and Prentiss, who seek out the coldest place in the world to make a documentary about Kolyma Highway. When they arrive at Yakut, strange things start happening.

After picking up and trying to get through more the 40% of this book, I have decided to DNF it for now. It was way too slow for me and I had a hard time getting pulled into the story. I found myself wanting to read any other book. While I do think there is an audience out there for this slow-burn horror novel, it is not for me.

Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Usually, I pick up a book expecting it to look familiar -- the same sights and sounds of genres I've held many times over. But every once in a while, I pick up a book that ends up introducing me to a world that was completely unexpected.

Road of Bones by Christopher Golden is unlike any other book I've read! What I expected to be a pretty straight-forward thriller, ended up becoming a ghostly mythical horror story richly steeped in setting and culture. While the plot line lost me for a bit, as horror isn't my typical cup of tea, the characters kept me sutured to the pages.

Golden did an excellent job of penning a story that made me feel like I was smack-dab in the middle of every scene, encountering the anticipation, fear, and deep bitter cold of the characters along side them. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to my friends who are fans of a good horror/ghost/cultural folklore type thriller.

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There’s an immersive quality to reading Christopher Golden’s Road of Bones (St. Martin’s Press) during the coldest month of the year. While you don’t need to be hunkered on the couch with a raging snowstorm at the door to enjoy this Siberia-set horror thriller, those who have experienced truly intense cold temperatures will feel a knowing terror as the wild events of this novel unfold.

Road of Bones centers on Felix Teigland, a struggling documentary producer in need of a hook for his next potential project. He thinks he’s stumbled onto a sure thing with a trip through Siberia’s Kolyma Highway, known as the Road of Bones. A remote highway through the Russian Far East, the highway owes its nickname to the thousands of gulag workers who died while constructing the massive 1200 km+ highway and were summarily buried beneath the road.

Felix has brought along his long-suffering cameraman Prentiss on the trip in order to film something to whet the appetites of potential investors. Prentiss, meanwhile, is tagging along because he wants to be sure Felix finally pays him back for all of the prior unsuccessful schemes he was roped into working.

Things quickly spiral out of control once Felix and Prentiss make their way to the tiny town of Akhustm (“the coldest place on Earth”) where they are meant to pick up their local tour guide. In addition to battling the brutal -40 degree weather, they are set upon by bloodthirsty and confoundingly intelligent wolves tracking their every move. Their group soon expands to include a shell-shocked and seemingly mute 9-year-old girl, who may have a connection to the madness closing in on them as they make their way along the dangerous Road of Bones, with the mysterious creatures in full pursuit.

Christopher Golden knows how to construct an involving page-turner and the concept of setting a supernatural thriller in one of the most remote (and coldest) places on the planet only adds to the suspense. Like The Thing crossed with The Road, Golden combines the terror of battling an unknown force in a secluded location with an unrelenting road trip from hell. It’s a tight and claustrophobic read that works best when it focuses on the relationship of the odd-couple at the heart of the story, with Felix’s drive and passion leading both men into an unimaginable location and situation.

With elements of wild folk-horror that only add to the real-life atrocities behind the story of the highway, Road of Bones is a nail-biting thriller that you’ll plow through during the next snow day.

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I have very much enjoyed some of Golden's books, but I set Red Hands and now this new one aside about halfway through. Some ingredient is missing—if I had to guess, I'd say it's tension, though you'd think it'd be tense enough to follow a team of documentarians as they're chased by some supernatural force across Siberia. Maybe the fairy-tale wolves were just too silly for me.

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This book was a fast-paced, bone chilling horror story about two men hoping to catch ghosts in on the lonely Road of Bones highway in Siberia. The highway is the site of war prisoners who died and were buried in mass graves, and someone decided to put a highway on top of the lost souls.

Tieg and Prentiss have been friends for a while and decide wintery Siberia is the perfect place to make a documentary. They are hoping to run into ghosts and catch them on camera, but what they find is much much worse. Tieg and Prentiss find themselves in the middle of a spiritual war between evil and natural goodness. They find themselves in horrific circumstances and try to survive along the way.

This book was terrifying. Not only was the setting frigid, but the imagery in this book was written extremely well and it's easy to visual the scenes happening. I found myself wincing and shivering at times. But in a weird way, this book was beautiful as well. Horrifying, but beautiful. It's hard to explain.

I would love to see this book turned into a movie or mini-series!

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I love reading about Russia and that part of the world. As a concept, this book gets a full four stars. Overall, it's two stars, maybe two and a half. I couldn't come to terms with the spiritual influences of the book as it didn't resonate with my life. Great concept, but didn't quite do it for me.

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This book was super creepy and I could not put it down. The setting of the book was so fascinating and I found myself doing research while reading to know even more about it. The storyline was dark with supernatural creatures and mystery and you never knew what was going to happen next. The tension was leaping off the pages and you could feel the characters' fear throughout. The characters were interesting and thrown together on this wild journey with spirits, ghosts, and other creatures that belong in nightmares. Fans of horror will really enjoy this book!

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I was really excited to get all cuddled up on a snowy day and read this creepy book, Road Of Bones by Christopher Golden. Creepy because this is a real place... I've been intrigued by the location, and it got me (& my daughter) researching the Kolyma Highway, aka the Road of Bones. I went in blind, not knowing what exactly the book was about. For the most part, I DID enjoy it! However it was not what I expected nor what I'd normally read. I love thrillers and don't mind a bit of spookiness, i had a feeling this book would have some of both elements. However I'm not a big fan of paranormal and horror. I do think you should read it though! As it was good!

Thank you Netgalley for my advanced readers copy in exchange for my review.

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Felix Teiglund is a documentary filmmaker. Along with his camera operator and close friend, Jack Prentiss, he sets out to Siberia for their latest project. Their plan is to film along the Kolyma Highway, a 1200-mile stretch of roadway known as the Road of Bones, due to bodies that lie underneath it; unfortunate souls who died during their labors and were plowed over where they fell.

It's one of the coldest places on Earth, but in spite of that, there are small communities that still exist along the road. Teig and Prentiss are in search of a ghost story and this seems like the perfect place to capture one. How cold could it possibly be anyway?

It turns out, pretty freaking cold. Nonetheless, Teig and Prentiss are determined. They need to make this work. There's a lot riding on this project. They have a great rental truck, made for these conditions, and a capable local Yakut guide and translator, Kaskil. They've set themselves up well, but in these conditions anything can happen.

As the men slowly make their way to their final destination, Kaskil's native community of Akhurst, they stop along the way at a small roadside bar for some rest and food. There they have the best reindeer burgers ever and are feeling confident and happy as they depart for the last stretch of their journey.

Not long after, they come across a broken down SUV. A young woman, Nari, who Teig had noticed back at the bar is stranded. Obviously, they cannot leave her there. She would certainly freeze to death before too long. It's at that point, the trio becomes a quartet.

Arriving in Akhurst, Teig and Prentiss just get settled into their accommodations when they hear a disturbance outside. It's Kaskil. Something is wrong. He tells them that the settlement is abandoned. Everyone is gone. They just up and left. His whole family, gone. Doors left open, dinners still sit on tables, footprints in the snow; some indicating that some people were barefoot.

What the hell happened here?

There must be some sort of explanation. Teig and Prentiss agree to help him and Nari search. They find no one except Kaskil's nine-year old niece, who is catatonic. Then absolute hell breaks loose. The travelers are forced to flee the settlement, fearing for their lives and something that defies all explanation is following them.

Road of Bones is an intense and horrifying story. I had such a fun experience reading this one, staying up way past my bedtime in order to finish it. I really enjoy Nature Horror, or Eco-Horror, as well as Folk Horror and to me, Christopher Golden was giving me all of that in spades. The way this was told, it was so well done. My anxiety was definitely super high after the showdown at Akhurst.

I loved getting to know the characters, particularly Teig, and the setting was absolute perfection. I was so cold. I kept having to turn up my heat and I'm totally serious about that. It was unnervingly realistic, the dangers of the road. That alone would have been anxiety-inducing enough, but then the parnee, an animistic shaman, and other forest spirits get thrown in, holy smokes!! It was freaking intense!!

Golden really did a great job working his way through this one. In some Eco-Horror, or Folk Horror, I have read in the past, I've had a difficult time deciphering what the author was trying to get across. I had no problems here. There was a point behind it and I could picture it all perfectly. I loved the ending, Golden didn't pull any punches, but it still left me with a feeling of hope, which sounds really strange, yet it's true.

I also feel intrigued to learn a bit more about Siberian legends and folklore now, so that's an added bonus.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. This was a perfect Winter read for me. I may even read it again next Winter!!

❄️🦌🖤🐺❄️🦌🖤🐺❄️🦌🖤🐺❄️🦌🖤🐺❄️

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Full review to come on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for a review copy.

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This was one of my favorite horrors of the year! I only wish it had been longer because it was so amazing. I was invested in the two friends from the very beginning and their travels down the road of bones. Getting to learn about the road of bones and the history of this town and this culture was absolutely fascinating. The town with its characters and its mysteries literally took my breath away. This author had so many spins and twists that I absolutely adored! This will be a re-read for me in 2022.. MUST READ
5 ⭐️ STARS

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I finished this book in 2 days! It is one story that compels you to continue into the story.
I am one who does not like reviews that give too much of the story in the review, so I will not get into the story. I really liked the history, and description of the road of bones in Russia. I also liked the style of writing of Mr. Golden. I also hope he writes a sequel or an added novel along these story lines! I would definitely buy that book!

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One-sentence summary:
A documentary producer hoping to finally make a hit show after a series of flops takes a small crew to the Siberian tundra, known as the coldest place on earth, to drive across a dangerous highway called the Road of Bones, but when they encounter other-worldly beasts, all he can hope for is to make it out alive.

—--

This book is incredibly atmospheric, intense and - at times - very gory. It’s heavier on the supernatural and horror than I was expecting, so I wouldn’t say this is exactly in my typical wheelhouse. But due to strong writing and some solid characterizations, I found myself engrossed.

The personalities of Teig (the producer) and Prentiss (his cameraman) were specific and believable, as was their relationship. The setting is stark, and the descriptions of the coldest place on earth are so well done that I could almost feel myself inside this desolate, snow-covered nightmare.

The action was written very well, and the choices the author made were incredibly bold. Do not go into this expecting a slow burn. This is a book that is gutsy, filled with pulse-pounding action and shock and awe moments that only intensify as the story progresses. I did find myself wanting more of an explanation for all of the supernatural things that were happening, but that’s a common complaint I have with the horror genre – and often not too big of a concern of many horror and supernatural fans.

Anyway, the big takeaway here is that this book is lighter on background and subtlety and heavier on shock, awe and action. If that’s your thing, you will LOVE this.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!

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The Kolyma Highway (Bone Road)is a 1200 mile stretch of dangerous road in Siberia. In their dark winter, it is ice-covered, and in their short summer months, it is often covered by mud. Its history is evil, and it must truly be haunted.

An estimated 250,000 to one million prisoners of Stalin's gulags died there while forced to construct the highway in average winter temperatures of -50C. As the road was built on permafrost, the dead bodies were deposited within the material used to form the road or dumped alongside it to save the difficulty of a proper burial in the frozen earth.

Teig, a documentary filmmaker's career, is in a slump. He feels that making a documentary about the Bone Road's obscene history will restore his reputation. What can be a better setting for a horror/supernatural story either in Teig’s film or in this book? He is also interested in meeting a guide to take him to the settlement of Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited place on earth. His guide is from the northern Yakut tribe, known as reindeer herders. The town's record low temperature was -71.2 C (-96.2 F). Strangely their temperature soared to 31.6C this June 30th, 2021, a high never recorded before.


I thoroughly enjoyed this one and couldn't put it down. Both horror and thriller aspects were *chefs kiss*. I think the setting, and the story line were its strongest points!

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Road of Bones tells the story of Teig and Prentiss, two friends searching for the next hit TV show. They think they’ve found it on the Kolyma Highway, also known as the Road of Bones. It gets it nickname because it was built by prisoners in Stalin’s gulags, many of whom died of exposure and their bodies were left on the Highway to freeze under the permafrost. Will they find the ghosts they are looking for or does something far more sinister linger in the backdrop?

FIRST 5 STAR READ OF 2022!!!! This book is so amazing and insightful. In a similar vein as Stephen Graham Jones, The Only Good Indians, this book touches on so many themes using the lens of horror to highlight them. Guilt, regret, choices, morals, sacrifice, natural disasters as protection, local mysticism and the paranormal, friendship, survival. All play a role in this book and I can’t tell you how unforgettable it is. I read 75% of the book in one sitting. The other 25% was me trying to sneak in pages at work to finish it because I couldn’t stop! I was enraptured from beginning to end and on the edge of my seat. This book is the perfect winter read and it makes you truly think. This will be a tough one to beat out for a top spot in 2022! Everyone should read this one!!!

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CHILLING HORROR!


Felix "Teig" Teigland an American and his friend Jack Prentiss who is originally from England are traveling to Siberia to drive along the the eerie "Road of Bones" to create a television documentary about the road which is really a gravelly roadway built over permafrost and thousands of bodies that dropped dead of the frigid temperatures or heart failure and were left there to rot as the rest of the people worked to create this highway. These people were all workers from the Gulag that the Stalin's nazi's reigned over. Teig does not believe in the supernatural or paranormal after working on many ghost hunter programs and realizing the majority was all fluff but he still has hope to someday experience some type of paranormal activity especially since a certain ghost has haunted his heart for many years. (Be Careful What You Wish For.) Prentiss is Teig's cameraman as well as his travelling companion and financial producer for the project. The men are stopping at a way-station to pick up their guide (Kaskil) who will then take them to a town outside the Arctic Circle called Akhust (the coldest place in the world) where he will translate and hopefully they will get many ghostly stories and superstitious tales and legends about the region and also the spooky "Road of Bones".

While the three men are driving they find a stranded young woman whose vehicle broke down on the desolate highway where they were able to save her from an unwelcome and most definite, painful frozen death since temperatures can reach up to 60° below zero and life cannot be sustained very long in that really frigid and brutal environment so now they must be bring her to Akhust with them. Occasionally they witness wolves running back in the trees while driving and Prentiss thinks he saw a Siberian tiger (What?) but they will find out that these aren't normal wolves for they are very hungry but not just for food. When they arrive at Akhust where they will be staying they find the town completely abandoned of human life until they find a nine year old little girl who happens to be their guide Kaskil's niece. Unfortunately the child is in severe shock and seems catatonic so they cannot find out any information from her. As the group roams from house to house looking for signs of life they finally notice the strange wolflike creatures getting closer and closer and glimpse some other type of large creatures with the largest antlers ever seen and realize they must leave this place immediately but Akhust is not going to make it easy for them because now they have to worry about their truck starting again while the creatures are getting ready to attack and not having any type of weapons to defend themselves. Sometimes legends can be so much, more than dark folk lore!

This was a phenomenal horror book! I loved the everything about the story from start to finish. This is the way horror books should be written, beginning nice and easy with an air of creepiness and foreboding settling in the background while continually building the tension, the eerieness and then the horror just suddenly drops and fills the reader with stomach and heart wrenching terror that never gives up until the last page. I must mention that the author "Christopher Golden" has created an extra special horror masterpiece since there is no predictable sequence to this book and the reader has no way to figure out what will happen next or where the story will take all the characters on their journey or if they will even make it out alive. The quality of this book was exceptional. I enjoyed all the characters and grew very attached to them while this in itself is unusual to have so many likeable characters. The story was so very atmospheric that I could almost feel the cold penetrating my bones while reading and experiencing so many horrific creatures that were frightenly different from anything I have read This book was truly an outstanding read for me and I will continue to seek out more of Christopher Golden's books. If you are a true horror lover don't miss out on this book. I loved this novel so much I will probably read it again one day!

I want to thank first the author "Christopher Golden", the publisher "St. Martin's Press " and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this complimentary digital copy and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!

I am giving this Brilliant book a rating of 5 DELICIOUSLY CREEPY AND CAPTIVATING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS!!

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“Road of Bones” is a “supernatural thriller” set in Siberia. Felix Teigland, or "Teig,” is a documentary producer who, along with his friend and cameraman, Jack Prentiss, decides to tackle the myths and stories of the coldest town on earth. To reach their destination, the duo must travel the Kolyma Highway, also known as the “Road of Bones” for the hundreds of thousands of prisoners who died along the road as it was being built. The trip isn’t as simple as it seems.

Along the way, Teig and Prentiss meet up with a local tour guide, Kaskil. They stop in a bar that is a major waypoint in the region, meet some locals, and get some food. From there, the tour guide directs them to the town of Akhust, where he also happens to be from. En route, they pick up a woman, Nari, who had broken down along the road. Now a group of four travels, they reach Akhust to a surprising welcome, or lack thereof. The town is completely deserted. Doors were left open, dinners left mid-meal, etc. The group searches the town for clues as to what has happened and they stumble upon a nine-year-old girl, Una. Then the supernatural chase begins.

I found this novel to be inventive in its storyline, but there are gaps along the way that knocked my rating downward. When the action is happening, it is well written and interesting. However, these bursts of action and encounters with the supernatural have rather mundane and boring breaks before and after. The characters are not always shaped so that a reader may really feel invested in what happens, such as in the case of Nari. There are filler discussions and interactions with other people that are lackluster. A lot of it becomes very repetitive, but not in an intriguing way. At about the midway point of the book, I found myself speed reading these in-between moments to get back into the more active storyline. As the book wrapped up, it felt forced, thrown together at the last minute, and slightly disappointing.

Overall, this book was a mix of likes and dislikes for me. I gave it three stars because the intensive supernatural was very good (except the ending). I would recommend this book for a reader who is just stepping into the world of supernatural thrillers. Otherwise, if you’re a more advanced reader of supernatural thrillers, I unfortunately would recommend skipping this one.

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