Member Reviews

“Road of Bones” by Christopher Golden is a chilling, mesmerizing horror steeped in Siberian culture.

Felix “Teig” Teigland is a documentary producer who is on a final, desperate attempt to strike gold with his latest project. He wants to do a series on the Kolyma Highway, nicknamed the Road of Bones. Here temperatures plummet to sixty degrees below zero. Here Soviet gulags were built under the rule of Stalin where hundreds of thousands of prisoners died. Under the permafrost, their bodies were buried where they fell and remain to this day. Teig brings his friend Prentiss (a camera operator) and hires a local guide to take them on the road and up to the coldest settlement on earth in Oymyakon. When they arrive though, the town is abannded except for a mysterious little girl. From there, the horrors of the forest are revealed as the animistic shaman and forest spirits pursue the team. As the temperatures dip and their numbers drop, Teig faces the ultimate decision when it comes down to his life or the girl’s.

I love a good horror but one with deeper themes is even better. This isn’t just a slasher story with nothing but blood and guts. While there is plenty of that, there’s a story to be told within the carnage—one of respecting the earth, good vs. evil, culture and our purpose in life. This was a shorter read but it read a bit slow for a horror, with Golden taking the time to educate us on the Russian lore, paint a crystal clear setting for us to fully immerse into and developing fairly complex characters in a short amount of time with them. This would make a fantastic page to screen. Fans of Stephen Graham Jones will especially enjoy this though Golden’s writing style is a bit easier to read. “Bones” is both terrifying and compelling and will give thrill-seeking horror fans quite the chilling ride.

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This was an INCREDIBLY atmospheric thriller/horror read - absolutely perfect as we head into the winter months! The story had me intrigued right from the jump, but I will admit some of the more fantastical elements lost me a bit. However, the vivid, gruesome imagery will stick with me for awhile. Highly recommend this to horror fans looking for a good winter read.

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<b>Road of Bones</b> follows two friends as they travel along the Kolyma Highway filming a documentary. Since the road was built using slave labour from gulags and many of those bodies were buried under the highway, Teig believes he will be able to find proof of ghosts. Teig is joined by Prentiss, his best friend and financial backer, a guide and a stranded woman they save from freezing to death. Things go smoothly until they arrive at a village and discover some mysterious that could cost them their life.

The characters were really in-depth with lots of charm and unique traits. I loved the interaction between Teig and Prentiss as the reader could see their friendship and kindness they felt for each other. However, Teig started to annoy me as the novel continued as his selfishness and irrational actions escalated.

The plot was amazing with lots of suspense, mystery, action, bloodshed and terror. I loved the plot as I was genuinely unnerved. I was never sure what was going to happen, who was going to die or how the characters were going to escape.

The pacing was good but not great. I found the beginning of the novel a little slow with too much world building. I guess to someone who has never lived through a cold winter the dangers of -50C cannot be overstated but someone who experiences -40C every winter I already knew. So hearing about it every few pages got a bit tedious. The middle/end was super intense with plenty of action, running and trying to escape. The conclusion was good as everything was wrapped up nicely. Although the truth behind the paranormal event was explained I wish it was explained more. I would have loved to learn the history, but it’s understandable why it wasn’t.

The seating was amazing as Siberia naturally brings up unsettled feelings.

Overall this was a great paranormal horror novel set in Siberia. I would strongly recommend it to paranormal horror fans.

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

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This book has a definite spook factor and blends nonstop action with the supernatural.

It takes place in Siberia when two documentary creators travel on the frosty and historical Road of Bones. - I loved this setting.

It quickly becomes clear that something otherworldly is transpiring, and I enjoyed the edge of the seat scary scenes and the many supernatural elements. It was cool to have folklore blended in with the horror.

One hangup for me while reading this was a side story that I found myself wanting to skim (Ludmilla) and didn’t add much to the plot. It distracted from the main storyline and frustrated me. I also was not fully invested in the characters for some reason and didn’t really feel impacted by their fates.

Overall, this is an entertaining and creepy read that I did enjoy. If you’re looking for a scary tale that brings the cold winter vibes and is certain to give you the chills, then grab this!

3.5/5 stars rounded up to 4 for this review

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This was such an interesting concept and I was so excited for it. The writing style was ok but the story was very unique but it just wasn't for me.

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This book was gripping and suspenseful from the first page to the last. Set in large part on a treacherous and lonesome highway in frigid Siberia, this story follows a documentary filmmaker and his crew as they follow the Road of Bones and its tragic history. A mass gravesite for thousands of Stalin's gulag prisoners, the film crew follow the stories, picking up ghost lore--and even some ghosts themselves--along the way. I was utterly compelled from the opening lines of this book, and the mix of history and paranormal ghost-lore was absolutely perfect!

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I love Christopher Golden's writing. I devoured Red Hands last year and screeched when I saw the cover for Road of Bones. This one is out in January and it's guaranteed to start your year off with a bang.

Teig is a seasoned documentary producer who realizes he needs win. When he learns about the coldest settlement on earth, he hires a local guide and sets out for Oymyakon. But when the team arrives, they find the town mysteriously vacant, save for a young girl. From that point--I won't give spoilers--chaos. Pure. Chaos.

In the best possible way.

I loved this book.

From the narrative structure to the visceral imagery, this book has everything you want in a winter horror. Stark, bleak landscapes. Characters with personal demons. Literal nightmares. Blood. Gore. Pure, unadulterated terror. Some of the descriptions will leave you breathless, stick to your bones, or make you put the entire goddamn thing in the freezer. At times, it gave me Dreamcatcher meets The Only Good Indian vibes and I could not stop reading.

Road of Bones is an intriguing, layered, dark, and utterly satisfying journey into darkness. Add this to your 2022 TBR and thank me later.

Huge thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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Fans of Folk Horror will love this book. 'Road of Bones' by Christopher Golden starts out with a satisfying 'bang'. Felix Teigland and Jack Prentiss are producing a new, what they hope to be hit, reality TV show when they get into a car accident. Normally this wouldn't be that dramatic except for the fact that the TV show is about the coldest place on Earth and they're in Siberia. I love the concept for this book and the themes, both literal and figurative, of sacrifice. The characters are lively and the setting is both fascinating and creepy. The history of Stalin's gulag prisons aren't something I knew much about but it's the perfect backdrop for an entire town going missing (think 'Phantoms' by Dean Koontz). All great folk horror books have an unbeatable, twisted natural force. Here Golden masterfully uses our characters to build tension from the car accident to a powerful crescendo with Bugady Musun. Like the "parnee's" song, this story hooked me. There's something primal and scary about snow covered wilderness and wolves in the darkness. Ludmilla's sections, ironically (she being the only character directly interacting with the bones under the road) were the only parts that felt disconnected. Although I loved the mystical insight her character brings, it might've blended better had she been a larger part of the earlier chapters.

If you like books where folklore bleeds into modern society definitely preorder a copy of Road of Bones. Thanks to @StMartinsPress for my free review copy. I will absolutely be buying a finished version.

"Out in the frozen woods, the wolves ran silent and cold."

Playlist: 'California Über Alles' by the Dead Kennedys, 'Gotta Get Better' by the Buzzcocks, 'Drive All Night' and 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' both by Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen

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Thanks so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Christopher Golden for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

One of my awesome friends introduced me to Christopher Golden a while back, and I’m so glad he did! Golden has this insane ability to develop characters and relationships in a way that is believable and engaging. Road of Bones was the most appropriate choice for this time of year, too (especially since I’m currently in Wisconsin and it’s too cold to human properly). The atmosphere throughout this novel has been created to be felt, making this a powerful story.

It's also a fascinating read because you'll go in expecting a vastly different story than what you get. You should check Road of Bones out when it releases on January 25th of next year. Doubly so if you live somewhere cold and want to spend some time imagining the worst possible things that could happen in those climates :D it's 3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars for me.

This is 100% a book I will be recommending at my store. Thanks again!

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After discovering deposits of precious metals in Siberia in the 1930s, Stalin ordered the construction of the thousand-mile long Kolyma Highway to connect Magadan and Yakutsk. Nearly a hundred concentration camps were built along the route to supply gulag labor, and over the course of 20 years hundreds of thousands of people were worked to death to build the road. They were buried where they died, the Kolyma Highway literally built on the bones of the dead - hence, its nickname, the Road of Bones. Nobody knows exactly how many of these approximately 2 million prisoners died, with death toll estimates varying amongst researchers from anywhere between 250,000 to 1 million-plus (apparently the secret police didn't keep the most detailed records).

Given its grisly history, the Road of Bones and its desolate Arctic landscape seems like the ideal setting for a horror novel. Of course, it's hard to compete with the real-life horrors that transpired under Stalin's regime and this deadly feat of engineering, but Christopher Golden gives it his all in his latest, the appropriately titled Road of Bones.

Documentarians Teig and Prentiss are traveling along the Kolyma Highway to shoot footage they are hopeful will land them a new, and assuredly lucrative, docu-series about the coldest inhabited place on Earth - the sparsely populated Akhust. What they and their travel guide find instead is an abandoned town. Doors are open and footprints lead into the forest. Everyone is gone, except for one small, nearly-catatonic girl...and whatever led the people of Akhust into the woods.

Road of Bones has a lot going for it. Golden layers in plenty of mystery and suspense, not to mention buckets of gore and plenty of action, in some ways echoing 30 Days of Night although this is definitely not a vampire story. The violence is fast, kinetic, and no holds barred. Not to mention, I'm an absolute sucker for Arctic horror, coupled with a ghost town and a documentary film crew tropes, and there's plenty of blood-splattered snow to enjoy here.

However, I did have a couple of qualms with the narrative. My central complaint revolves around a subplot involving the elderly Ludmilla, who navigates the highway praying for the lost souls of the workers buried beneath and alongside the road. Ludmilla never felt like an integral part of this story and spends much of the narrative completely disconnected from the events surrounding Teig and Prentiss. Her segments were extraneous and served little purpose other than to constantly ground the story's momentum to a halt. But, she did put me in the mood to crank up some Springsteen thanks to her obsession with The Boss, so it wasn't a complete wash!

My other issue with the story involves a lack of sufficient explanation for the horrors surrounding Akhust. Golden keeps us in the dark for nearly the entirely novel, which is fine on the surface, but the presence of the not-quite catatonic Una irked me as the girl never rose above being a simple MacGuffin. Her importance isn't revealed until very nearly the end of the story, but she never really rises above being a motivating object for the characters around her.

Despite a few issues, Road of Bones kept me pretty well glued to the page, and I was very much into the horrors Golden produced here. It's a (mostly) exciting and frenetic story of survival against impossible odds in a frighteningly deadly environment that sees quite a lot more bones being added to those already interred along the Kolyma Highway.

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A non-stop thrillride filled with mystery, action, violence and Arctic folklore! This book could easily be turned into a series, either a season or two, a limited series, or a film.

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Road of Bones is another solid work by Christopher Golden. Combining Siberian folklore with a creature feature feel, characters are caught in a life and death struggle with terrifying creatures in one of the most unforgiving landscapes in the world.

I became interested in Golden’s work when he published Ararat, which I enjoyed, along with The Pandora Room and Red Hands. Road of Bones is another worthy read from an author that I have come to enjoy.

As someone who reads a lot of thrillers and horror, I appreciate the originality of not only the setting (Siberia) but the subject matter (Russian/Siberian animism/folklore). There are a lot of creepy, fascinating places in this world and whether it’s Mt. Ararat (Ararat) or a subterranean city in Northern Iraq (The Pandora Room) or the frozen wastes of Siberia, Golden’s settings are as much a part of his novels as the people and events and he’s always able to ratchet up the supernatural element.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review Road of Bones by Christopher Golden.

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I can honestly say that I did not expect anything this book threw at me, but I loved every minute of it. The setting was so perfectly described. I now need to read more books set in Siberia, especially if they can capture the eerie surroundings as perfectly as Golden did! I loved the idea that Teig had for the show they were making. I'd watch that! While I was bummed it didn't work out for them, I loved the mystical, almost folklore-like events that ended up transpiring. I've never read anything quite like this book. Please excuse me while I go find every book he's ever written.

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Excellent story! Totally engrossing!. Looking forward to reading more by this author! Could not put this down!

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I really enjoyed this novel. The pros was intriguing and the story lived up to it. The setting is like a character itself, and I am always a sucker for folklore being intertwined within a thriller. A perfect read for the colder months.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy to read and review. All opinions are my own.

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The cover and title of this book intrigued me immediately. Russia, Russian Gulags, and Russian History are a few of my favorite subjects, so this book jumped to the top of my TBR pile. As I was reading, my pulse quickened and I had difficulty putting it down. I recommend this to those who like suspenseful books.

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I've been reading lots of thrillers and I took a lot of joy in reading this one as well. Road of Bones is an excellent well-written thriller that will send chills down your spine.

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Frozen Death At The Top Of The World

I read and loved Christopher Golden's The Veil series, so I snatched up the opportunity to read this ARC when I saw his name attached to it. Golden is a scholar of world folklore who's adept at transforming myths and legends into amazingly original and vivid books.

Though Road of Bones, like The Veil, is a foray into the fantastic, it carries little resemblance to his previous trilogy. This book is extremely dark, shocking, and absolutely terrifying. I loved it!

Brooding, heavy, and ominous from the beginning, when the action began, it didn't stop. But, Golden has crafted more than a suspense thriller. Through the accounts of each character, he juxtaposes the ancient folk tales of the Siberian wilderness against a world map of man's great questions.

Is self-centeredness a forgivable trait in pursuit of success? Are kindness and selflessness appropriate if it means sacrificing what's owed to others? Is kindness sometimes a cruelty, and can cruelty be a kindness? Is mankind, at the apex of the food chain, owed free use of natural resources, or is there an implicit responsibility to act as guardian and caretaker of the Earth?

Answers are reflected in the characters' choices, and in the dangers they face as well. Road of Bones is both beautiful and terrible in its beauty. It's a must-read for horror and folk story fans alike.

I'm very grateful to Christopher Golden and St. Martin's Press who made the ARC available through NetGalley. As always, though, I offer my review without any obligation. It's a truly excellent book!

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St. Martin's Press I swear I would give you the biggest hug if I could!

This novel Road of Bones by Golden was beyond anything I could have hoped for in a thriller novel!
I don't know what it was about this book but when I seen and read this description I knew I had to get read it!
Just something about driving on a long stretch of highway through the wilderness in Siberia during winter that caught my attention head on! Say freaking intriguing!? I think so!.
What I loved most was the creppy, terror vibes this read had! Like the best I've read in a while!
The characters were top notch and Christopher did such an awesome developing these main guys!
Overall if you're wanting, a documentary filming, scary. wilderness, movie type of read......
This is your baby here! Kept me hanging on until the end. What a thriller... I'll definitely be reading more of his work!

Thanks again NetGalley, Publisher and Author for the chance to read and review this amazing book!
I'll post to my Social media platforms closer to pub date!

PS.... @St. Martin's Press if I could kindly get approved for The Deathwatch Beetle by Kjell Eriksson😍
Ahhhhhhhh I would forever be grateful😘 dying to read that one!!!!
No pressure none whatsoever 😂😉

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Another Christopher Gordon powerhouse that sucks you in until all you want to do is turn pages and read uninterrupted until the end.

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