“They will take their toll,” she says. Tension streaks her voice. “Sara, listen. They’ll take their toll. There’s no way around it now. They want the wicked, but Sara – Sara, who was holding Vanessa’s hand?”
HOLY CRAPBALLS. Yes, this needs to be in caps because this book just blew me off my feet, kept me glued to the pages, and is still very present in my head. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it did so not disappoint! I will try to write a review for it but my emotions are still very much all over the place. So sorry if this one is long and sorry if this one is a bit chaotic.
This book is about Sara. Sara who a year ago lost her sister. She lost her to a game that kids play in the woods, a game that is based around a missing girl named Lucy Callow/Gallows. Can you find the road? Can you save her? Sara has never stopped looking for her sister, always believing she was still alive and that she could be saved.
I wasn’t always a fan of Sara. I get that her attitude has to do with the loss of her sister, the loss of her family (as her family fell completely apart), but wow, this girl at times I just wanted to shake her for how she treated her friends. I could understand that it is hard to answer all their messages, to talk to them, but don’t act the way you are doing. Acting like they have given up on you. They still care, they still want to be with you, but you rejected them. You put up a barrier around you. But as the story continued and we saw more of Sara I could understand and like her more.
I loved the side-characters and finding out what makes them tick. Because we do find quite a bit about them, and I have to say Mel and Anthony were my favourites.
In this book we see the aftermath of what happened during the game as told through Sara while she is having an interview about the road, about what happened, videos that were recovered from phones, conversations and texts, it made for an engaging documentary. Sara and her friends did find the road… but what happened on there will stick with them forever.. well those who survived. Yep. Not spoiling anything you know from the first interview, the first talk, that something went terribly wrong. Who died, or who survived? We only slowly find out and even then you won’t find out who truly stayed on the road and those who got out until the very end. Plus, there are so many damned twists and turns (I say damned but actually those twists and turns were AMAZING and had me flailing around to the amusement of my husband who at times popped in and saw me flailing like a mad lady) that you never know what is true or what is false. Even near the end there is a giant ass twist that I NEVER saw coming. Holy wow.
The game? The road? Man, that was some creepy stuff. I mean it all seems so nice and peaceful when you start. Just a few gates? Right? A road that will guide us? Right? Well have fun passing those gates. Have fun finding your way home back. Because the road is hungry and it would like some lovely new snacks. The road is a bad place and many people have perished so far, lured by Lucy’s call to them. The various gates were interesting, and I loved that Sara had a notebook that gave some hints to what was going on. I also loved the camera and what it showed at times.
On the road we meet various people, both dead and alive (or alive-ish). People who have been stuck here, people who can never leave. It broke my heart knowing that these people got stuck in something like this, never will get home. Because even if you survive? The game has a rule. Two by two. Find a partner. If you don’t have a partner? Have fun waiting and surviving, praying that someone passes through that needs a partner. I loved how the author wrote about the road, I can tell you it was as if I was there myself.
There is a lot of unreliableness in the narration. Things that you don’t find out until the interviews. At times I was just flipping back, reading what I read again to make sure I didn’t miss it. There are red herrings everywhere. Don’t trust anything.
I loved finding out more and more about Lucy and who she is/was. How this game and this road thing started. What the whole mythology is surrounding it (because we got a city named Ys (which in turn reminded me of the Ys games) and how things went wrong there), and some other things. It was really interesting and the author really build a world here. A dark and gruesome world.
I loved the interviews between the stories, it gave a bit of a break between all the craziness on the Road, and gave some new insights.
I was happy when a certain thing bloomed between two characters. Oh my! How sweet! Finally btw because it was clear that they were both pining for each other and not noticing or thinking the other party wouldn’t be interested. 😛 And I did feel it fitted nicely with the book itself, while there is so much horror some sweetness was something I could definitely use.
The ending, well I thought the book couldn’t get any better, but HOLY WOW, it only got better and I was just trying to absorb all the new information and not trip over all the twists and turns. I won’t spoil anything, but I am sure more people will go OMG when they read it.
I am delighted that the author added an epilogue (named additional materials), as it closed of things a bit more (though gave me another shock as well).
I want to talk more and more about this book, really I got so many emotions over this book, but I will just stop here before my review turns into an essay of many pages. 😛 I would HIGHLY recommend this book if you are in for a creepy and spooky which will keep you on your toes for the entire book.