An American documentarian travels a haunted highway across the frozen tundra of Siberia in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s Road of Bones, a “tightly wound, atmospheric, and creepy as hell” (Stephen King) supernatural thriller.
Surrounded by barren trees in a snow-covered wilderness with a dim, dusky sky forever overhead, Siberia’s Kolyma Highway is 1200 miles of gravel packed permafrost within driving distance of the Arctic Circle. A narrow path where drivers face such challenging conditions as icy surfaces, limited visibility, and an average temperature of sixty degrees below zero, fatal car accidents are common.
But motorists are not the only victims of the highway. Known as the Road of Bones, it is a massive graveyard for the former Soviet Union’s gulag prisoners. Hundreds of thousands of people worked to death and left where their bodies fell, consumed by the frozen elements and plowed beneath the permafrost road.
Fascinated by the history, documentary producer Felix “Teig” Teigland is in Russia to drive the highway, envisioning a new series capturing Life and Death on the Road of Bones with a ride to the town of Akhust, “the coldest place on Earth”, collecting ghost stories and local legends along the way. Only, when Teig and his team reach their destination, they find an abandoned town, save one catatonic nine-year-old girl—and a pack of predatory wolves, faster and smarter than any wild animals should be.
Pursued by the otherworldly beasts, Teig’s companions confront even more uncanny and inexplicable phenomena along the Road of Bones, as if the ghosts of Stalin’s victims were haunting them. It is a harrowing journey that will push Teig beyond endurance and force him to confront the sins of his past.
Bestseller Golden's eerie, inventive latest (after Red Hands) takes readers on a hair-raising adventure through frozen Siberia. After working on a ghost-hunting TV show, documentarian Felix Teigland is eager for a more substantial project. His new goal is to record daily life along the Kolyma Highway, a road hewn through the Siberian wilderness by prisoners in Stalinist Russia that passes through Akhurst, the coldest inhabited place in the world. But when Teigland and his cameraman, Prentiss, reach Akhurst, they find the settlement abandoned save for a catatonic young girl, and it becomes clear that something is gravely wrong. Desperate to uncover the mystery of Akhurst's abandonment, Teigland and Prentiss are thrown headlong into a tense game of cat and mouse with a mysterious shaman lurking on the edges of the settlement. They have something the shaman wants, and he will stop at nothing to get it. Golden's prose is taut and undeniably unsettling, exploring the dark recesses of the Siberian landscape. Indeed, the unforgiving environment is just as grave a threat as the shadowy shaman. Golden is writing at the top of his game. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary.
Not as good as I hoped
I agree with the other reviewer. This book starts off very good but loses steam halfway through. I did finish it, though. After reading this I will never complain about the cold ever again. Okay book but not one of my favorites from the past year.
Christopher Golden has a gift for making the mythical supernatural world seem like it fits quite normally in real life. Road of Bones has a surprising depth of character that brings you to care about the people quickly, so that when the parnee comes knocking you can only hope opening the door is the right decision.
Can I get a refund?
I had high hopes for this one after it was hyped up by Stephen King. The story did start out strong but lost steam halfway through. The ending left a lot to be desired.