Road of Bones: A Novel

Road of Bones: A Novel

by Christopher Golden

Narrated by Robert Fass

Christopher Golden

Unabridged — 8 hours, 35 minutes

Road of Bones: A Novel

Road of Bones: A Novel

by Christopher Golden

Narrated by Robert Fass

Christopher Golden

Unabridged — 8 hours, 35 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

We weren’t sure what to expect with Road of Bones, but within the first page we realized it was going to be way more than we bargained for. This is the PERFECT winter read combining suspense and horror for the novel you didn’t know has been waiting for you. It’s waiting for you.

A stunning supernatural thriller set in Siberia, where a film crew is covering an elusive ghost story about the Kolyma Highway, a road built on top of the bones of prisoners of Stalin's gulag.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 10/25/2021

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. (Jan.)

From the Publisher

Tor Nightfire Most Anticipated Horror Books

"Christopher Golden’s Road of Bones is tightly wound, atmospheric, and creepy as hell. It will take you to a place you’ve never been before, and the trip will scare the hell out of you. I loved it." —Stephen King

"Golden, an economical writer, creates a mother lode of terror in just over 200 pages.... Shamans and spirits, the undead and the feral, the creatures of the Kolyma Highway and the unimaginable horrors of its history make for riveting reading." —The New York Times Book Review

"Two men willing to risk their lives for a last-chance reality TV pitch find themselves on a white-knuckle hell ride on Siberia's infamous Kolyma Highway. Road of Bones is unrelenting and will chill you to your core." —Paul Tremblay, New York Times Bestselling author

"[A] horror-thriller hybrid that will chill even the most jaded readers...Give to fans of emotional, thought-provoking, nature inspired horror like The Only Good Indians (2020) by Stephen Graham Jones or Wonderland (2020) by Zoje Stage." —Booklist (starred)

"The road is long, the night is cold, and there’s terror at every pullout, nothing but dread between. Just try and put this book down, I dare you.” —Stephen Graham Jones, bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

"A slash in reality, or what we mistakenly assume is the real, exposing not only extrinsic horrors but those within, all found in a corner of the globe that has long held our fascination, though most of us don’t have the courage to make the trek. Golden has that courage. Road of Bones is a masterclass in mind-set and setting; I’ve never felt the temperature of a book so firmly. I’ve also never been so afraid to step outside. In some ways a quick story (the central events span much less than 24 hours), in other ways enormous: the emotional stakes could not be higher. A breathtaking experience, a glacial gust of a book, Christopher Golden’s best yet." –Josh Malerman, New York Times best selling author of Bird Box and Goblin.

"Road of Bones is wonderful! The frozen waste is so vividly rendered, I felt the biting cold in my own bones and drew breath with the characters as they fought for survival against the vastness of nature. Gripping, eerie and ultimately beautiful. It’s a breakneck speed adventure, with so much soul at its heart.” —Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street

“I don’t know how else to say it. This book is scary as f***. Do not read alone in the dark.” —New York Times Bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente

“This book is legit great. Golden is the master of what I think of as ‘adventure horror.’ People in strange places and extreme situations meeting terror at the edges of the world. Road of Bones is scary as hell and does not fuck around.” —Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers and The Book of Accidents

"Damn. Road of Bones is a relentless nightmare, part terrifying fable, part fever dream, set in the perpetual claustrophobic darkness of a Siberian landscape that’s cold enough to crack bones." —Eric Rickstad, New York Times Bestselling author

"You know you're reading a Christopher Golden horror joint when you signed up for a horror novel, that's why you're here, but when the bad shit starts you're like, 'wait, can I shift genres to something where these guys just get to have a nice road trip and everything's okay?'" —Seanan McGuire

"Road of Bones is thrilling and relentless, with a wild and unsettling heart. It’s a nonstop drive into terror, and you won’t want to stop." –Meg Gardiner, author of the UNSUB novels

"A chilling... supernatural thriller best read by the fireplace." —Kirkus Reviews

"An essential read for horror and supernatural thriller fans." — Library Journal (Starred)

"Golden is writing at the top of his game." —Publishers Weekly (starred)

Library Journal

★ 09/24/2021

The protagonist of Golden's (Red Hands) latest is Felix Teigland, a documentary filmmaker chasing a project he hopes will salvage his career: documenting life in Siberia, along the Kolyma Highway (known as the "Road of Bones") and in Oymyakon, the coldest settlement on Earth. With camera operator Prentiss and Yakut guide Kaskil in tow, Teig is determined to dig up an unforgettable story. Something unexpected finds them at Oymyakon, something ancient and powerful that's equally determined. In a split second, Teig's hunt for a story becomes a fevered race for survival. From its first paragraph, Golden's novel is a heart-stopping thrill ride. The writing is lean, muscular. Readers will feel the cold (and the terror) in their bones. But there's also an abundance of heart—in the tender friendship story between Teig and Prentiss, in the beautifully observed moments of quiet and grace between scares, and in the gorgeous last stretch where the story's protagonists come face to face with the terrifying majesty of nature. VERDICT An essential read for horror and supernatural thriller fans.

Kirkus Reviews

An American producer eager to score a big hit like Duck Dynasty travels to Siberia to shoot a reality series along the desolate Kolyma Highway and gets more thrills than he bargained for.

At first, the only obstacle for Felix Teigland and Prentiss, his British cameraman, friend, and investor, is the 40-below temperature. A young guide's introduction to the legendary Road of Bones, beneath which hundreds of thousands of gulag prisoners are buried, gives Teig a great subject as well as a great title for his series. But no sooner have they arrived than the filmmakers are threatened—and worse—by shadowy wolf creatures and a screaming humanoid spirit who has something to do with the sudden abandonment of a town by everyone except a strangely possessed 9-year-old girl Teig becomes determined to save. He is still tormented by the abduction and murder of his younger sister when they were little. Meanwhile, Ludmilla, a frail but determined old woman, travels the frigid Kolyma Highway to bless the buried—a self-appointed task that has cost her several fingers and toes. The ability of the "murderous air" to immobilize people comes and goes, the cuddlier forest animals seem on loan from a Disney cartoon, and Ludmilla's devotion to Bruce Springsteen is a bit much. But Golden is great at atmosphere. The desolate surroundings are indeed "a stark reminder of how small a thing it was to be a human being." And how can you resist the charms of a 50-foot-tall reindeer woman?

A chilling, if sometimes silly, supernatural thriller best read by the fireplace.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175710510
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 04/26/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 389,160

Customer Reviews