Book Review: Roadside Magic (Gallow and Ragged Book 2) by Lilith Saintcrow

Robin is back on the run, wanted by both Summer and Unwinter, and all Jeremiah wants to do is find and protect her. But Jeremiah is also on the run and has problems of his own, like the poisoned wound that's slowly killing him and the reappearance of an old friend-turned-enemy. They will both have to figure out who they can trust if they're going to escape the clutches of the Seelie and Unseelie courts.

Book Review: Roadside Magic (Gallow and Ragged Book 2) by Lilith Saintcrow | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, faeries
Title: Roadside Magic
Book Number: Book 2 of TBA
Pages: 327
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


Even though I enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it quite as much as the first one in the series.

I still liked the pretty, flowery writing, and even though I didn’t find it to be a struggle in Book 1, it was even easier to understand this time because I already knew what all the specific fae things were (e.g. the different creatures, the fae objects, etc.).

I also still liked Jeremiah. I liked his roughness, but I also liked his humor. A lot of people find these books to be really dark, but honestly, I don’t feel like they’re particularly dark. Maybe it’s just because I read a lot of dark books and have become desensitized to it, but I actually found this book, much like the first, to have some humor. It wasn’t a laugh-out-loud type of book, and maybe it’s not the type of humor the whole trailer park theme suggests, but I had some chuckles, and that was mostly due to Jeremiah and his POV. He has this very dry humor and sarcasm, and I guess it just clicks with me.

I also really liked a new character, Crenn, and his relationship with Jeremiah. He was so interesting to me, and I really wanted to know more about him. Plus I love those types of complicated relationships in which two people used to be the closest of friends but then something happened and now they’re enemies, except some part of them still cares about each other because of that strong bond they once had. I’m still not quite sure exactly what led to the terrible event that happened or why Crenn blamed Jeremiah, but I’ll be really happy if I get to see more of their ex-friendship in the next book.

Robin, however, was again a hard character for me to connect with. I loved that she was such a fighter and never gave up, but she was just so serious all the time. I understand why, but it still makes it hard to connect.

The main problem I had though was that the plot seemed kind of repetitive. It was really just Robin and Jeremiah running from the cruel faeries who were hunting them. I don’t think the book really had a goal other than “don’t get caught.”

So overall, even though I found the plot a bit lacking, I still found the characters interesting and enjoyed the book, and I definitely look forward to the next one!


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  1. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I love reading about friends who used to be enemies. For me, it makes the book more engaging, if it’s handled right. I want to be able to understand why they turned into enemies and I want the reason to be valid and believable.

    I also have trouble connecting with overly serious characters. I know certain situations requires characters to be serious but when it’s all the time, the character starts feeling unrealistic.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does make the book more engaging because it’s such a complex, gray kind of relationship. But of course I agree it still has to be done well.

      I don’t know, it didn’t necessarily feel unrealistic that this character was so serious, it actually made sense for her and what she’d been through and was still dealing with, but it still makes it hard to connect. I don’t know. Something was just missing for me with her character.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Interesting…you know I like a character-driven story. And this series seems to deliver there. But I do kinda like there to be a point. lol I do want to give this series a go sometime though because I like stories with fae AND you’ve intrigued me with your descriptions of the characters. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I have really liked Jeremiah since Book 1, and this time obviously I also really liked Crenn, so I can’t complain about the characters. If you want to read, I certainly think you should! Even if this one did have a lacking plot. Especially if you like books about the crueler, trickier type of fae 🙂

  3. Greg

    Okay so first of all you know I like that cover… a lot. that may be one of my favorites of his. I like that this is set in dive bars and trailer parks- kinda grim n gritty fantasy which sounds fun. I like the idea of the fae hanging out and waging their wars on the fringes of society. I’m curious just how fae- ish it gets- are there like lots of creatures and weird magic stuff? If so I might like this one…

    I’ve read some books with the fae where they’re pretty cruel and nasty, and I’ve enjoyed those… portals and fae slipping into our world and the woods being dangerous because of their influence- i like that kinda stuff. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I do know how much you love that cover, and you know how much I love the first one. If you don’t mind the flowery writing, you might like this series. It’s got no mushy romantic stuff, and it does have lots of fae. I mean, the main characters are only half-fae, but even they have magical abilities, then there’s Puck, and there’s the wild hunt after them, and this one had a goblin market and trolls I think it was and there are barrow-wights and drows attacking them and whatnot. There aren’t really any woods lol, but they do make things dangerous sometimes for the poor humans.

      1. Greg

        I love the wild hunt concept, sounds like she’s pulling some Celtic themed stuff in there… and a goblin market? I wrote a story once about a goblin market underground where half their shit didn’t work- wands would misfire and potions would be really poison, etc. It was fun so I definitely appreciate that concept And drow too? I wonder if she’s a former gamer…

        1. Kristen Burns

          Is the wild hunt a Celtic thing? I’ve always just seen it associated with the fae. I don’t think the goblins were selling faulty stuff, but your story sounds fun! And yeah, I had to look up drow because I didn’t know what they were lol. But I did see a lot of gaming stuff when I looked them up and was wondering if they originated in a game or what.

          1. Greg

            I thought it was. I always associated it with Celtic paganism or whatever… but it’s mixed in with the fae I think too? The story was more of a scenario- a guy I knew was doing some coding for a game and wanted someone t write content so I came up with the underground caverns with a goblin market/ trading post. It was quite fun. 🙂

            Yeah I think drow came out of RPG’s- dark elves and all that.

            1. Kristen Burns

              I don’t know, all my knowledge of fae stuff is acquired from reading urban fantasy lol, so it could’ve originally come from paganism or something. It does sound like that’d be fun making up something like that for a game 🙂 And yeah, it seemed like the drow came from games since I didn’t find any, like, non-game mythology type stuff when I looked them up.

  4. Lola

    That’s too bad this one wasn’t as good as the first one, but it does sound like a good sequel. If books introduce you to a new world it can take some time to get used, so getting in the second book often is easier then when you already know the world and terms.
    You do seem to read a lot of dark books, so I can imagine your standard is a bit different than others due to that. I can enjoy a book that’s dark, but it depends on how it is dark. I can enjoy a dark and gritty world, but I don’t like emotional darkness as well. Or torture or graphic gruesome details scenes. Dark is one of those terms that can mean a lot of different things, depending on the book.
    It’s neat that there is some humor i this book. Jeremiah sounds like an interesting character. I usually don’t like enemies to lovers type of romances, but this one with how they were friends first and the became enemies sounds interesting. And a complicated past between characters sure can be interesting.
    It does sound a bit repetitive with all the running and how there was no other plot. Let’s hope that changes in the next book. At least I assume there will be more books in this series. Great review! And I still love the covers for these books, they are really pretty! And still have a bit of that dark and gritty feel as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I have noticed that dark is a very subjective term and there are kind of different types of darkness in books, but you just made me realize with your comment, I think the reason I often don’t find books dark even when other people do is that *my* definition is usually based on emotional darkness.

      I feel kind of apathetic about the enemies to lovers trope, it doesn’t bother me but I don’t seek it out either, but yeah, this was friends to enemies, and they were definitely never lovers that I know of 😛 I’ve seen the “used to be friends but now enemies” in at least one other book and liked it there too. I like complex, complicated types of relationships like that.

      I know there’s at least one more book coming out soon, and it would be nice if there’s a bit of a different plot lol. Thanks! And I adore these covers too!!!

  5. verushka

    This is one of those series I have yet to get around to! Boo. you’ve just reminded me about it, in fact. I need a job getting paid to read books, I swear!

  6. AngelErin

    I’m glad that you liked this one, even if you didn’t like it as much as the first. I’m not sure this is a series for me, but I’m glad you liked it! Also, I totally get what you mean about being desensitized. i read a lot of dark books and watch a lot of dark movies and etc. so I feel the same way! Sometimes people will say, “Oh that book is so dark.” and I’m like, “Really?? No it wasn’t.” Then later I wonder oh well maybe it just wasn’t dark for me. LOL. 😛

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks 🙂 It seems the writing style more than anything is what’s not for everyone in this series, but I just happen to love that part lol.

      Ok, seriously! Sometimes I read reviews, and I’m like, “If they thought THAT was dark, I can’t even imagine what they’d think if they read some of the other books I’ve read…” Lol. But there are also different kinds of dark, so dark is just a really subjective description, it seems.