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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost — but the devil’s in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed—or cursed—with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding w
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Night Shade (first published April 2nd 2013)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark fantasy, horror
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of dark fantasy, horror, beautiful writing
Book Available: April 2, 2013 March 17, 2014 for Kindle
Trigger Warnings: murder

My Thoughts: The characters from this story are from Louisiana, and some of the dialogue is done in Cajun, French and Acadian, and/or in a proper Louisiana bayou dialect, which is really neat, even if I didn't necessarily understand everything the characters were saying in those sections. How
Linda Poitevin
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Deadroads is Riopelle's debut novel and it's a far cry from your usual fantasy/horror. I keep finding myself wanting to call it a slow read--not because of a lack of suspense, because there's plenty of that, but because of its richly nuanced language and tightly woven characters. You can't rush this one without missing out on both critical details and overall experience.

Centred around three main characters, all siblings, the story is as much about a coming to terms with personal demons and past
April Steenburgh
They are, perhaps, not your typical family- Lutie, her brothers Baz and Sol, their ghost-hiding mother and ghost-catching traiteur father. But when Lutie decides she wants to catch herself a ghost, just like her mother, and enlists her brother Baz who can sing so that both the living and the dead pay attention to help her, she shatters the casual strangeness of their lives.

Taken away from home by her mother, it takes many years and the death of their father for Lutie to run into her brothers aga
Horror DNA
Dead Roads is a very flawed novel, but perhaps its biggest problem is how incredibly boring the story is. There is no momentum, no real rising action, and what should be a twist is so poorly executed that when the reader comes to it, their most likely reaction will be, "Oh."

You can read Lauren's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, fantasy
Robin Riopelle's Deadroads was an inordinate amount of fun. There was plenty of creepiness and conflicted emotions and relationship difficulties between the characters, but on finishing the book what remained was the sheer enjoyment I got out of reading the book. Featuring a family of traiteurs – essentially ghost whisperers – the story is built upon its protagonists. They are what make this novel so enjoyable. Deadroads portrays the tension of being of two worlds in several different layers. Th ...more
Satisfyingly spooky. I liked this one. Exceptional audio narration, it felt authentic and drew me effortlessly into the story.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, fantasy
Sometimes a book can really surprise you. I expected Dead Roads to be a fairly straightforward urban fantasy story, with a bit of Cajun flair. What I got was so much more than that.

The story is centered on three siblings: brothers Sol and Baz, and their estranged sister Lutie. Sol, who has followed his father on the path of the traiteur, is investigating suspicious deaths along a railroad line in the Great Plains. We learn that a particularly vengeful ghost is responsible for the deaths, and tha
Sandy Lu
Robin Riopelle artfully interwove suspense and the supernatural to create a compelling Southern Gothic tale that captures the complex dynamics of an alienated and damaged family. Quietly electrifying, this literary equivalent of counterpoint in music is alternately told in each of three siblings’ voice, offering psychological insights into their unique reactions to the fateful childhood incident that tore their family apart and how their subsequent stunted growth into adulthood forever marred th ...more
Eden Royce
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Riopelle’s adept way of creating atmosphere and crafting broken, yet believable characters. I love when horror takes on settings that are atypical of the genre. The main characters of this story are from the Louisiana Bayou and I loved that milieu and that Riopelle has an amazing command of dialogue in several languages. Cajun, French and Acadian are featured in the tale and are not italicized or explained, which I found this refreshing and made me more involved in the story. However, ...more
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully crafted, with imaginative descriptions that *almost* made me want to stop and re-read the sentences and savor the imagery. But the author has made me care too deeply about the fractured Sarrazin family to linger - the danger is so visceral, there is so much at stake, that I can't pause. I have to know what choices they will make, what they will learn, what will become of them.

I don't read a lot of dark fantasy/supernatural suspense, but this felt so believable that I was drawn comple
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book enormously. I had trouble putting it down--hence my late night the morning before I have to be on the road by six. The main characters are my new heroes, with all their strengths and defects, as real as anybody I know. The story is exciting, compelling, scary, and fun, and the writing is superb. I hope the author writes another book with these characters--I have to know what happens next.
Ria Bridges
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A complex and broken family. Ghosts, and different ways of dealing with them. Attempts to live a normal life despite being anything but normal. Combine this with a dark and nuanced writing style that reads very much like classic narrative mixed with a healthy dose of stream-of-consciousness, and what you come out with is a novel that is unique and stands out from a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal plots currently seen on the bookshelves today. It’s an understated novel, one that works its sub ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristin Webb
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cristin by:
Rush out and buy this one! Excellent page turner!!
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angélique (MapleBooks) Speculative Fiction Book reviews

Like most couples, the Sarrazins have a few disagreements. As rarely seen though, they mainly argue about ghosts: Aurie, the father, sends ghost on their way to whatever is next, whereas his wife Mireille believes ghosts make good pets. Unfortunately, the conflict will escalate into the sudden departure of the mother and result in the separation of their three children.

Fast-forward thirteen years later: Aurie is found dead by a railroad, skull crack
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-faves
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Bronder
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story follows the Sarrazin family. They live in the Bayou and have various abilities to interact with ghosts to get them to move on. But a situation years prior broke the family apart. Lutie is the daughter that was separated from her brothers Sol and Baz. Each has continued using their abilities in the mean time.

But Sol is on the hunt for a ghost killer that is targeting railroad lines. This ghost seems to be extra powerful and very determined to keep killing people. Thus all three sibling
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Sarrazin family has a gift – or curse. They are connected to the dead…Aurie is a traiteur and sends spirits stuck on Earth to their rest along the Deadroads and Mireille is a psychic with a pet ghost. Their children are all gifted as well in different ways. Sol is being trained in the ways of the traiteur by Aurie, Baz is a musician with a voice which can tempt the living and the dead, and Lutie is the most like her mother. When Lutie was young, she wanted a pet ghost like her Maman, but her ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my book club's books.
The opening sets the tone of suspense right away, when two young children try to conjure up some ghosts in a Louisiana graveyard. The plan is for Baz to lure them in with song, and then Lutie will snare one for herself. It doesn't go well.
Fast forward a dozen or so years, and we gradually catch up with the various family members, scattered around the country, all trying to deal with the consequences of that hot summer day and of their heritage.
The Deadroads
You might also enjoy:

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
Ghost Roads series
Casting the Bones series
Ghost Hedgehog
Lowcountry Spirit and The Storycatcher

If you also enjoy literary fiction and magical-realism:

Sing, Unburied, Sing
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Deadroads was one of the most enthralling, amazing books I've ever read, and I've read a lot of books. It was written so well, and it all added up and lead towards the finale in a very professional manner. And as for the paranormal stuff - my goodness, it was just perfect.

I'm so happy I had the opportunity to read this book thanks to winning a giveaway on here, and I had a personal message from Robin asking me to enjoy the book, and oh boy, did I! I'll definitely keep this book with me forever
Derek Newman-Stille
Deadroads is a novel about the interconnection between family responsibility and secrets, and the ability for secrets to pull a family apart and continue to haunt the lives of all of them with the absence of memory. Ghost hunting pulled the Sarazzins apart, but also brought their family back together, allowing them to begin the process of recovery through a shared notion of protection and discovery.

Angels and demons, the dead and the living, everything is a potential threat in this novel, inscri
Jen Stelzer
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading the prequel and first eight pages, I went to bed and had the worst nightmare of my life. (Lesson learned: do not read scary books before bed.) But I liked the story and the setting so I resolved to try again during daylight hours to see what it was that made me so intrigued. The characters have so much life in them...which is ironic since they see ghosts. But there is much more to the story than that. Once I decided to be brave enough to join them for the next 300 or so pages, I tr ...more
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Ever hit a book that has wonderfully wrought characters and a plot that isn't cookie cutter--and it just doesn't click with you?

Deadroads is such a novel for me. The book is full of things to admire, a so-called urban fantasy with a higher-than-the-norm quality of writing . . . and I didn't like it. I grew bored while reading, wondering if I've been ruined by the spate of lower quality urban fantasies cranked out over the years.

I feel guilty admitting this, and I hope it's just a one time quirk.
Stephanie Embry
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book, and all my comments mirror the other reviews. Riopelle's character building is outstanding. The three main characters are probably the most interesting cast I've read in a long time. I want to spend so much more time with each of them.

Very interesting urban fantasy plot, and very well done Cajun flavor, but it's really the characterization that made this book shine for me.
Megan Hex
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: no-men-2015
This is one of the best ghost stories I have ever read. Largely this is because the ghost (and devil, and angel) story is tightly interwoven with the story of a family reuniting, not always willingly, and working together. The writing is beautiful and easily flows between a long, hot day in the bayou to the cutting cold of a mountain winter. Nothing was predictable and nothing was neat and clean, but messy like real life (and real-life ghost stories).
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Harrowing novel about a family that can remove ghosts from our world. Great characterizations, good plot, wonderful visual and tactile descriptions. If you read french, you are in for an extra treat, but if you don't you will still enjoy this book's clever turns. Will look forward to more from this author.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
"Deadroads" is a different take on the supernatural with interesting characters, a frightening antagonist, and a complex plot. I especially enjoyed the look into Cajun culture and the use of Cajun French. However, I could not give the book five stars because I felt that it took a little too long to reach the final confrontation.
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I am a writer of scary novels (Dead Roads forthcoming from Skyhorse Publishing), although I am, myself, scared of ghosts, demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, and sasquatches. And any book about them.

However, I love to read broadly and especially like literary non-fiction (think John Valliant and Erik Larson), canlit (hello Elizabeth Hay!), and "adventure stories for boys" which might include Co

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