Stolen Roads by Randy Chandler Book Review

Follow me into another roadtrip straight to hell :)

Stolen Roads by Randy Chandler

Released February 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Source: Received for Review Consideration 
"It was like I was riding on a stolen road, like somebody'd just shanghaied the road and plopped it down in some foreign land." Thus, "stolen roads" entered the esoteric lexicon of popular culture.

William Kidd’s travels on stolen roads begin when he’s a boy on leave from a psychiatric hospital and survives a car accident that kills both his parents.

Although hallucinations are nothing new to him, Kidd knows the otherworldly thing crouched on his dying father’s chest at the scene of the accident is no hallucination. Nothing in his mental inventory of the planet’s natural creatures jibes with this pebble-skinned thing nearly as big as a man, a terrifying beast with spiky shoulders and lizard-like snout, its long knobby limbs folded insect-fashion as if it might suddenly leap or fly away without warning.

The beast claws the boy’s face, giving him an indelible totem-mark scar he still wears as a young man when he goes on the road in search of the creatures he calls “trocs.”

Kidd soon meets the Fluckers, a married couple claiming to have happened upon a “lost road,” and they entice him to join them on an expedition to ride a suspect blacktop into what may be an alternate world.

When Kidd’s psych-hospital alumnus Rose Rivers the trippy earth-obsessed rock hound pops back into his life, she invites herself along on what she calls a trip to The Big Nowhere. Rounding out the team is Rita Younger: dive bar owner, former biker club member and acknowledged “badass babe.”

But The Big Nowhere is filled with otherworldly dangers. And the road home could be a dead end.

Buckle up and hit the road for a thrilling ride into the dark fantastic. A literary collision of horror and fantasy on the road to a new kind of hell. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

My reading life is often strange but it’s usually pretty varied. I typically read my review books in the order they arrive but this one somehow slipped through the cracks and then happened to be the third book in a row about a road trip into some version of hell! Has that ever happened to you? I feel like it means something ominous like maybe I should stay on familiar roads now and forever!

Stolen Roads starts off when a boy and his parents are in a terrible car accident and the boy witnesses a monster sitting on his barely breathing dad’s chest. Flash forward a years and the boy is now grown but he still sees things. He’s been institutionalized so one never knows if this is real or imagined but he spends his days on the road searching for the stolen roads that lead to the monster things. His purpose in life is to track down the one particular beastie that murdered his family.

He probably should’ve left well enough alone but you know how these things go, right? Kidd is described as having a high IQ and a low tolerance for reality so he’s different than me anyhow, haha. So when he meets a couple who say they know where to find the stolen road he hits the road with them, his slightly unstable friend Rose and a biker chick named Rita. All who apparently have a death wish too.

Sounds fun, right?

Surprisingly I found the first half of this book a little slow. There is a lot of character interaction but nothing very scary happens plot-wise. I suppose I am spoiled and was hoping for wall to wall monsters and bloodshed but this one takes its time and the mayhem doesn’t really happen until the story is about halfway through. Perhaps it is because I’ve read three of these books very recently but I’m thinking I would’ve felt the same at any other time because I am an impatient jerk like that. Once things got going they were wild though. There are some revolting monsters created here and some events take place that are so repulsive they’re funny in the darkest possible way. Or maybe it’s just me. It’s too bad for me they didn’t happen much sooner. There were also a few more characters added in the latter half that I wish we’d met sooner – especially Nacho. I loved Nacho.

So stick with it, the monsters and the madness will come!

This one gets a three from me for its knarly creatures and wacked out second half.

3 out of 5


  1. Glad the second half picked up speed and made it all worthwhile. :)

  2. This sounds pretty peculiar...and like something I'd like to pick up. You have me super curious about Nacho!

    1. It was super weird. Nacho, alas, we hardly knew ye, lol.

  3. do you ever notice how horror is somehow more terrifying when it involves children? probably why i consider N0S4A2 freaking scary.

  4. Glad it ended up being ok even if the first half was a bit slow.

  5. Yeah I'd lose interest as soon as I found it slow!

    1. Sometimes it pays off for me to stick with it. That's why I'm such a DNF failure *cries*.

  6. I want this one bad!!! The creature sounds like a chupacabra!

  7. Oh my gosh, that cover!! I'm also glad the second half picked up!


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