Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.
When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world.
Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1) by Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
(…) in the end, what you don’t see is always scarier than what you do.
I want to go back in time with this book in my hands, just so I can experience it as a middle grade kid.
City of Ghosts is spooky, mysterious, and atmospheric, telling a story of brave girls, an endearing, and lovable ghost, spooky adventures, questionable motives, and sinister forces. It’s set primarily in Scotland, and for a book that is targeted towards children, it still strikes me, a young adult, very much as creepy, especially towards the end.
But let me not get ahead of myself.
The first thing that immediately caught my attention was the lovely, lyrical writing. Victoria Schwab has written books in the Young Adult and Adult genre as well, and what amazes me, and makes her stand out as an immensely talented author, is her ability to effortlessly assimilate her writing style.
I have one foot in winter and one in spring.
One foot with the living, and one with the dead.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob—the girl who is able to see ghosts, and travel between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and the ghost who saved her life—and the Harry Potter references in this book were delightful to encounter, even though I’m not sure how much the target audience for it will appreciate, or recognize them.
What I had problems with, however, was the pace of the story; the book starts off quite slow, and the tension doesn’t build up, rather than abruptly accelerates in the span of what feels like the space between two words. Furthermore, the climax in this book happens so late that the ending feels very abrupt, and the book a bit … incomplete, almost.
I also wish the cat that is displayed on the cover had played a more substantial part in the story—though that’s in no way a point of criticism aimed at the book itself.
Overall, I enjoyed reading City of Ghosts, and my middle grade self would have had a lot of fun reading it. I’m definitely looking forward to more of Cassidy and Jacob’s future adventures.
“Stories have power,” she says. “So long as you believe them.”
You’re interested in this book?
This review is part of the City of Ghosts Blog Tour that takes place during the month of September, and is hosted by the lovely Noura @ The Perks of Being Noura.
The City of Ghosts Blog Tour Time Table:
Are you planning on reading City of Ghosts?
Have you read any of the author’s other works?
Do you enjoy spooky books? 👻