CITY OF GHOSTS by Victoria Schwab / Book Review #CityofGhosts

By: Victoria Schwab
Published by: Scholastic
Released on: August 28th, 2018
Ages: 9 & up
Series: Cassidy Blake #1
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Rating: 5 owlets 
An arc of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, 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 Inspecters 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.

A fantastic middle grade debut! I love it when YA authors can successfully cross over to the middle grade realm of story telling. Victoria Schwab’s talent for vivid story telling, has done just that. What I have admired about her YA books is still very present in City of Ghosts, only it’s written with a younger audience in mind. 

City of Ghosts is a book with a setting that beautifully and effortlessly comes to life. It’s paired with an atmospheric feel that is crucial when writing a ghost story. Schwab makes readers feel as through they’re getting their own personal tour of Edinburgh, and are thrust not only into the mix of today’s bustle, they also get a glimpse of the city’s rich, ghostly history that Cass sees. I absolutely loved this book’s atmosphere and feeling as though I was an Edinburgh along side Cass, and her family. 

Character wise, this story has some great, easy to like characters. Like their story, they are straightforward, and fun to get to know. I loved the relationship Cass, and her ghost friend, Jacob have, and finding out why they’re drawn to each other. That was a twist I wasn’t excepting. Ghost wise, there may be a ghost or two, or possibly more that my younger reader self would have been equally freaked out by, and intrigued with. 

I absolutely love that while this book is in modern day Edinburgh, the historical part of this city is very much alive. That part of this story is what really drew in. It’s obvious Schwab did a lot of research. She definitely makes the perfect ghost hunting tour guide. 

If you’re looking for a good ghost story, I highly recommend picking up this book! It’s an engaging, entertaining, fast past, paranormal read with age appropriate darkness I’ve come to except in a Victoria Schwab book. I can hardly wait to read the next book in this series.