Victoria Schwab is a very talented writer and I have loved everything I’ve read by her so far. The stories she creates are very unique. City of Ghosts is the first book in a middle grade series (I don’t know how many books we’re getting in total). This was such a fast read, I finished it in one day! Isabelle posted a review of this one a while ago as well, you can find that here!
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.
I’ve been wanting to read more middle grade books and if they’re all like City of Ghosts, sign me up! Our main character Cassidy, had an accident about a year ago and since then she can see ghosts. Her best friend, Jacob, saved her and just happens to be a ghost as the sypnosis already tells us.
Cassidy is still trying to figure out what it means to be able to see ghosts and enter the veil. That place can be scary and she can’t always get out on her own. Which is why she’s looking forward to her sumer vacation at a beach house, where ghosts don’t seem to bother her!
“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”
Instead we end up in Scotland with her parents. I loved this part of the book. I’ve never been to Scotland, but the way it’s described makes me want to go tomorrow. I love the pace of the book, not too fast, but it keeps on going!
I love the spooky atmosphere and I can imagine younger children can find this book a bit scary. It’s definitely a bit darker when she finds out not all ghosts are friendly. Then Lara comes into the picture and tells her there’s more to this world than she knows!
The spooky moments make it interesting and when Cassidy finds herself trapped in the veil, we don’t know how she’s going to get back out. I really like that middle grade is more focused on friendship . Jacob is a lot of fun and would be happy to just have his comics.
“Ninth rule of friendship,” he says, “ghost-watching is a two-person sport.”
This book explores what happens after death and would be a good Halloween read. Her parents are a lot of fun and it’s interesting to read about different myths and how they’re setting up their show. I can’t imagine what it’s like having parents who do what they do. I think I would want to stay in the background as well.
On top of the amazing friendships, ghosty adventures and spooky moments, there are a lot of fun references. I love it when authors mention Harry Potter and Marvel. Sign me up for all books that do that! City of Ghosts ends on a pretty good note, but leaves us with a lot of questions.
Is it good for Jacob to stay around? Should Cassidy be helping ghosts move on? And on top of that, where will her parents take her next? I’m really excited for the next book. Before ending this review, I have to add that I loved finally having a book where the parents were very much present and involved in their daughter’s life. In most books, there is no sign of the parents at all, haha.
City of Ghosts is written in a way that makes you not want to put the book down! This makes me excited to read more middle grade! What middle grade books do I need to read next?