Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 282 pages
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal
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.
Cassidy is a weird kid, she has an old camera that she bring everywhere, she has weird parents who wrote books about paranormal activity, she has a ghost as a best friend, and yes, she could see ghosts. Her supernatural ability began when she was drowned in the river and almost die, a boy named Jacob saved her, but later she found out that Jacob is a ghost. Ever since Jacob saved her, they become connected to one another. Cassidy not only could see ghosts, but she also could enter the veil, where the ghost live in their own world and memory.
The story become interesting when Cassidy’s parents get a chance to shoot a show in Edinburg, the most haunted city on earth, and Cassidy has no choice but to follow along. Cassidy and Jacob’s thrilling adventure starts here as they discover so many scary and powerful ghosts that could actually harm them if they’re not careful.
Although the idea is not very original but I really enjoy the story, I love how we could also get a thing or two history lessons of Edinburg. The adventure is thrilling and fun, the story is nothing new and very predictable, but this is a great and entertaining story.
I loved but also a little bit confused of the world that Schwab created in this book, I feel so weird reading about things I could not understand but this is a really personal opinion, for example like how Cassidy could feel the veil and the tap tap tap feeling in her shoulder, and I’m really confused of how this veil works, ghosts in their own timeloop and memory and all. Well maybe I was overthinking this, again, this is only my personal opinion. But weirdness aside, I found myself enjoying the stories behind each ghosts they encounter, like how they died and what has been keeping them in the veil.
The world is also a little bit darker than I expected, there are slightly disturbing issues such as, death in general and the various ways of death which I’m not really sure are appropriate for Middle Grade.
This is the first V.E. Schwab book I ever read so I couldn’t compare the writing style with her previous books (which I’m sure it’d be different from her YA books). I love the writing style, it’s light and easy to follow. Although I feel like the HP references are a bit too much.
Cassidy and Jacob are two lovable characters. Cassidy is a brave kid with so many curiosities and Jacob is usually the voice of reason, to restrain her from doing something reckless and stupid, he’s not brave but he should be brave for Cassidy. I love how heartwarming their friendship is, how they really depend and understand each other.
Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”
Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion?