REVIEW #35 | “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab (Cassidy Blake #1)

Title: “City of Ghosts”

Author: Victoria Schwab

Pages (hardcover): 285 pages

Original Publishing Date: 28 August 2018

Synopsis (from the inside flap):

“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.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • death
  • blood
  • drowning
  • [Note: I’m sorry, for some reason I completely forgot to keep track of CWs and rep for this book, please forgive me if I forgot something 😭]

Representation in the novel:

  • N/A (??) [Note: look at the prior note]

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

I absolutely loved City of Ghosts, and I hope Victoria Schwab continues the series soon. I usually stick to YA, but I am glad I picked it up from the library out of curiosity.

City of Ghosts is about a young girl, Cassidy Blake, who can interact with ghosts and the Veil (where ghosts reside) after a near-death experience. Her best friend Jacob is even a ghost. Over the summer, she and her family (and Jacob!) pack up and go to Scotland. Cass’ parents are authors of paranormal books, delving in the the history and stories of haunted places, and they were given the opportunity to make a “Most Haunted Places Around the World” television show. Scotland is their first stop. Soon after they arrive, however, Cass must team up with another girl with similar paranormal abilities in order to solve a mystery of the ghost variety.

I enjoyed this books so much; I read most of it in two sittings. The narration was very fun for me. I do not remember Cass’ age, but since it is a middle grade book, I am guessing she is nothing older than 12 or 13. The narration, first person from Cassidy’s point of view, really shows her age: although she can see ghosts and interact with them, she still has this child-like quality to her (but don’t tell her I said that). She is not naive, exactly, but she still acts like a girl in middle instead of a senior in high school, for example. She is a goofy girl who loves photography and Harry Potter.

Speaking of Jacob, his friendship with Cass was wonderful. They snark back and forth with each other and are extremely close. However, like most friends, they also get into arguments every now and then. But they communicate! And apologize! Probably the best thing of all, though… From what I inferred as I was reading, there seems like there is simply a friendship between Jacob and Cass. I mean, I suppose it would be tricky to be in a romantic relationship with a ghost, but you know what I mean. They are just really good friends, and I love that.

On top of that, I pretty much liked all the other characters, too. Lara, the other girl with the same abilities as Cass, grew on me as the book continued. I am intrigued as to how her character will develop throughout the series (imagine…Cass and Lara become girlfriends, Jacob teasing them endlessly. Please and thank you.). Cassidy’s parents were also fun characters to read; I appreciate the Ghosthunters vibes.

Moving on, I thought the plot and setting were both engaging. The plot was fast-paced, and I did not want to put the book down. The setting really helped with this — I love that the first place they family travels to is named the City of Ghosts. The city is constantly given a spooky atmosphere, which is thanks to the history. I have not looked anything up, so I might be wrong, but I love how actualy history of ghost sitings and the history of Edinburgh were incorporated thrhought the book. It was interesting to read and kept things ~spoopy~. SEriously, Edinburgh has a ton of murder and blood in its history.

So, yeah, overall? I really enjoyed The City of Ghosts and cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out.

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3 thoughts on “REVIEW #35 | “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab (Cassidy Blake #1)

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