Series: Cassidy Blake #1
Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published: July 28, 2018 by Scholastic
Synopsis: 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.
This was a really good and fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Victoria is an auto-buy author for me. Every book from her I have read I have lived and this one was no exception.
Just like every book from Victoria, this did a great job in terms of its world-building and setting. Most of this book take places in Edinburgh, Scotland and it is very clearly a love letter to the city. It’s such an interesting place and that really comes across here. Throughout the book you get to explore the history and mystery of the city and it really comes alive in Victoria expert writing. I could definitely picture the city and it made me want to visit it so badly.
The their interesting this about the setting in this book was the supernatural elements. I’m not a big fan of books about ghosts and haunting but when it’s middle grade and it comes with a slice of history I am all for it. What I liked about this book in particular is that there were clear rules and structure to the ghosts and the shots hunting. It’s something that I have come to expect in a Schwab book, the magic has rules. Plus it had a fun Casper vibe to it which I honestly really enjoyed.
I also like the characters here. Because this is a middle grade novel, I feel like there was less of the character development I expect in YA but I did still think the characters were complex and easy to connect with. My favorite character was Jacob, who is basically the sidekick but super lovable. He’s sassy and sarcastic often being the comic relief but that was fine with me. I loved the irony of a ghost being afraid of everything. And Cass was a good heroine. She’s reckless and headstrong, but that’s kind of the girl you want in your middle grade adventure.
As far as the plot, it was really engaging and full of action but definitely on the simpler side of things. It’s the kind of book that you could easily breeze through and finish in a day if you are the kind of reader who does that thing. There were lots of thrills and plenty of adventure to keep you reading from beginning to end. I did however wish there was more of a mystery to it though. Things were very focused on one antagonist, which was a good antagonist for sure, but I think there were some missed opportunities here. I wish it had used some of the other characters a little bit more but maybe it will get there in future books.
All in all, I think this was a really good and fast middle grade novel that is perfect for fall. It has a spooky setting rooted in history, an engaging plot, and likable characters.
I give City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab 9 out of 10 stars
Have you read City of Ghosts? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!