As one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) had a lot of hype to live up to.
Did Schwab manage to write another novel that exceed expectations? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic (August 28, 2018)
Print Length: 272 pages
Audiobook Length: 5hrs and 2 mins
Narrator: Reba Buhr
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.
Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) is one big atmospheric ghost tale filled to the brim with a breathtaking setting and characters just trying to ’embrace their strange.’
Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) is a middle grade paranormal novel that tells the story of 12-year-old Cassidy Blake, an unusual girl gifted with the ability to see ghosts following a near fatal drowning accident that was stopped when a ghost, Jacob, intervened. When her parents, the famed ghost hunting duo, The Inspectres, are invited to shoot a television series in Edinburgh, Cassidy and Jacob are pitted against more than one of the city’s more malevolent spirits.
Once again Schwab creates a lush and addictive storyline that kept me on the edge of my toes until the very end. Even though I read a fair few fantasy novels, I do struggle with picturing the atmospheric worlds authors conjure up. It was because Schwab chose to set City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) in Edinburgh, a city I have had the utmost pleasure of visiting, that I was able to deeply connect with the world passing Cassidy by. Schwab touched on every major focal point of the capital city of Scotland, from the formidable Edinburgh Castle, to the eerie Greyfriars Kirkyard, to the magical Elephant House tea room,City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) is as much a love letter to Edinburgh as it is a work of fiction.
As with her outstanding ability to conjure up an addictive setting Schwab also has a talent for writing stunning characters and relationships. Cassidy was a delightful perspective to read from. She grew into her ‘strangeness’ by the end of the novel, going so far as to understand why she is able to see and access the ‘veil.’ Cassidy’s relationship to Jacob was so cute to read from, and can I just say that if they want to add me to their ‘golden trio’ I would not be inclined to say no. I also rather enjoyed the fact that Cassidy’s parents were incredibly involved in their daughter’s life. Sometimes, when I read middle grade or YA novels, I find that parental figures of main protagonists are there to be passive secondary characters than active and present ones. In City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1), however, the parents are important not only because they are the cause for Cassidy’s abrupt move, but also because they are interested in ghosts in a differing way to Cassidy.
The only reason I couldn’t give City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) five stars is because I just wanted a few more pages before it was all over. Selfish I know, but what can I say, I am a sucker for Schwab’s writing.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab. Have any middle grade paranormal recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.