❥ Title: City of Ghosts
❥ Author: Victoria Schwab
❥ Genre: Middle Grade Mystery/Thriller
❥ Publisher: Scholastic
❥ Rating: 4 / 5 stars
“Stories have power,” she says. “So long as you believe them.”
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.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads
If any of you know me well, then you know that I am not the biggest fan of mystery, horror or thrillers of any kind. I am such a scaredy-cat and I will freak out easily. However, this middle grade book did not seem to have that effect on me. Maybe one day I’ll become a fearless reader of all of the above and even give in to watching a horror film one day…. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
City of Ghosts was a really cute book. I haven’t read a middle grade in a hot minute and it was so nice to get back into MG fiction. It was also really cute to have all the Harry Potter references because my generation of readers grew up with the series. I just maybe think that some younger readers may not have read Harry Potter and may not understand/appreciate the references. Also, some may think that Harry Potter is not relevant anymore … but those people would be wrong. I digress.
The setting of City of Ghosts was amazing. It felt spooky and made me long for some colder weather. I tend to not read many books set outside of America, let alone Scotland, so it was enjoyable to read a book set somewhere different. A trip to Scotland is definitely in the foreseeable future for me! The pace of the book was fast enough although some of the plot twists were predicable. This may be because I am an older reader and guess the conventions of MG fiction quicker and easier. I would like to believe that a younger reader (8-13 year olds) would find the plot twists exciting and shocking. The plot was engaging and I enjoyed reading even though I have not read other works from Victoria Schwab.
My biggest critique of the book would be that it was perhaps simplified at times. Again, I think this is because it is a middle grade and I am just not used to reading books for this age group. I do believe that the story and characters will be developed more in future books from the Cassidy Blake series and I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.
Overall, this was a cute and fun middle grade book. I enjoyed getting back into MG books and actually enjoying a paranormal story (for once). I will definitely read more of Victoria Schwab’s works soon. (I do actually own the Shades of Magic series but my TBR is insanely big!)
Until Next Time,