City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab Review

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Congratulations,Class of 2018!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.


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I went into this book with pretty much no expectations because I don’t read a lot of middle-grade, and so don’t really know what to look out for in terms of what I do/don’t like. I understand that I’m not the intended audience so kind of had to rethink the way I approached the book, which was interesting. I also feel that because of this, I’m going to review the book in a slightly different way.

So, this is going to be a sort of mini-review.

City of Ghosts is eerie enough to firmly belong in the paranormal genre and to give kids a Halloween kick, but doesn’t reach quite to the traumatising levels Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, for example, does – which I don’t think is a bad thing! I know Schwab is capable of going a lot darker, but I get why she didn’t with this one.

I haven’t quite got a grasp of Cass just yet, though I appreciate her taking charge, knowing her mind, and not needing to be saved by male characters, etc. I’m looking forward to watching her character develop through the rest of the series, and follow the breadcrumbs left in this book. As usual, I immediately fell for the side-character, Jacob. He’s joined the group of best friends/mentors, who are completely frustrated with the reckless MC but love them no matter how much they find themselves dragging them away from the edge. Ugh, I love that trope. My only real character gripe was that we didn’t see more of Lara!

Though the concept is great, I was kind of let down a little bit with the plot, if that makes sense? Maybe a middle-grade audience will appreciate it more, but I just wanted a little bit more? 

Is it for you?

If you like:

  • A girl taking charge and leading the adventure.
  • A cinnamon-roll best friend standing by her side and trying (and failing) to pull her away from dangerous situations.
  • Just the right amount of creepiness without being terrifying.
  • Edinburgh setting.
  • Quick, fast paced read.

And don’t mind:

  • Plot being a little underdeveloped.
  • Having to read the future books in the series to get the full picture.

Then this book is for you!


Have you read City of Ghosts? If so, let me know and we can chat!

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