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Review #200 // City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) – Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)Cassidy Blake’s parents are the famous Inspectres, authors known for their books on ghosts. They don’t actually know if ghosts exist (her mom hopes), but Cassidy does–she can see them, and her best friend Jacob is one. With the Inspectres getting a TV show, Cass realizes that she’s going to be experiencing more ghosts this summer than what she banked on.


Why this book?: I really enjoy V.E./Victoria Schwab’s writing, so I was excited to pick this one up. Also I love ghost stories. Being a middle grade ghost story is right up my alley.

I’ve always loved middle grade horror and ghost stories. Something about the way they’re told makes them so much more interesting than YA or even Adult horror and ghost stories. Victoria Schwab, being an author that I already love, diving into the MG genre with a ghost story, was probably the best luck I’ve ever had. Especially with City of Ghosts, I was so excited to dive into one of my favorite genres, with one of my favorite authors. And I wasn’t let down at all.

I really loved how Schwab builds up the characters, without taking up that much room. My time never felt wasted when we were getting to know the characters and the backstories, because the way they were written–delicately and with so much care–I knew they were going to be important later in the book. With other books, they take up time building characters or the plot or the world-building, and don’t really consider how much time they’re actually taking. With Cassidy and Jacob, Cassidy’s parents and all the other side characters, I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. They all had their parts in the story, and pages never went to waste when bringing one or the other in.

City of Ghosts follows Cassidy and her best friend Jacob, when Cassidy’s parents go on a trip to Edinburgh for it’s history and plentiful ghosts. When we finally get into the plot (it took maybe an hour of listening, of a five hour audiobook) I was really interested. It was exciting to follow Cass and Jacob in the city, and I couldn’t wait to see where the story was going. Despite me saying that Schwab didn’t waste pages with the characters, I do unfortunately have to say that she might have wasted pages building up the plot. I was waiting so long for the story to get going, even if what was being written was interesting. It wasn’t until I was into the last hour and a half that something happened. And while that last part was exciting and heart pounding … that other half of the audiobook was kind of pointless.

Of the last hour and a half that was all of the rising action, climax, and ending all at once, I loved it. The Raven in Red was such an eye-catching antagonist, and I loved getting to know more about Cassidy’s ability and Jacob as a person. 

Final Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall?

I really enjoyed Schwab’s City of Ghosts, but kind of wish that the actual problem of the story took up more than just the last bit of the story. While I was glad to get the plot built up like it was, I can’t help but think we could have gotten more of a struggle in. Maybe it was the length of the story, but I felt like there could have been more of an ending as well.

Would I Recommend?

Yes, especially if you like MG or spooky stories. This book definitely met my expectations, and even surpassed them in some points. I can’t wait to see where the series goes.


Additional Information:

Published: August 28th, 2018

Publisher: Scholastic

Page Count: 285

Genre: Fantasy/Middle Grade/Paranormal

Synopsis: via Goodreads

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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