ARC Review: City of Ghosts

“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: August, 28 2018

Thank you Scholastic Press for providing me with an e-Arc of this via Edelweiss.


35403058Cassidy 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.

The Verdict

I’m still in disbelief that I got approved for this. The shriek I let out when I saw the words “approved” on Edelweiss was enough to make my husband come running into the room to see what happened. It’s not everyday you get to read one of your most anticipated reads for the rest of 2018 before it comes out, so I am eternally grateful to Scholastic Press for the opportunity. As a child/teenager, I LIVED for the TV show Ghosthunters. I used to stay up all night in my room scared out of my mind watching it, so when I read the synopsis of this I knew I needed to read it.

City of Ghosts is a super fun, spooky, and atmospheric read that follows Cassidy Blake, a young girl who can enter “the veil” and see the ghosts within. How is that possible, you ask? Technically Cassidy drowned, but her best friend Jacob (who happens to be a ghost) saved her, and now walks the living realm with her. Together they can enter “the veil”, but it typically comes with the cost of Cassidy having trouble pulling herself out so Jacob, her trusty sidekick, is always there to help her out. Cassidy and Jacob’s friendship is so incredibly adorable and I am living for it.

Cassidy’s parents just so happen to be a well-known author duo who have written a book series that’s like a mash-up of history and ghost stories. When her parents are presented with an opportunity to host a TV show that takes viewers on a tour of the scariest cities in the world, Cassidy and her family pack up and head to their first destination, Scotland. I think Schwab really nailed the creepy and atmospheric vibe the second the Blake family touched down in Scotland. I love me some atmospheric vibes.

As the family begins touring some of the most haunted sites, Cassidy begins to feel that the pull on the veil is stronger than ever and the ghosts in Scotland are much more sinister than Cassidy has ever encountered. Especially one in particular, who abducts children, the Red Raven. With the help of a newly found friend Cassidy finds out that there is a reason she can see ghosts, and a job she must do. She needs to help send the ghosts permanently beyond the veil, off to whatever lies beyond it. And so beings the Cassidy’s adventure of trying to defeat the Red Raven and save her life.

I totally have to admit that this book was CREEPY. This is the type of book that probably would have haunted my dreams as a child. The Red Raven is something straight out of a kid’s nightmare. I really enjoyed the action-packed goodness of Cassidy and Jacob running through the living realm and the veil in a race against time to try and beat the Red Raven, I can’t even tell you how fast I was flipping through the pages. Plus, this includes super creepy graveyard parts, and what horror fan doesn’t love a good graveyard scare?!

Some very minor issues I had with this include how underdeveloped the plot felt at times. I understand that technically this is a MG novel but certain parts just felt so rushed when they didn’t need to be. Also, the Harry Potter references were a bit much. I never thought I would type those words. The first couple references were super adorable and I was hyped to see it, but then it just became a little too redundant for me.

Favorite Quotes

“Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure. “

“”Stories have power,” she says. “So long as you believe them.””

“So we pile into the cab, two parents, one kid, a ghost, and a ticked-off cat, and we head for the airport.”

All in all, I really loved this, it was such a fun story. I loved Jacob and Cassidy’s friendship. I loved the setting, the creepiness, the action, it was all a blast. I mean, I read this in one sitting and I can’t even remember the last time I read a book this fast. I’m not sure if this will appeal to all of Schwab’s readers since it is MG but I enjoyed this SO much more than her Monsters of Verity duology, and I cannot wait to see what city we get to explore next!

Until next time!


32 thoughts on “ARC Review: City of Ghosts

  1. This sounds like such an interesting read. I’m really getting into horror/creepy books lately despite being such a huge wimp 😂 I’m looking forward to reading it when it’s released, even more so after this review!


    1. It’s okay I’m a wimp too haha!! Books I can typically handle but I am such a chicken when it comes to horror movies 😂. I hope you enjoy this one when you get around to reading it, it would be such a good read during the fall!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I read her Monsters of Verity duology but honestly I didn’t care for them too much. This, however, was such a great read so I would definitely recommend starting here ☺️


  2. Wonderful review! ❤ This book sounds really good! I haven’t read anything by Victoria Schwab yet so I’m probably going to start with this one because I preordered it. I also wanted to try a few middle grade novels so this seems like a perfect choice!


    1. Thank you! 💕 Especially with Fall right around the corner it’s the perfect read! I’d love to know your thoughts once you read it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! ❤ Yes it seems like reading it would be a great way to get ready for autumn and the Halloween season 🙂 Thank you, hopefully I’ll post a review when I finish it! I always intend to write reviews but I’m the worst at following through with them hahaha 😭


      2. Trust me so am I haha!! I recently was rereading a bunch of my reviews on Goodreads from around 2015 and 2016 and a lot still said review to come. Whoops! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG you are a brave soul! I’m such a wimp when it comes to scary movies haha! You can try and request this on Edelweiss ☺️


      1. It’s a bit confusing at first. I had to do a little research and YouTube tutorials to figure it out lol but once you get the hang of it it’s not so bad!


  3. Pingback: WWW Wednesday
    1. My biggest piece of advice would be to go into it knowing its middle grade. A lot of the mixed reviews I’ve seen have complained that it feels juvenile, but that’s because it is. I’d love to know your thoughts once you finish reading it!


  4. I finished this last night, and it was amazing! I really love that there were so many great quotes in there. I am looking forward to where we are heading next!
    I would love to have had City of Ghosts to read when I was younger “Embrace your strange” was something I really need to hear back then!


    1. Ahhh same here! It would have been great to read back in the day haha. And I couldn’t agree more, I’m so excited to see where the next book will take place!


  5. Pingback: Top 5 Summer Reads

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