“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.
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.
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.
“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!