Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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Publication: August 28th 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 272 pages
Source: Bookmobile
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Middle Grade
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤

“People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere…Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” (Schwab 1).

So begins Schwab’s foray into the middle grade genre, and she does so as spookily and addictively as ever.

Over a year ago Cassidy Blake died when she drowned in a nearby river, but she came back thanks to her best ghost friend Jacob. And since the day she came back she’s been able to see ghosts and go into the Veil, an in-between place between the living world and the dead. So Cass isn’t exactly normal, but normal was never really an option since she’s the daughter of The Inspecters, ghost researchers who have now landed a television gig and are taking Cass with them to Edinburgh to film the first episode of their TV show. It isn’t the summer Cass had planned, and it only gets stranger when she meets a girl with the same gift as herself and hears of a ghost called the Raven in Red. One thing’s for sure, Cass has a lot more cut out for her this summer than she had planned!

I’ve let my love for Schwab’s work be known far and wide in my reviews of her work, but it seems like she can master any genre. The pacing of City of Ghosts was absolutely perfect for a middle grade book; it was so easy to fall in love with the characters. Cassidy and Jacob’s friendship is so sweet to read, and Schwab leaves enough little clues and mysteries that I’m excited to see where she will take these characters and how their relationship will develop in the future.

While I loved the book, I will admit that the ending did seem surprisingly rushed and tied up very quickly for a Schwab novel. However, I don’t read many middle grade novels so perhaps quick endings are common, but I did expect a bit more conflict in the book. I did enjoy getting to know Cassidy and Jacob so well though, since at times authors focus too heavily on the conflict instead of the characters, and I’ll always prefer a well-developed character.

City of Ghosts show how Schwab continues to challenge herself and her writing, whether it be a new genre or new audience, it seems there is nothing she can’t do. A must read for any Schwab fans or anyone wanting to be introduced into her marvelous worlds.

 

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