Anyone who knows me will know that I love a good ghost story. I have not read much Schwab in the past, but everyone seems to love her work and I am a fan of Middle Grade, so I was very excited to read her ghosty book!
Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Fantasy – Paranormal
Age Classification: Middle Grade
Release: August 28, 2018
Cassidy Blake almost died and ever since has been able to pull back the veil between the living and the dead. Not only can she see ghosts, but her best friend is a ghost and her parents are historians with a ghostly twist. As her parents’ new TV show takes them to haunted locations, Cass meets someone with the same “gift” as her and discovers the pull of the veil is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.
Cass is a lovely girl who does not feel she belongs. It is a heartbreaking truth that no one in her life can understand how she is feeling or what she has experienced. Although she is fascinated by the other side of the veil and loves trying to capture it with her old and a slightly broken camera, she also does not like that she is an outcast because of it.
Jacob is Cass’ only real friend. Unfortunately, he is dead. On the day Cass almost drowned, Jacob was somehow able to save her and, in the process, managed to enter the world of the living. He seems like a pretty cool kid, except for when he is being a little moody, and he always has Cass’s back, even when she puts herself in harm’s way.
I was disappointed that Grim – the black cat that is featured on the cover – was not as big a character or focus as I expected him to be. I would have thought to make it on the cover the character would have more importance, but maybe his time to shine is yet to come.
I also thought the Harry Potter references were a little overdone given the age group it is targeted at. Sure, it works given the story location is the birthplace of HP, but it did feel a little forced and, on at least one occasion, a little jarring.
In regards to the story as a whole, I could not be happier. Good ghosts, evil ghosts, a connection between multiple ghosts and a connection to the living. It was appropriate for the middle-grade age group without being childish and complex enough for older readers without being confusing for the younger ones. I liked the detailing of the other side of the veil and the interactions with the ghosts while there, but I was most intrigued by the “crossing over” Cass had to do to get there and the “releasing” of ghosts. I personally thought it read really well and I very much enjoyed it.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
From a critical perspective, I would rate this a 4. However, my personal enjoyment of City of Ghosts it is more a 4.75, so it receives an easy 5 from me. I cannot wait to read more about Cass’ ghostly adventures so I am eagerly awaiting the release of Tunnel of Bones which will take place in the underground Catacombs of Paris!
Are you a fan of paranormal fantasy?
Do you like a good ghost-focused story?
If you have any recommendations, share them with me in the comments!
Until next time bibliophiles!