Note: This is a repost of a review published last year. The sequel to City of Ghosts, Tunnel of Bones, is now available.
“Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.”
What It Is
Cassidy Blake is a young girl who can see ghosts, and Jacob is her best friend, who happens to be a ghost.
Due to an accident in which Cassidy almost drowned, she gained the ability to cross “The Veil,” allowing her to see ghosts and observe them reliving their deaths. While she doesn’t exactly have a normal life, things start to get a little crazier when her parents begin working on their new television show, discussing the most haunted places in the world.
See, although Cass can interact with real ghosts, her parents, world-renowned ghost experts, don’t know this. They’ve written loads of books about ghosts and hauntings, without having actually ever seen a ghost. If only they knew about their daughter’s secret…
The family (and Jacob) travels to Edinburgh, Scotland, an ancient city of castles, cobblestone streets, and lots and lots (and lots) of ghosts. Not all of these ghosts are harmless – the Raven in Red, a spirit that snatches children away on cold nights, sets her sights on Cassidy.
Cassidy and Jacob, with the help of their new friends Lara and Findley, go on a daunting adventure to stop the Raven from stealing Cassidy’s very life force. This novel has some truly spooky moments and haunting scenery.
This was such a delightful book to read. It gave me strong vibes of one of my all-time favorite books, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, which I definitely recommend if you enjoy City of Ghosts.
It’s a lovely book that focuses on friendship and facing your fears. Cass puts herself at risk to save her best friend, and Jacob does the same for her. Their unusual friendship is so sweet and endearing.
I wish we had seen more of Lara’s character, who starts off pretty cold, but who you quickly warm up to. I found myself wanting to know more about her history, and that of her ghost-obsessed grandfather. I can only hope that the sequel that Victoria Schwab is currently writing includes some more of their story.
Please don’t be put off by the fact that this is a middle-grade book – it truly reads like something that people of all ages can enjoy, much like Cassidy’s beloved Harry Potter. I already know that this is a book I’m going to go back to over and over again. I had quite the book hangover when I finished it, but then this happened:
I can’t wait to read the next book. I’m aching to know more about Cass’s story, and I still want to know how Jacob died!
The only (slight) problems I had with this novel is that I wish it was a little bit longer and that there was a bit more character development. While many of the characters did have personalities and backstory, more would have been nice.
Verdict (Buy, Borrow, Read)
Buy. This is such a wonderful book, especially to read in October as we near Halloween. Plus, you’re going to want to reread it when the sequel comes out!
Have you read City of Ghosts? What were your thoughts?