Skip to main content

City of Ghosts

Review

City of Ghosts

The line between the living and the dead is a more movable thing than Cassidy Blake...and ever since she nearly drowned, she's been able to shift it, and cross back and forth. She calls it the Veil, the in-between that separates her world --- with her parents and their TV show about hauntings and their cat --- and a world full of ghosts and the lingering places frozen in time where they died. Her parents used to just write books about ghosts, her mother weaving stories and her father documenting the hard facts, but they were never really good at uncovering the real thing.

"Everything V.E. Schwab creates is atmospheric and fun, full of heart and hard choices....This middle grade adventure is a fast-paced ride perfect for the Halloween season (and year-round)!"

Cassidy is. And she would regret it, because it's a pretty creepy ability, and she doesn't really know what to do with it. She takes her camera with her through the Veil, and takes photos of ghosts sometimes. She hopes that by seeing them somehow, capturing them and documenting them, she's helping finish off some of their unfinished business. But she's not sure, and either way, it's a spooky hobby that she can't seem to stop doing.

She probably would be way more scared, though, if it wasn't for Jacob. Jacob's around her age, or at least, he was when he became a ghost. He saved her from drowning that day, and so they're linked to each other: she's his anchor to the living, and he's her pathway to and from the Veil. She knows he's keeping secrets from her, but she trusts that he knows what's best. That's what best friends do, they trust each other.

But when Cassidy's parents bring her (and, though they don't know it, Jacob) to Edinburgh, Scotland to film their new TV show, the line between the living and the dead seems to blur more than it ever has. Cassidy meets a girl who seems to share her "gift," but she has a very different attitude when it comes to ghosts --- and Jacob. Cassidy discovers that she has a lot more to learn about the world beyond the Veil, and herself.  

Everything V.E. Schwab creates is atmospheric and fun, full of heart and hard choices. Schwab is based in Edinburgh, and you can feel her love of the city and its secrets shimmer off the page. This middle grade adventure is a fast-paced ride perfect for the Halloween season (and yearround)! You don’t need to love spooky stories to enjoy Cassidy and Jacob’s friendship and their thrilling, evocative exploits, but goodness, Schwab crafts a deliciously inviting haunting. I'm so glad this book kicks off a Cassidy Blake series, because I love this clever young heroine so much and I look forward to reading more of her adventures!

Reviewed by Maya Gittelman on December 12, 2018

City of Ghosts
by Victoria Schwab