Good afternoon, dragonflies!
I just finished reading City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab!
I was sent this by the lovely team at Scholastic UK for review - thank you so much! This is posted as a part of the City of Ghosts promotion tour!
City of Ghosts will be published on September 6th, 2018.
"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."
The Inspectres... hehe
City of Ghosts was everything I hoped it was! I discovered V.E. Schwab late last year, and I absolutely fell in love with her writing style! So when I heard she was publishing a new book, I figured I could ask Scholastic if they would send me a copy.
Well, it was worth it!
I flew through this in less than 12 hours. City of Ghosts is an amazing blend of ghost stories, friendship and discovering the world. It would flip from wholesome to creepy, from certain to uncertain, and the plot was beautiful.
Imagine a book in which Jack Frost is reversed but as a grim reaper rather than a snow-queen, with some Stranger Things thrown in there.
For a little anecdote: up until last month, we've always lived near or even in a cemetery. At night we could see the graves in the moonlight.
In short, there is no way I could have read this a month ago.
It was definitely creepy. The ghosts and the stories felt real. There is quite a bit of content warning for death, torture, and drowning, depending on how sensitive you are to those things. But I must say, the fear-level of this was just right, and I think it's difficult to keep it so well!
Schwab's vision of ghosts is very similar to mine - some are nice and dorky and just want to 'live their life' in the afterlife, while others are resentful, and are the source of ghost stories. But, those that can be detected by the living are those who cannot move on to rest. Additionally, those who have cheated death are just a step closer to the ghosts than everyone else. This book explores that idea a lot - not all of the dead are antagonistic, but some definitely are.
The characters were great, especially considering the middle-grade nature! I love the dorkiness that Jacob brings, and the angelic-ness that Cass gives. I really enjoyed the fact that Cass took everything as a discovery - Scotland was amazing for her, albeit a little creepy, she was always curious. She was happy discovering British-English words and the deliciousness that is Fish and Chips. Some moments where so beautifully wholesome that it could only make you smile. Lara was amazing and really worked as a mentor to Cass.
I loved the simplicity of the plot! It was linear and clear, but it was obvious by the end that something bigger is coming into play in the next book...
I don't want to give too many spoilers, so I'll leave my review to here!
I'm giving this a 4/5 feathers! Would highly reccomend it to anyone, especially those who love the paranomal!