City of Ghosts ARC Review

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary: “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” (Goodreads).

Hi, welcome to another episode of, I am so behind on reviews and don’t remember a thing about the books I’ve read.

Actually, in the case of City of Ghosts I remember Scotland, vividly, because it’s my favorite place in the entire world. While this book wasn’t as Scotland-based as I had hoped, considering I live so far away from Scotland, it still gave me my “fix.”

While this definitely isn’t Victoria Schwab’s best book (a little biased because I’m not the target age for middle-grade literature), it still had Schwab character. Her writing vividly expressed Cassidy’s ghost world, gave me a deep understanding of the different facets of the world, and put out a character that didn’t quite understand nor want her powers without making her seem weak for feeling that way. There’s something so utterly and wonderfully feminist about Schwab’s books. The female characters always stand on their own, never falter in the presence of anyone else, and aren’t ridiculed for having characteristics that would make a male character endearing. Cassidy isn’t a strong character in the sense that she fights a lot of bad guys on her own, but in the sense that she is on her own. She is immensely stubborn, naive, but still interested in learning more.

To be fair, I was expecting the book to be a lot darker because Schwab marked it as being a kind of a dark middle-grade book, but it’s really just plain-old middle-grade antics. Sure, ghosts could be scary to kids, but these ghosts aren’t all that threatening. I think it’s something kids of all ages can enjoy, just maybe with the lights on if they’re easily scared.

This wouldn’t be the first Schwab book I’d recommend, but I still loved it nonetheless. It’s a beautiful story about friendship and Scotland and ghosts and Scotland and a girl trying to find her way in the world and Scotland. (I love Scotland).

I definitely recommend this, but if you’re looking for a more mature Schwab book, I’d pick up A Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious, or This Savage Song first.

-Book Hugger

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