Title: City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Audiobook (Hoopla), 389 pages
Cassidy Blake’s parents are ghost-hunters, but Cassidy is the one that can actually see ghosts. When her parents land a new TV show, the head off to Edinburgh, Scotland to shoot their first episode. Historic Edinburgh turns out to be far more haunted than than home. There, Cassidy meets Lara, who can also see ghosts, and learns about her job behind the Veil. But when Cassidy encounters the ghost of the sinister Red Raven, she’s drawn into a life or death adventure.
This is my favorite Victoria Schwab book! I DNF’d A Darker Shade of Magic and gave Vicious 3 stars. I was ready to hang it up and say Schwab just wasn’t for me. But I actually really enjoyed this book! I listened to this on audio so I’ll be commenting on that as well as the book itself. If you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend this one. The story itself is so atmospheric, and the audio just enhanced that experience.
Things I Liked
- Overall, the narrator did a really good job, especially for the main characters – Cassidy and Jacob.
- I really loved the characters. Middle grade always makes me nervous about the depth of the world and characters. But I thought Schwab did a really good job of giving the characters personality, depth, and background. I especially loved Jacob and Lara. And Jacob’s mysterious background has me invested in the series. I also think the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob was really well done. I loved how they respected and relied on each other.
- This book managed to avoid one of my biggest pet peeves in YA – absent parents. Cassidy’s parents are actually involved in her life! And when she goes missing, her parents notice and frantically search for her. Novel concept (pun intended).
- The Red Raven was a really creepy, well written villain. I’ve said this before, but I love villains with a background. I want to know how they got here and what their motives are. And you got that with this villain.
Things I Didn’t Like
- This is an audiobook specific thing. When the narrator voiced the Scottish, male characters, it sounded more like Dracula. Which made me laugh and pulled me out of the story. Luckily it didn’t happen that often.
I don’t really have anything else I DIDN’T like. I’m trying to pinpoint what in the story kept it from 5 stars but I’m struggling on how to word it. It really comes down to this being middle grade… I like my worlds and characters to be intricate and full fleshed out and this just didn’t go deep enough. The characters and plot and magical elements were just a bit basic. But that has far more to do with the age range of the book than the actual story itself.
If you’re looking for a quick book to fit in for the end of October, this would be a great option!
Have you read this? Let me know what you thought!