Book review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Source: Borrowed

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.

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I read a middle-grade book, but I love Victoria Schwab and I was looking for something quick to listen to on a road trip, so I figured this would be a good option. Also, fun fact, I’m pretty sure that everybody that attended BookCon got an ARC of this except for me, but then again, I had no idea what I was doing there.

This is going to be a pretty short review because I actually don’t have all that much to say about this book.
I thought that Cassidy was a good protagonist, although I was a little bit put off by how much she focused on being different from the popular girls at the beginning of the book. It was just so “not like other girls” and I didn’t really expect that in a middle-grade book, of all places. After she got over that, though, I really ended up liking her character.
loved that the book was set in Edinburgh! I visited Edinburgh a couple years ago and I felt like I was right back there. I can definitely see all of these ghosts running around Edinburgh. It really was the perfect setting.
As for the actual plot, I was a little disappointed. I’m not sure if this is common for a middle-grade book since I really haven’t read any since I was in middle school, but it kind of felt like nothing actually happened for most of the book. There’s a premise, of course, and a couple things happen, but overall, I felt like it was mostly Cass just wandering around Edinburgh and talking to ghosts with very little actual plot.
I’m being a little generous with my rating because I know I’m not the target demographic for this book. As an adult book, I’d probably give it two stars, but since it’s intended for younger readers who are probably looking for very different things, I’m giving it three.
#mm18: new or old

Have you read City of Ghosts? Do you read middle-grade books?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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21 thoughts on “Book review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

  1. Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books says:

    You perfectly put in to words how I felt about this book. I was sadly disappointed. If you are looking to read another spooky middle grade read I highly recommend Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, the author of The Bear in the Nightingale. It was everything I was looking for in City of Ghosts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roachie's Reviews says:

    I felt the same way about this book and IMHO it’s not just because it’s MG. I read a lot of MG and have come across some fantastic five-star books this year – this was not one of them. Sadly for me, it was my first Schwab book and it has put me off reading anything else by the author.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enchanted 2 Read You says:

    I haven’t read this book, but I totally get what you’re saying and I will explain. I’ve read The Shades of Magic trilogy and Vicious by V. E. Schwab. I really enjoy her writing style, it flows, it never tires me. I also find her ideas very original and when I see the synopsis of her books I am always tempted to read them, but end up disappointed when I actually do. Your review summed up exactly why that happens. It is so well-written and on point!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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