Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1
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.
Ok, I am heavily bias on this one! Not only is this a V.E Schwab book (writing in her middle-grade nom de plume) but it is set in my hearts home of Edinburgh! I have loved Edinburgh since I was a teenager and would spend many of my weekends roaming its streets before I finally got to call it home in 2013. This book just captures how I feel about Edinburgh completely. It encapsulates the magic and mystery of the city as well as its rich tapestry of ghost stories and horror tales. Schwab evidently also loves the city and its riches while she elegantly weaves her own unique ghostly tale into the extant stories.
Placing the description of Edinburgh and the mouth watering accurate description of fish and chips (honestly I could practically taste the vinegar) aside, the story is fun and fast paced. The characters are fun and sassy but also have a great depth. I have already strongly recommended it to friends who teach the “middle-grade” age group as it is a perfect read for them. I can see it also leading to interest in the many terrible tales that Edinburgh has to offer allowing for exploration into books about them, be they history or other fictional re-imaginings. It is also chocked full of Harry potter references that will make the fans smile.
In my opinion this is entertaining for all ages! My only criticism is we need to see far more of Grim (the cat) in the next book, which is set in Paris!