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City of Ghosts Paperback – 6 Sep 2018
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"Unbeknownst to her parents, who write books about ghosts but have never seen one, 12-year-old Cassidy Blake has paranormal abilities: ever since she almost drowned, she s been able to visit the spirit realm. She is best friends with Jacob, the apparition who saved her life, and whenever she encounters a phantom, she feels compelled to cross the veil. Constant specter activity exhausts Cassidy, so she is dismayed to learn that her family is headed for Edinburgh to film a haunted cities television show. There, Cassidy meets Lara Jayne Chowdhury, a girl with similar skills. Jacob doesn t trust Lara, but Cassidy thinks the self-proclaimed ghost hunter could shed light on her own abilities and prove useful particularly after they attract the attention of a malevolent specter. This atmospheric ghost story from Schwab (the Monsters of Verity duology) chills and charms while challenging readers to face their fears. Courageous, quick-witted Cassidy inspires, her relationship with Jacob is tender, and the thrilling conclusion is sure to gratify." --Publishers Weekly
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Of course it didn’t disappoint! I genuinely think Victoria could write a phone book and I’d love it!
Her writing style is so fluid and atmospheric, perfect for a ghost story. As always the story is well thought out, the characters are fun and engaging and the world building is so descriptive you feel like you’re there.
Is this the scariest book I’ve ever read? No but then I’m (considerably) older than the intended audience and I knew that going into this book so it didn’t bother me one little bit.
Another fantastic read from Victoria Schwab and a perfect to read for October/Halloween.
I was interested to see where the book would be pitched. Obviously, Middle-Grade isn’t only read by those younger readers (I am 23 after all) but it needs to be accessible to that younger audience. I thought this was handled masterfully, it isn’t patronising, it doesn’t talk down to the reader, in fact, I would probably risk saying that I think the main thing that makes this book more accessible for younger readers is that Schwab takes the time within the prose to explain some of the ideas, objects and topics she is dealing with.
Of course, there aren’t the levels of violence and/or gore that one might find in, for example, the Shades of Magic series. That being said, Schwab doesn’t shy away from the fact that she is dealing with a scary story. These are ghosts, and they aren’t Caspar by any stretch of the imagination. This is the kind of story I would have adored when I was a younger reader, the kind of story that has one foot in the dark. I’ll confess to having been a spooky child (though Doctor Who scared the pants off me, books were ok) and I would have lapped this up. I did lap this up at 23!
I loved these characters and I’m very interested to read the next book in the series, which I believe is due out in 2019? In the meantime, I’m certainly going to get my fill of Schwab with Vengeful and more coming out in the coming months!
My rating: 5/5 stars
I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.
While quite a lot of this first book is world building, I am really looking forward to book two and more of Cass' adventures. Hopefully there will be more about Jacob's background, it definitely sounds like he is going to be an interesting character.
I'm fast discovering that V. E. Scwab is one of those authors that I will always read, whatever she writes. I was a little wary going in as this is more middle grade than I've read before, but she's such a fantastic writer and the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob was well written that I couldn't put it down. Heads up, this book will also make you want to book a trip to Edinburgh ASAP. And possibly want to get a polaroid camera. If you want something a quite spooky, with lots of great male/female friendship and fantastic description of settings, this is for you.
My only mistake was thinking that it was a standalone, and not anticipating how badly I need the next book!
The only thing I will say is I'm not buying books from amazon again. They always turn up creased.