City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, 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 Inspecters 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’m not sure what took me so long to get to this. I bought it when it came out and already had book two pre-ordered. But it’s Middle Grade May and this is the book I knew I had to start with.
Cassidy almost died and was pulled out by a boy. That boy ended up being a ghost. Jacob and Cass ended up tied together and he is her best friend. Cassidy’s parents are writers and their ghost books are very popular. So popular that they are offered a tv show. And it starts right away. The three of them, plus the cat and Jacob, go to Edinburgh, Scotland to shoot the first episode.
Cassidy can go into “the veil” which is the inbetween where ghosts are sort of trapped in a loop of their death. She just feels a weird tapping and wants to check it out. Jacob goes with her to make sure she doesn’t get stuck there. But she always has to get in on her own. In Edinburgh, the veil is so strong that it pulls her in on its own. Cassidy sees this woman that pulls to her in a way that is different than she’s ever felt. She has dark hair and wears red. She starts to hear of the ghost legends in the area and finds out that this woman’s story is that she stole children.
At the flat they’re staying in, Cassidy meets another young girl, Lara. Cassidy knows there is something about her, but isn’t sure what it is. But again, she feels a connection to her. Shortly after, she finds out that Lara is like her. She can see ghosts and enter the veil. But Lara knows what she’s supposed to be doing. She helps the ghosts move on and shows Cassidy how to do it. Lara also warns Cassidy about Jacob. That he’s not supposed to be in the real world and that he’ll continue to grow stronger. Jacob is her best friend though, so Cassidy just ignores it.
Cassidy gets into a lot of trouble with the ghosts in Edinburgh and with the veil. By the end, she knows a lot more about what she is, but also has questions. The book ends with them leaving Edinburgh and heading off to the next shooting location.
This was a fun, spooky book full of adventure. I loved all the characters. Even though Cassidy’s parents don’t believe her ghost stories, they’re pretty awesome and supportive.
“Mom.” I glare at her.
She throws her arms around me. “Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”
Spoken like someone who doesn’t see ghosts.
While her parents are a bit into their jobs more than Cassidy at times, I like that they involved her in the process. They supported her photography and her “imaginary friend”. I really ended up liking them a lot, too.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. I am very much looking forward to the next one that comes out soon.
Have you read City of Ghosts? Are you participating in Middle Grade May (TBR and Beyond group)?