Book Review: CITY OF GHOSTS by Victoria Schwab

Title in grey on black
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4/5
Series: Yes - first book of a new series


city of ghosts.jpg

Ever since she drowned, Cassidy has seen ghosts. They’re at school, on the streets and in castles. Even her best friend is a ghost. Not only can she see ghost, but she can cross over the Veil – the barrier separating the ghosts from our world.

When her parents take her to Edinburgh to film a TV show about haunted cities, Cassidy quickly discovers there’s much more to the Veil – and ghosts – than she knew. The city teems with ghosts, and not all are friendly.

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I really loved this book. I was slightly apprehensive starting it, thinking it might be too young, but it was a lot of fun and the perfect tonic for a somewhat dull day. It’s not as complicated as Victoria/V.E. Schwab’s other books are, but it was nice to read without having to think too hard about all the subplots.

Cassidy is an engaging MC, with plenty of personality coming across the page. Her voice is strong, brought out by Victoria Schwab’s addictive writing and complimenting the fast-paced story. Cassidy is quite funny – thought ghost-bestie-Jacob takes home the prize for funniest character. She’s bold and gutsy, the sort of friend who’d pull you into adventures that hovered close to breaking your parents rules.

Being an MG book, there’s no romance but rather the relationship focus is platonic, on Cassidy and Jacob. I loved their friendship, their jokes and easy way with each other. Having been reading largely YA recently, it’s like a breath of fresh air to read about a boy-girl friendship that isn’t tinged with romance.

The setting – Edinburgh – is ready-made for the slightly spooky atmosphere of the book with it’s close, crooked streets and historic sites. While there are jokes at the expense of the Scots/Brits (e.g. the weather) it all feels in good humour, unlike some other books by non-Brits set in the UK. There are several jokes made about the difference between American and British English. These largely passed me by at first – particularly the fish and chips one – because ‘chips’ is the word I’d use and it’s a totally normal food here. Once the meaning difference had been highlighted, I found Cass’ assumption quite amusing.

I’m looking forwards to the next book – and I think I might pick up some more MG in the meantime.

Read my reviews of other books by V.E./Victoria Schwab:

Middle Grade:

Cassidy Blake (This series):

Everyday Angel:

Young Adult

The Archived:


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