A few years ago I read the Archived by Victoria Schwab and fell in love with her writing. Ok, the story was amazing as well, but her writing really delivered it! I don’t think anyone else could’ve written it as amazingly as her! Her other books didn’t speak to me, not because I don’t like the stories, it’s just that they aren’t really the things I usually read, and I’m not going to force myself to read them just because they are written by her! When I heard she was writing a middle grade book about GHOSTS, I got incredibly excited! So here we are, reviewing City of Ghosts.
Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t
like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates
the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits.
Her best friend is even a ghost.
So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much
When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most
haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here,
graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless
phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she
realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself.
And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous
than she ever imagined.
Read that synopsis and don’t tell me it screams my name. I love middle grade, and especially horror middle grade. I used to read it as a child and now as an adult I appreciate it even more. One of the main issues people had with this book was the fact that the writing was supposedly “too juvenile”. Newsflash, that’s usually the case for middle grade. The language is going to be a lot more simple, the story a lot less complex, and children won’t have the same questions as us adults would have.
But this book really delivered in being just a prime example of a better than GOOD middle grade.
Cass has some not so typical 12 year old issues: her parents are authors (excuse me that’s pretty cool!) and not just any sort of authors, they are actual inspecters, people who hunt ghosts based on history and folklore. And ok, INSPECTERS? That’s amazingly funny. Good on you Victoria because I’m HERE for such puns. Her best friend Jacob is a ghost (but her parents are semi okay with it), she sees ghosts and can see their last moments before they died and oh yeah, her parents are filming a series based on their books about all the most haunted places. So that’s how Cass is going to spend her summer holidays! First stop: Edinburgh.
I really liked the fact that Cass’ relationship with her parents is incredibly healthy. She doesn’t hate her parents or acts like a stubborn brat when they tell her their plans. Which is a huge plus to me, as a lot of middle grade books have some bratty children in them my WORD. I like Cass. Cass is a good egg.
I felt a bit sad for their cat though, they are taking the cat with them to all the cities, which is just so much stress for the poor little thing. But I think it might be going to be a plot point in one of the books in the series…
I really loved how Victoria wrote about Edinburgh. You can tell she has lost her heart to the city and it really came to life for me. I have a hard time seeing surroundings when I read, but Edinburgh is really vivid in my mind when reading this book. You can almost smell all the smells!
I loved it so much. I can’t wait for the second one in the series!
Even though I’m so positive about this book, there are just a few little things where I am less positive. I would’ve loved to have some more knowledge as to how and WHAT Cass can do. We get a few pages with some explanation about the whole condition she has by someone else who can also lift the Veil. And now I did just mention that things are less complex and stuff, but I would’ve loved some more explanation. True, it might all be explained in the next book, but considering this is the first I just wanted a little bit more. It also wasn’t as scary as Booktube made me believe. I’m a big scaredy cat. Like, I’m afraid to even go outside. I’m afraid of nearly EVERYTHING, but this just didn’t scare me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still creepy as heck, but it isn’t as scary as it was hyped up to be.
Long story short: it’s an amazing books, but it does have it’s flaws, but I’m okay with those flaws, they are normal flaws and honestly, I can’t think of anything negative about it! The second book will be so much fun and I’m so excited this book got picked up by some TV people, because this would be an amazing show!
I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and you can get your copy here! 🙂
Have you read anything by Victoria Schwab?