A ghostly tale for young readers
Twelve-year-old Cassidy Blake is an unusual girl. A book nerd and a bit of a loner, she nearly drowned when she was younger, only to be rescued at the last minute by a boy her age named Jacob. Only Jacob isn’t a typical boy: He’s a ghost, and Cassidy’s near-death experience has given her the ability to cross the Veil and enter a world where she can see and speak to the dead. When Cassidy’s parents, a team of historical and supernatural researchers, take a summer job in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cassidy and Jacob tag along. But Edinburgh is a city full of creepy graveyards, haunted castles and the Raven—a malicious ghost who lures children to their deaths.
Cassidy cannot ignore the pull of the Veil or the Raven, and when she meets another girl who can also see the dead, Cassidy discovers that she’s supposed to send the ghosts away. But what does that mean for Jacob? And when the Raven comes after Cassidy, will she have the strength to fight back, or will she become a spirit herself?
Although City of Ghosts is Victoria Schwab’s first foray into middle grade fiction, the bestselling author of adult fiction and young adult titles like Vicious is squarely in her wheelhouse. The Scottish setting is authentic and chilling, likely drawn from Schwab’s experience attending graduate school in Edinburgh. Schwab cleverly balances the book’s macabre elements with humor. Jacob is a charming sidekick, and as a ghost, he is the bright light of this tale.
Hopefully, there are more adventures for Cassidy and Jacob in store, as readers will be clamoring for a sequel.
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.