Books · Reviews

Halloween Mini Review – City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (Spoiler-Free)

Hiya everyone! Hope you’re all doing great 😊

I’m so sorry to have been a bit quiet but I was basically on holiday and visiting my parents and going around with no actual internet access to speak of. I also didn’t have my laptop so blogging and replying to all your lovely comments was a daunting task…

Anyway, you’re here for my review! So let’s get to it πŸ¦‡

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Cassidy Blake is a special girl. She can walk into the Veil, the world of spirits left behind to roam the Earth, just as easily as she navigates the living world. But when her paranormal author parents are invited to film a ghost documentary in Scotland, she realises just how terrifying and dangerous her gift can be.

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cat.png I absolutely adored Jacob and Cass’s friendship. They were always so in sync and they could tell what the other was thinking or feeling in a snap (regardless of mind reading abilities).

cat.png He was also a kind of comic relief and I loved each and every one of his interjections. Basically, Jacob cracked me up and made the narrative so much lighter, even when things got pretty serious.

cat.png Cassidy’s parents were the best parents. They allowed her her freedom, which could sometimes put her in dangerous situations, but taught her to be responsible and mindful of her decisions. They were overall very present and close to her, and their relationship was just the sweetest.

cat.png The Harry Potter references made me so happy! I also loved that Cass was in the same house as me ❀

cat.png It was so easy to get immersed in the story and to have fun. Schwab is a phenomenal storyteller and it feels as though we are being told a story rather than reading it. It was like I was right there with the characters, seeing them as clearly as day. I don’t know how she does it, but the truth is she never disappoints.

cat.png If you’ve never been to Edinburgh before, well, you won’t have to make too big an effort to imagine it while reading this book. Schwab describes things as vividly as a photograph, and makes everything ten times more interesting if that’s even possible! You also get to learn a lot about Scotland’s history, which was so very cool.

cat.png I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming, which made for an awesome adventure. The writing was also very atmospheric and eery – the perfect amount of suspense mixed in with good-natured humour and interesting facts and urban legends.

Not everything was great though…

cat.png This is probably a bit too mature to be marketed as Middle Grade, in my opinion. Even though it involves children/teenagers and nothing remotely gory happens, it still deals a lot with death and creepy topics that I would personally not expose a child to. The fact that children are the protagonists in this actually made it scarier.

cat.png I also felt like it could have been a bit more complex. I understand that, again, this is marketed as MG but if you assume children are okay with death and the like you can also assume they are smart enough to step it up on the plot layers.

Behold, the Hallowmeter!

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I had a lot of fun with City of Ghosts and it managed to both warm and chill my heart in all the right moments. If you’re wondering whether the hype is real – it is. Schwab did it again and I couldn’t be happier to have picked this up!

This is another great Halloween read: short, sweet and such a fun adventure. There’s a hauntingly epic scenery, creepy and sometimes nice ghosts, ancient history, brave kids and lovely friendships/family dynamics.

Bottom line: do read City of Ghosts this October, you won’t regret it!

~ Check out more Halloween Mini Reviews! ~

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Have you read anything by Schwab before?

Do you like when books include history and/or urban legends?

Have you ever read a book that was maybe a bit too mature for its targeted audience?

Let me know in the comments below! 😊

Thank you so much for reading!

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42 thoughts on “Halloween Mini Review – City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (Spoiler-Free)

  1. Ugh, you do know that you never have to apologise right? It’s totally understandable, and I hope you have had a fun time on your semi-holiday😊
    This book really sounds very good, and I do love books that contain history/urban legends (especially the latter 😊😊). Well, I guess I’ll be adding this one to my to read list (yet, that one is still growing…probably way too big as well πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚).
    Your post for this one was a terrific and fun read as always! 😊😊

    Like

    1. Hahahaha it’s stronger than me… I hate not being consistent with my posts πŸ˜‚
      I think you would like this book. It’s a bit on the kiddie side at times but then it’s quite mature at others so it’s got a good balance in my opinion. It’s quite creepy for a kid’s story!
      Hahaha I’m still waiting for reviews on all those books πŸ˜› Don’t you disappoint me, mister!
      Aw thank you so much, Michell, you’re unbelievably nice as always 😊 ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol…well…I haven’t got any kind of consistancy with my own blog at all lolπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ So really, no worries about it 😊
        I will try to not disappoint with those reviews. Probably will have a new book review up somewhere next week 😊😊
        Aww…you are welcome, and so are you 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you liked this book! I love their relationship too, but I think the story is predictable and the worldbuilding is a little bit confusing, but overall this is a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book Sophie, and as much as I enjoyed City of Ghosts and just in general love V.E. Schwab’s writing I agree with you on how this one could have been more complex. It felt like it was exploring Cass’s powers and setting the world more than it was dealing with the Red Raven and everything the plot led us to believe City of Ghosts would actually be about. Still this kind of gives me hope that the next book will be better now everything has been set up.
    That said I loved exploring Edinburgh with Cass and Jacob, loved the friendship between Cass and Jacob, and just in general loved everything else about this book. I’m glad for the most part you enjoyed this one too. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. πŸ˜€
    Great review. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Like

    1. Thank you, Beth! Yeah it might have been that but still, I would have liked if it had impressed me right on the first installment. It might put some people off continuing the series, which would be tragic!

      I seriously hope it is, because indeed everything else was so lovely! I would have given it 5 stars if not for the plot.

      Thank you again, hon ❀ Let's keep our fingers crossed πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and yeah I get what you mean. Sometimes all a book gets is a first impression and this one could have had a stronger one.
        Same here, this was so close to a five star read for me but just missed out.
        That’s all right, and yes definitely. πŸ™‚ ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve loved all of Schwab’s novels and have no doubt this will end up being a great read for me. I love a little humor, especially when novels are darker. I’m really kicking myself for not putting this on my October TBR. I think it would have made the best read. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Schwab’s writing. I got into her books with Shades of Magic and I’m reading Vengeful this month. So good! I will be waiting to read City of Ghosts next year, however. So many books, so little time! Plus, I need a good creepy book for October, right?

    Yes, I have definitely read books I thought were inappropriately identified for MG or YA audiences. However, all of the ones I can think of come from self-published authors. Silly brain, why are you letting me down?! They’ll come to me at 3am. I bet anything. πŸ˜‰

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    1. I never got to finish the Shades of Magic series! I’m awful xD But this one’s a short book so if you can, do squeeze it in for this month because it’s so atmospheric and perfect for Halloween πŸ™‚

      Oh well you’re better than me because I actually can’t think of ANY right now except for this one hahaha But I know they exist and I’ve come across them many many times, so… Yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, but you at least *started* Shades of Magic, yes? You should definitely finish the series when you can. Book 2 is my favorite, but the whole series is such a fun romp. I love it.

        I am not surprised books are often misidentified as MG or YA. Here’s the trick: MG and YA are not genres, they are reading levels. But over the last few years, they’ve also turned into genres. Therefore, we expect certain characters and themes in books labeled for MG/YA audiences. But, that doesn’t define what good looks like for these labels 100% of the time. I bet publishers the world over are struggling with things which don’t fit into the smooth molds they are hoping for! XD

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        1. Hahaha yes I did! It was so hyped, I had to see what the fuss was about πŸ˜›
          I’ve always seen them as reading levels so that’s why I say this one is not MG. Maybe the publisher sees them as genres, in which case it does fit into it πŸ™‚
          The book world is definitely confusing xD

          Liked by 1 person

  6. oooh excellent review! i keep picking up new Schwab stuff (i want to become a fan of her and just…haven’t yet) and this book seems so promising. yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a fan of Schwab’s too and have read Vicious, ADSOM and Our Savage Song, so far! I have been hesitant about this one just because it was marketed for mid-graders. It’s really nice to hear that you felt like it was much more adult-y and a bit too complex for kids. That definitely has me curious about the story now. I also love how Schwab develops her characters, so your description of those in this story sounds amazing! πŸ˜€ Awesome review as always, Sophie! πŸ˜€

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    1. Wow, that’s a lot of books from her! I’m jealous xD I’ve only tried the first two in her ADSOM trilogy so far (why haven’t I read the third one yet? I DON’T KNOW XD)

      I definitely found it mature enough to appeal to a wider audience. I wouldn’t even advice kids to try it – I’d say it’s a tamer young adult but not MG…

      Thank you so much, Lashaan! I hope you enjoy this one ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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