City of Ghosts (City of Ghosts Series #1)

City of Ghosts (City of Ghosts Series #1)

by Victoria Schwab


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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of Stranger Things.

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 stranger.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338111026
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Series: City of Ghosts Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 37,823
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Victoria Schwab is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels for readers of all ages, including City of Ghosts, the Shades of Magic series (which has been translated into over 15 languages), This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet. Victoria can often be found haunting Paris streets and trudging up Scottish hillsides. Usually, she's tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up stories. Visit her online at

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City of Ghosts 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Scwab never fails to take the reader on an adventure, in 10 pages or 1000. This book is whimsical while maintaining a dark side and once started, I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
This one was a pleasant surprise. I was at the library with my youngest and meant to bring in the book I was currently reading. Of course I forgot it in the car (like I normally do.) My son was having fun with the Legoes so the chances of talking him into walking outside with me to get something from the car wasn't too high. I might have been able to convince him to walk over to the adult area, but instead I scanned around where the new junior fiction section was and this one caught my eye. Cassidy can see ghosts and her best friend, Jacob, is a ghost. Her parents are a part of a ghost-hunting team, that seem a bit, well, clueless. Here they are trying to hunt ghosts and their own daughter can actually see them, but they don't know that. Cassidy meets Lara, another person who can also see ghosts. And then there was the bad guy, or woman, Red Raven that Cassidy and Lara need to stop. This was a fun, light, ghost story. I will read the next one when it comes out.
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
Not many can claim that they’ve gone through a near death experience. However, Cassidy can claim something even rarer. At age 11, she drowned in a river and was saved by a ghost named Jacob. Ever since, Cass has been a little less alive, and Jacob has been a little less dead. Cass can also cross through the Veil between the world of ghosts and the world of the living. She doesn’t know why she’s able to do this, however, until her ghost-hunting, book-writing parents start a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, starting with Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, she finds another girl like herself, and discovers that there’s more to her power than she realizes. And an evil specter known for stealing children’s life force, named the Red Raven, will stop at nothing to take Cass’s life, and her power, for her own... Lucas D.C., age 13, CT MENSA
Stacy_Renee More than 1 year ago
When I heard that VE Schwab was writing a ghost story, I was ecstatic! I've loved ghosts stories since I was a kid and I was eager to see what fantastic story she would come up with. Schwab has quickly climbed my fave authors lists and cemented her place in my top 3 so I would have read and enjoyed this even if it wasn't my typical genre or age group. Cassidy's best friend is a ghost. She's been able to see ghosts since Jacob saved her from drowning in a river and they've been inseparable ever since. It's only coincidence that her parents are experts on the history and legends of paranormal activity and are filming a show that will take them to some of the most haunted places in the world. First stop; Edinburgh, Scotland! City of Ghosts was well written and wonderfully spooky! It has just enough scare factor and great pacing so I flew through it! I loved the setting and all the Harry Potter references. You can really tell how much the author loves Edinburgh from how she describes it. I also really loved all the little educational tidbits about the language and cultural differences between the UK and the US. Those are the things I loved about middle-grade myself as a kid. I will definitely be continuing this series and can't wait to see what Schwab has in store for Cass in the future!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
There's only SOME middle grade that I will read... Re-tellings, mythology, or by an author I love. And this one falls under one of my favorite authors. And for a middle grade novel, she did not disappoint. Cassidy is surrounded by ghosts. Her family hunts them, she sees them, and her best friend is one. But then her parents get picked up for a tv show and they make their way to Scotland. Where she meets Lara, someone like her. With her help she finds so much more about her abilities than she knew she had. As I said, Schwab is one of my favorites, so it didn't matter that this was a middle grade book. It just mattered that she wrote it. And she did not disappoint. For the characters to be 12 (....and um an undead 12?) they were so smart and so independent. At some points I was even in awe of her because there was NO. WAY. I would so easily slip behind "the veil" and walk among the things she did. She was super brave, best friend or not. I also liked the "creep factor" of this book. It was a middle grade so it wasn't too creepy, but it was still good enough for me to not want to read it n the house alone. I haven't read a ghost book that made me feel like that in a long time. But let's be honest, The Red Raven and her myth is enough to creep anyone out. Pair that with what she was doing.... Yeah, it was pretty weird. But the best thing about this book had to be the ending. It was totally not what I was expecting and I was genuinely concerned about them and how it would end up. I really worried about them like they were people I really knew. The only thing that took away from this book was the background. I wish we had gotten some info on Jacob and what happened to him and why he decided to do what he did for Cassidy. I have a feeling these questions will be answered in the series later, but I would have liked it to be answered in this one, as I thought I had missed something. This book was the perfect blend of creepy and funny and I can't wait to see where else Schwab takes these two. No matter what their destination, I hope it's just as good as the first.
18876111 More than 1 year ago
This book was such a fun read. I thought the story was very cute, and creepy at the same time. It's definitely the perfect fall read, there was a coziness I felt when I was reading it. I love how friendship is such an important part of the story, as is family. I loved the adventure aspect of the book of traveling to another country. I can't wait to read the second book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fun story.
Juliapicks1 More than 1 year ago
Cassidy is not worried about being around ghosts because she drowned a year ago and her best friend, a ghost by the name of Jacob, saved her. She has the ability now to move back and forth between this world and that world. Jacob and Cassidy are both middle school age. Upon their arrival in Edinburgh, Cassidy discovers that there are ghosts everywhere. One of the ghosts is the Raven in Red, with a chilling legend of luring children to her. Is Cassidy being lured by the Raven in Red? Great read with action, adventure and fun!
JayLee More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book! Highly recommend. The central character is Cassidy Blake who has the awesome ability/responsibility of being able to see ghosts. Cassidy's best friend is a ghost Jacob and her parents are a ghost-hunting team called: The Inspectres . Cassidy's parents head to Edinburgh, Scotland for a new TV show and that is where things get even more interesting! Great idea, awesome book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a quick read and quite creepy for a children's book. I'm a big fan of Victoria Schwab's work and she did not disappoint with this novel. The ghost stories were a little scary but nothing too terrible or gruesome. I enjoyed the plot, it was unlike anything else I've read, and the Harry Potter references peppered throughout were a nice touch. I am definitely hoping for a sequel.
IsaMarauder More than 1 year ago
"Stories have power. So long as you believe them". So I'm getting into this whole Halloween vibe for October and City of Ghosts was the perfect light read to pick for a start. Here we follow Cass, a girl who almost drowned and was saved by her now BFF Jacob, which so happens to be a ghost. Since that near death experience, Cass has been able to see and touch the world of the dead. So whenever she feels a ghost nearby, she can literally pull the Veil that separates the living world from the dead one and enter that ghost's memories and in-between. One day, her parents, that are paranormal investigators, get offered a TV Show and the first location is Edinburghh, the most haunted city in the world. When the family gets there, Cass starts to feel that the Veil there weighs a lot more than back home, and that there are really dark thinks lurking behind it. I actually love how natural this story felt, like it just flowed and no matter how dark it could get sometimes, it kept luring me in. Cass and Jacob make such good protagonists that I couldn't help but think how cool it would be to have a ghost friend. When you start reading and getting into the book, there are a million questions that come to your mind. Why did Jacob save her? Why was he there? Who was he before being a ghost? Is there a purpose for Cass abilities? Can I go to Edinburgh? And some of that questions are answered through the book, but not all, and that's what kept me hooked to the story. I wanna know so much more. And not only about Cass and Jacob, but about Lara, this oh-so-British girl they meet at the inn they're staying. Now, I must admit that, at the very beginning, the book felt rather eventless, but once they're in Scotland eveything changes. You can really tell how much Victoria Schwab loves that city, for the descriptions and the whole aura she depicts of the city is truly phenomenal. That whole scenario makes everything darker and more dangerous for Cass, who is very mature and all, but is still a little girl who can be harmed and pulled forever into the land of the dead. One of the things I loved more about the book was the lore and how locals treated it as facts. Oh, the wonderful people of Scotland. All myths, all stories, all curses... they're real for them. And they indeed take form thanks to Cass's ability to see beyond the Veil. I was actually quite surprised because, despite this being a middle grade book, there are some scenes that are rather gruesome and bloody. Which I loved, don't get me wrong. I just didn't expect them. There is a twist, which I did not see coming at all! It remind me of a Laura Gallego book I read once and I was shocked. I mean, it made total sense, you can not deal with darkness and ghosts all the time without its consecuences, but still.... wow. And this line is to fangirl about all the Harry Potter references and geekiness that's laid all over the book. V, you made a Potterhead really happy here. Now I want to read the second book, which I'm not sure if it's the last. I don't know if this is supposed to be a duology or a trilogy, but what I do know is that we're up to a sad finale. I feel it.
raqthereader More than 1 year ago
City of Ghosts is the first instalment of the new middle-grade Cassidy Blake’s series by Victoria Schwab. This first novel is divided in five parts where the action-action-packed adventure takes shape from the second on (the first part is an Introduction to Cass’s story as In-betweener) and we have a first-person narrative through Cassidy’s POV. Although I would’ve liked to have read some parts of the story from other POVs, I’ve fallen in love with Cassidy as a stronger and fun teenager character (psss, she’s a Gryffindor!). The story felt like a fun adventure read with the right amount of creepy tones, and a great premise: Cassidy has been able to see ghosts and trespassing the Veil (the thin wall between the living and the dead) from a year ago, when she almost died while drowning in a lake but was brought back by Jacob, a ghost (of whom we don’t know anything about his death or past) who’s now her best friend. The interesting premise is built into a big adventure when Cassidy’s parents (The Inspecters, a ghost-hunting team) are heading to Edinburgh for their new TV show, and Cass (and Jacob) have to go with them. I've loved the setting (Edinburgh as a haunted historical city), atmosphere, descriptions, Harry Potter vibes, and characters –in Edinburgh Cass will meet Lara, a girl who can also see the dead–, but I had some minor problems with the pacing and final chapters: I think the story is wrapped in a rushed way to have a 'happy ending'. Nevertheless, I think this book is an interesting beginning for the series and I can’t wait to see what will be the next Cassidy’s adventure (and where it will take place!). All in all, I would recommend this book if you’re a big fan of Victoria Schwab and/or middle-grade books, but if you want this kind of creepy story with ghosts but prefer her YA or adult books, you should give The Archived a try before this one!
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down! This book reminded me of The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. In that series, Suzannah can speak to ghosts, and she has one particular ghost, Jesse, who follows her around. Cass and Jacob’s relationship reminded me of Suzannah and Jesse. There were also loads of Harry Potter references in this book, which is always a plus for me! This story was very fast-paced. A lot of things happened in a short amount of time. The ending also left it open to become a series. The only problem is that I want to read the next book now! I’ll definitely be recommending this book to YA and middle grade readers!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I was hoping for a more creepy, intense read when I checked this novel out. I am hoping that this novel was just setting this series up and that it was just provoking the reader to pick up the next book in the series which it did for me. I hope the next novel in this series will be more involved, more mysterious, and scary. I thought this novel was interesting and I liked the idea of Cassidy and Jacob being friends. No one can see or hear Jacob besides Cassidy because Jacob is a spirit. Cassidy’s parents write paranormal activity novels so they don’t think anything of Cassidy’s friend. Jacob is basically Cassidy’s only friend. When her family takes a trip to London to cast a show showcasing the parent’s novels, Cassidy runs into a young girl who actually sees Jacob. Lara and Cassidy don’t meet eye-to-eye but I think they need each other. With London filled with mystical activity, the parents are supposed to be the experts here but Cassidy and Jacob are getting some heavy feelings and they don’t like the streets of London. I’m hoping this series doesn’t go lightly. I hope as Cassidy travels with her parents, she uses her talent to encounter some disturbing beings.
BookPrincessReviews More than 1 year ago
This book was a bit of an odd one for me. There was nothing really wrong with it, and I flew through it, but there was just something big missing for me. I guess I wanted more, and maybe it was really high expectations that I had placed on it that made it lacking for me? I just kept looking at my book, asking it to give me something else besides what it was. I think the two big issues for me were the setting and the characters and my higher expectations on them. A big part of this book was really toted as the city of ghosts and the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh. Scotland has always been a place that I've been dying to go to, and I was so so so excited to read about it. I was ready to be immersed in the spooky setting. And while it did have a cool vibe, I never really got the full pictures. I feel like I would see snapshots of the city every once in a while, but I never really could picture what it was supposed to look like or really feel like. I couldn't describe to you what Lane's End or the castle really looked like, and I just felt like I was missing the essential vibes of the setting to fully immerse myself. I also did like the characters and thought they were a good cast of characters. Everyone felt pretty realistic, and I especially enjoyed Lara, Findley, and Cassidy's parents. However, for Cassidy and Jacob who are the main characters, I really found a disconnection with them. I didn't feel like I was invested them as characters. I mean, they were good enough, but I felt like I was skimming the surface with them instead of deep diving (oh, this is awkward phrasing when I think about the way Cassidy ended up seeing ghosts in the first place. I'm cringing for myself.) I just wanted deeper characterization and what really made them tick. I never really understood Cassidy's and Jacob's motivations, and Jacob is still quite a bit of mystery to me. One thing I did love was the ghost lore and how infused this book was with the ghosties. Schwab put in a lot of intriguing and interest facts and history about ghosts in Edinburgh but it never felt like a Wikipedia page or boring history. It was lively and cool and so fascinating. I loved those parts, and I'm now writing down places I want to hit up for sure based off these intriguing tidbits that Schwab stuck in. Her concept of ghosts and the Veil was intriguing as well, and I really liked the world she created. Schwab's writing was a bit different for me for this one. Her writing didn't really feel like her previous works. It wasn't a bad thing - just a different thing. Her pacing was fantastic, though, and I just breezed right through this book. Overall, there were a few things that were really lacking for me in this book, but it was a fun little read that brought some good ghostie moments and cool stories. I would have liked a little more depth with the main characters and a little more description of the setting, and it was a bit different than Schwab's usual writing. However, this was the perfect story to read for the readathon and the fall season. And now I desperately want to go to Scotland. 3 crowns and a Belle rating!
Scarls17 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful middle grade story of a young girl who has a ghost for a best friend and can cross the veil from the living to the dead. It's *not* scary, but it's wonderfully creepy and Schwab does a great job describing what it's like to cross over. I loved loved loved that the story was set in Edinburgh and being able to imagine the real places was so fun! Also LOVED the fun references!
graysn More than 1 year ago
honestly devoured this book. It's a fun ride from beginning to end. The Veil was a creepy place that I wanna keep exploring. The characters are fun and the world building is awesome,. Definitely an enjoying read.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I don’t read middle grade...well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve read a few and while I have liked them, I wasn’t losing my mind for them. Of course that changed when I got my hands on City of Ghosts. I love love loved Cassidy and Jacob. Cassidy is a smart girl and maybe she’s not the most careful person, but her inquisitiveness was relatable. Jacob is interesting. I would have liked to know more about him and what happened. I loved their relationship and how they were twisted up together. Cassidy’s parents are well meaning and passionate and the family dynamic was fun. Plot wise it was engaging. I was captivated with the situation and the imagery of Scotland. And the creepy factor was just perfect. There are a few interesting reveals and though the build up was mild, the story doesn’t let go from page one. Overall, it was everything I could have wanted for a MG story. I would happily read more of these characters, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a series. **Huge thanks to Scholastic for giving away arcs at YallWest**
TheLiteraryEmpress More than 1 year ago
ARC provided by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review. Victoria Schwab does it again. If 10-year-old me had her hands on City of Ghosts she wouldn’t have hated reading with a vengeance. First I have to say this loud and clear so everyone knows: City of Ghosts is MIDDLE GRADE! It is not YA, and certainly not Adult. But Victoria is a master of prose, a magician of craft, and an incredible author. I trusted her to take me on a journey, but I never expected the one I went on in City of Ghosts. To start, City of Ghosts is a slow burning adventure that suddenly hits its climax like a brick wall. If you don’t like really long drawn out tension and suspense, then this book will not be for you. But it is glorious in it’s way of making the tension hang at the back of your mind. For a middle grade, I think City of Ghosts has the perfect amount of creepy/spookiness to it, enough to keep you on edge and questioning what comes next, but never once was I truly terrified * because I am rather squeamish. The friendship between Cassidy and Jacob is so freaking adorable! It’s almost like siblings and it makes my heart stutter because it’s so precious. I don’t know what else to say besides I wish I’d had this book when I was a young girl, because I hated reading and this would have shown me that books aren’t boring. So here’s to the adventurer, the dreamer, the explorer; here’s to the middle grade me who desperately needed a city full of ghosts and the story of a haunted girl.