City of Ghosts | V E Schwab | Review

“People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere. In the bread aisle at your grocery store, in the middle of your grandmother’s garden, in the front seat on your bus.”

“Stories have power,” she says. “So long as you believe them.”





They’re here.

They’re watching.

Cass can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh. Here, graveyards, castles and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms.

But when Cats meets a girl who shares her “gift”, she realises 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.


I can only compare my relationship with this book, to Cassidy’s relationship with the Veil – from the instant I saw it I was drew in and once I was emerged I just could not leave. Honestly, this book is brilliant. I knew from the moment I picked it up that I would love it purely based on the fact that V E Schwab is the author. I am yet to find a book of hers that I do not love. Obviously, this book is aimed at a younger audience however I am still glad that I picked it up because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The world-building in this book was phenomenal. I feel like this aspect of writing is particularly strong for V E Schwab, every book I have read from her so far have really excelled in this area. I have always been immersed and hooked in the world that she is describing and this book was no exception. I loved the dark element of this book, and the building of the world beyond the Veil – a concept that I absolutely love. I truly loved this aspect and I found myself wanting more and more from it.

I really loved the relationship between Cassidy and Jacob. It is quite clear from the beginning that she lives a chaotic lifestyle with very little support from her parents. The flourishing relationship between her and Jacob, Jacob practically being her only friend is truly heart warming and I absolutely loved watching it develop. In general, I don’t think that I have ever believed in ghosts, however this book did get me thinking about children and their imaginary friends? I will definitely view that idea differently after reading this book. I also really enjoyed the banter between them, so many times I found myself laughing whilst reading City of Ghosts and it was mainly down to the banter between these pair. From Jacob jumping in photos to make Cass laugh, knowing that nobody else can see, to the jokes he makes towards his lack of understanding of Cass’ beloved Harry Potter.

That brings me on to another point. THERE ARE SO MANY HARRY POTTER REFERENCES MY HEART IS SO FULL. I already know how much of a super fan Schwab is of Harry Potter as I was lucky enough to attend a book signing of hers this year, but to see her incorporate her love into one of her novels is fantastic and it just made me love the book even more. I also loved the fact that this book is set in Edinburgh and Schwab did not forget to include the routes of how the story began and the magical elements that this City possesses. Honestly, the Harry Potter references in this book just solidified the fact that I loved it so much.

” Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Are you asking because I am English? No, I’m asking because it’s Harry Potter and it’s amazing. And the author wrote the books here. Well, the history of the Elephant House is contested by the locals. But I have always fancied myself as a Ravenclaw.”

I also really enjoyed the dark elements of this book, particularly the Red Raven. For a middle grade/YA book I found this fairly intense but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This might have had the desired scary effect if I was a younger reader however I absolutely was spooked and it really did get me thinking.

I definitely need more from these characters and from this world. I cannot wait for the next book to be released later in the year so I can absorb myself into this world again. Bravo, Schwab, yet again you have produced a book that I have truly loved.

“Theres a difference between wanting to stay and being too afraid to let go”

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