Book Review: City of Ghosts/Tunnel of Bones

The first two books in the Cassidy Blake series, which features the young protagonist as a seeker of ghosts, are fast-paced and character-rich and full of ghosts. City of Ghosts is the first in the series by Victoria Schwab, and Tunnel of Bones is the second.

I found the series at my library, and I was initially attracted by the cover of City of Bones, with a girl and a cat in the mist of a city. It was only halfway through the book that I realized that I have read this author’s adult series, Shades of Magic, with great interest and found them to be wonderful stories of imagination.

Here, in this new series, Cassidy is finding her way forward after nearly dying but being saved by a ghost, Jacob, who becomes her friend and companion. Her parents are filming a television series about haunted places, which means that Cassidy and Jacob get to explore Scotland in the first book and then Paris, in the second, learning more about the “Veil” — where Cassidy has the power to see ghosts still wandering their last memories. Another character with similar powers has told Cassidy that she must use this ability to send ghosts on, to help them cross from the world of the Veil.

In the first story, Cassidy is nearly destroyed by a ghost eager to steal Cassidy’s life and in the second, she must help the ghost of a young boy who was killed in the Catacombs of Paris, although the young poltergeist amps up the mayhem and puts Cassidy in danger.

The writing is strong, with a solid pace, and the slow unraveling of Jacob’s back story unfolds nicely, as is the friendship between human girl and ghost boy, whom Cassidy should send back across the Veil with her powers but refuses to do so. These books are a perfect fit for middle school readers who like a good ghost story with strong characters.

NOTE: I am now reading the third installment in the series.

Peace (in the Veil),

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