Book One in the Cassidy Blake series.
Published: 2018 by Scholastic Children’s Books
Genres: Middle Grade fiction, fantasy fiction.
Page Count: 285 pages
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.
When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
I had so been looking forward to this book! Victoria Schwab has been a recent discovery for me, I mean, A Darker Shade of Magic was my first read of 2018 and made me fall in love with her stellar writing, and I can happily count both her Shades of Magic and Monsters of Verity series among my all time favourites, so you can definitely imagine I had high hopes for this book and was waiting with baited breath for my copy to arrive!
As soon as I started this book, I felt like I was in for a treat! A strange, spooky, wonderful treat! I instantly felt drawn to the plot, just as Cassidy feels drawn to ghosts. I mean, even at the first page, this story felt so memorable, and I couldn’t help but feel attached to Cass right away! She is just such a precious character and I wanted to hug her and Jacob throughout! I loved their friendship, I mean, they are both so endearing! I was literally grinning because they had some of the most fun banter and they just care about one another so much!
And I mean, Jacob, he felt so complex, but in a good way? I felt like I wanted to know more about him, and I still do! I say complex, well, you will know what I mean when I read the book, for he’s not exactly human….but I love how loyal he is to Cassie, and vice versa! He’s hilarious too, there was a scene where he was saying a part of Edinburgh reminds him of Tumbledore and The Magic Hat (actually he meant Dumbledore and the Sorting hat), Cassie being a Harry Potter fan!
That was another thing that I love, Cassie and Lara are Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, respectively, and although I was unsure about Lara’s character at first, I ended up loving her by the end! And of course Cassidy herself is so likeable, honestly, I need the next book now! Her family are just amazing and I loved their curiosity and passion for ghosts and all things spooky, seeing her folks film their tv series was so fabulous, Schwab’s writing was so vivid, I felt like I was there! And coupled with such spooky Scottish lore, this made for such a delightfully strange, spooky read! There was even a black cat in the book, by the name of Grim, who made me chuckle with his ticked off look!
I definitely feel like I could already read infinite stories about Cassidy, so I’m definitely counting this book as a new favourite! I cannot wait to see what’s in store for everyone next!