Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Unbeknownst to her parents, who write books about ghosts but have never seen one, 12-year-old Cassidy Blake has paranormal abilities: ever since she almost drowned, she's been able to visit the spirit realm. She is best friends with Jacob, the apparition who saved her life, and whenever she encounters a phantom, she feels compelled to "cross the veil." Constant specter activity exhausts Cassidy, so she is dismayed to learn that her family is headed for Edinburgh to film a haunted cities television show. There, Cassidy meets Lara Jayne Chowdhury, a girl with similar skills. Jacob doesn't trust Lara, but Cassidy thinks the self-proclaimed ghost hunter could shed light on her own abilities and prove useful-particularly after they attract the attention of a malevolent specter. This atmospheric ghost story from Schwab (the Monsters of Verity duology) chills and charms while challenging readers to face their fears. Courageous, quick-witted Cassidy inspires, her relationship with Jacob is tender, and the thrilling conclusion is sure to gratify. Ages 8-12. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-8-Cassidy is looking forward to a mostly ghost-free summer vacation when her parents, paranormal history authors, break the news that, instead of a summer at the shore, their family will be traveling to Edinburgh to investigate the most haunted places in Scotland. This trip of a lifetime is exciting but also scary for Cassidy, who has the power to cross "the Veil" and see ghosts ever since her brush with death. Thankfully, her best friend, a ghost named Jacob, comes along for the trip and helps her navigate the haunted streets of Edinburgh. Cass encounters some scary haunts and is forced to reckon with the strongest ghost she has ever met, all while learning the true purpose of her powers. Schwab paints an eerie portrait of haunted locales and her descriptions of the various ghosts and their terrible ends will send shivers down even the bravest readers' spines. She also portrays modern Edinburgh with accuracy, and readers will be eager to look up pictures of the medieval castle looming over modern streets. The story moves quickly, and children will be intrigued enough to keep reading even in light of the terrifying events. VERDICT This fast-paced, spooky ghost story filled with international adventure is sure to please horror enthusiasts and armchair travelers.-Ellen Conlin, Naperville Public Library, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A near-death experience leaves Cassidy Blake altered and with a ghost named Jacob for a best friend, their existences somehow entwined. She can also sense other ghosts and, when she chooses, pull back the Veil between the living world and the dead to visit spirits caught in a kind of limbo. When her parents paranormal investigators, who, ironically, can't see Jacob begin hosting a ghost-hunting TV show, the Blakes travel to Scotland to film in Edinburgh's most haunted areas, which exercise an alarmingly strong pull on Cass. As she and Jacob puzzle through why this might be, they meet another girl who not only has the same ability as Cass but reveals the ability's purpose. Schwab ratchets up the tension when a malevolent ghost targets Cass, putting her life on the line once more. Readers craving a spooky story that won't terrorize their dreams will do well with this. Genuine frights are offset by Cass' rapport with Jacob, which injects a steady stream of humor into the spirited, mysterious narrative. A polished, fast-paced read, sure to be popular. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Schwab's YA fantasies are regularly best-sellers, and this has every reason to follow suit.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Twelve-year-old Cassidys parents, experts on the historical and social contexts of ghost stories, have just accepted an offer to shoot a reality TV show pilot in Edinburgh, the titular City of Ghosts. What they dont know is that, after a near-death experience a year ago, Cass herself now has the ability to see beyond the Veil and a best friend whos, wellcorporeally challenged. (Jacob is sensitive about the g-word.) When a particularly strong, malevolent spirit known as the Raven in Red plots to trap Cass in the Veil and steal the girls life, Cass and Jacob must rely on their wits and the expertise of fellow in-betweener Lara to protect both of their existences. That Casss camera, which was damaged in her accident, now captures images of the afterlifeoperating, like its owner, somewhere between our world and the nextis just one intriguing element of Schwabs fresh spin on ghost tales. She evokes the real-world Edinburgh with plenty of vivid sensory detail, and imbues the Veil and its inhabitants with spine-tingling spookiness and melancholy. The humor and warmth of the protagonists strong bond and the support and safety of Casss and Laras loving families nicely balance the suspense of this supernatural adventure. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
The 900-year-old city of Edinburgh takes center stage in this middle-grade ghost story.Since a near-death experience a year ago, Cassidy Blake can see ghosts. She can enter the Veil, the curtain between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her best friend, Jacob, is one of the "corporeally challenged." Cass' parents, paranormal-nonfiction authors known as the Inspecters (pun intended), have big news: The family is off to Scotland to film the first episode of their self-titled docuseries about haunted places. In Edinburgh, Cass meets Lara Chowdhury, a British-Indian girl who shares Cass' ability. Lara informs Cass they are ghost hunters whose purpose is to help ghosts pass beyond the Veil (what Lara calls the "in-between") to the "place beyond." When a sinister specter known as the Raven in Red sets her malevolent sights on Cass, the American must use her new knowledge to save her own life. Cass narrates in the present tense, and Jacob, who can hear her thoughts, interrupts when he doesn't agree with her. This clever narrative style choice and the real-world setting, which includes the cafe where Harry Potter was "born" and the most haunted cemetery in Europe, Greyfriars, firmly anchor the story in reality. The dead lack diversity, and biracial Lara seems to be the only living person of color (her father is British-Indian, and her mother is Scottish).Begs to be read in the dark of night. (Paranormal adventure. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.