The ‘Cassidy Blake’ Series by Victoria Schwab

The ‘Cassidy Blake’ Series by Victoria Schwab
September 25, 2021 Alexandra Adlawan

It’s the Last Saturday of September.

Hope you’re ready for an October full of creepy, morbid and disturbing stories.

Let’s get started with a book series about a girl who can pull aside the Veil between the living and the dead.

Middle School

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)

Ever since Cass almost drowned, she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend, Jacob, 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.

Classic ‘lived through a near-death experience and now I see dead people’ with its own twist on ghosts. There’re many things in this book that helps it stand out from other ghost stories. I don’t want to spoil any of them but there is one part I want to elaborate on: photographs of ghosts.

The one main things about Cass is that she likes taking pictures using her old timey camera and develops the film herself in her own black room. When she travels through the Veil, she brings her camera with her, takes picture and sometimes the photos show wisps of smoke. I mentioned this before in a past review but when I was going through my ghost obsession, I visited a few haunted places like the Queen Mary and The Winchester Mystery House. I would take pictures with my instamatic camera and sometimes there would be weird floating orbs in the pictures that back then I believed to be ghosts but were probably spots of light. Bottomline, if you are obsessed with ghost stories, this is the series for you.

Ghost hunter shows are a dime a dozen, but Cass’s parent’s show sounded pretty interesting. They’re able to blend the history and myth of Edinburgh, Scotland in a way that is both informative and frightfully fascinating. It’s not just her parents walking around a supposedly haunted place in the dark with a camera, saying things like ‘did that curtain just moved?’ or ‘I just walked through a cold spot’.

 

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)

Cassidy Blake (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where her parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.
When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger. And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

I traveled to Paris back in 2014. The majestic beauty of the city was lost on me. I fell down the stairs at the Concergerie and, due to jetlag, I fell asleep during two separate driving tours. Anyway, back to the story.

You can’t make a TV show about the world’s most haunted cities without taking a trip to Paris, France. Many different haunted sites are visited throughout the story but the most iconic and morbid place in the city is the Catacombs. The story gives a full description and history of the Catacombs but in a nutshell the city need a place to put its dead, so they moved the bones from the cemeteries and put them underground in Paris’s former stone quarry tunnels. The Catacombs go down about five stories and is home to over 6 million bodies. I do not understand why this place is a popular tourist attraction. I’ve seen pictures, the place is just wall-to-wall skulls and bones. How is that enjoyable? It is however, the perfect place to find a poltergeist.

This story ends with a pretty big cliffhanger, so be sure to have the next book ready to go.

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3)

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while traveling for her parents’ TV show.
But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colorful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

I’m annoyed that I had to wait over a year between books 2 and 3. This is why I usually wait for all the books in a series to be written before reading the whole series.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book more than the first two. I loved learning about the history and hauntings of New Orleans and I was more invested in the story of Cassidy literally hiding from death.

Overall, I enjoyed this series, mostly for the haunting history lessons from Cassidy’s parents. I think these books are best suited for a middle school audience who are into spooky adventure stories.

 

I don’t know if this is the last book or if the series will continue on. I hope it will continue because I want a story set at the Queen Mary or the Winchester Mystery House. I am determined to find a middle school novel set in the Winchester Mystery House someday.

 

Sidenote, I thought it was weird how Harry Potter was referenced so many times throughout the series. It was like these books are sponsored by J.K. Rowling or something.

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