Posted 20 hours ago

City of Ghosts: 1

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Joined in 2023

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I have read fantastic young adult and adult fiction works from Victoria Schwab and I have to say, she’s done it again with this new excursion in her writing! Sometimes you move between the worlds, you were dead, at least on the bridge of death, but you were saved. Pulled into the veil without her choice, Cass attracts the attention of the deadly Raven in Red, who’s intent on stealing Cass’s life-force and trapping her in the veil forever. Since this was my first Victoria Schwab book I can finally say that I’m intrigued by her writing style.

But when five frozen corpses are found neatly arranged between railway lines, Rossel is faced with the most puzzling - and most dangerous - case of his career. I don’t read many historical fiction books because I find myself a bit lost in that time as I wasn’t a big fan of history in my school time but I was born and raised in an easter European country and the setting for this story is very close from home, and the description made me want to give it a try and read it. This debut novel is gripping, becomes a real page turner and is orchestrated to a satisfyingly blood curdling finale. The serial killer element and its relation to the Leningrad philharmonic is clever enough, but as a whodunnit it barely passes muster. There is nothing worse than reading a historical crime novel where accuracy has been sacrificed to plot.

I have read quite a few books set in this particular period, and can honestly say that Creed does bring something new and fresh to this genre of crime fiction.

I’m seeing a lot of negative reviews from long-time Schwab readers who feel that it isn’t scary enough or is too predictable, and obviously everyone has the entire right to their own opinion, but to offer another perspective: as someone who is a long-time middle grade horror fan, I feel that this story absolutely excels at accomplishing its goals. Take a trip with me if you will into the heart of Stalinist Russia in this rich and vivid debut novel, City of Ghosts by Ben Creed. This is a book about a girl named Cassidy who, while riding her bike one day, has a near collision with a lorry and ends up in a lake and drowns. If my life were as aesthetic as Victoria's covers, I would have had an editorial in VOGUE years ago. Story wise, the idea was great -as usual- and the story got interesting more and more (it was really good from the ghost hunters part and after that).

In the 1600s, 14 year old Kemosha escapes a life of slavery at the hands of the cruel Mr Powell and finds herself aboard the pirate ship The Satisfaction - armed with a sword and determined to save her family.

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