If you haven’t read the Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab yet, check out books 1 and 2, City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones! I will link my reviews for them here:
If you have read the first two books, or don’t mind possibly getting spoiled, then come on in and enjoy the review!
This review will be spoiler free (for the third book) and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab
Published: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: MG Paranormal Fantasy
Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?
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 travelling 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 colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.
Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet…
After the ending of Tunnel of Bones, I was curious to find out what the death mask figure was. Introducing a new being to us, a harbinger and servant of Death, was something I didn’t see coming in this series. And while we had been focusing on Jacob and worrying about him as he continues to grow stronger, we also now have to worry about Cassidy and Lara, our inbetweeners who Death wants back.
Like with very Schwab book, I loved it. The way she writes her stories and just immerses us in the scenery, while also not making it too concentrated, is just perfection. I could see and smell the streets of New Orleans. Taste the food Cassidy got to try. I could experience everything Cassidy was experiencing without feeling like it was lacking anything or might be too difficult for younger readers. I’m always impressed when authors can write such beautiful stories with half the page count of a typical YA or adult novel. It’s definitely not something I could do well.
And as we move along with Cassidy’s story, we have Jacob to help lighten the moments and bring us some much needed humor. His and Cass’ relationship is always so heartwarming and I love their banter. Lara is also a great person to add to the mix, because her seriousness and mild sass is always a great addition to the group, especially when her and Jacob go back and forth.
One thing I was a bit sad about though, was the lack of ghostly encounters. Since this story does focus more on Cassidy, and the servant of Death chasing her down, we don’t get as many moments with her meeting new ghosts or passing them along. Not to say that there aren’t those moments, but it is less often than in the first two books. But, adding in this new challenge and changing the focus was also brillant. We got to learn more about Cassidy and Lara’s near-death experience and understand what they went through a little bit more.
While this book doesn’t have as many ghosts taking up Cassidy’s time, we do get to see some iconic figures, such as The Axeman of New Orleans – a man who went on a killing spree and murdered anyone not paying jazz music from 1918-1919. And Delphine LaLaurie’s house – the socialite who tortured and murdered slaves in her home, though this one was more of a mention rather than an interaction. We even get to see some of the infamous graveyards throughout the city, among other iconic places!
I really do love Schwab’s books and I will read anything she writes. Based off the ending, I’m not sure if there are going to be more books in the series. On one hand, it wraps up some of the issues from previous books nicely, but then leaves other things more open. So we could get more books, but I’m not sure. I hope so!
Overall, this is a great middle grade series and Bridge of Souls is a great addition to the world of spooky stories that anyone can enjoy. If you’re considering reading this series, I say do it! Read the books and enjoy the frights! I sure did!
If you like ghost stories, I would definitely check out The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (YA series) or The Mediator series, with the first book being Shadowland by Meg Cabot (YA)! I don’t have a lot of middle grade (MG) recommendations, so if you have any good recs similar to City of Ghosts, please leave them below!