A Girl and Her Ghost

When your life is tethered to death, do you break the string or hold it tighter?


Bridge of Souls, by Victoria Schwab. Scholastic Press. 320 pp. $17.99.


Not only has this reader fallen in love with New Orleans, but so has our protagonist Cassidy Blake, her parents, and her ghost companion Jacob. In the Bridge of Souls—the third book in Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts series—Cass joins her ghost-hunting parents, the “Inspecters”, on their trip to film the most haunted locations around the world for their upcoming documentary.

New Orleans has a rich history that stays alive despite being “scarred by slavery, consumed by fire, ravaged by flood, and rebuilt.” It is the birthplace of jazz, home of mouthwatering cuisine, and the land of extravagant festivals. The city has 42 cemeteries and contains the United States’ longest bridge, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, that stretches 24 continuous miles over water. While driving over this “Bridge of Souls”, one cannot see land for 8 of its 24 miles. The Blake family have a full schedule ahead of them with places such as the “Place d’Armes Hotel, Muriel’s Restaurant, the St. Louis cemeteries, Lafayette Cemetery, The Old Ursuline Convent, and the Lalaurie Mansion.” These locations sound great on paper, but for Cass it’s been a nightmare ever since her life was changed a year ago.

In the past two novels, we learned that only those who nearly perish and are saved can pull back the curtain of death to see which spirits remain on Earth. Cass, herself, was saved by a boy she now calls her best friend, Jacob. At first, she believes she’s the only one who can see him—scary enough because Jacob’s dead—but as she travels to Scotland and Paris, Cassidy finds others who can sense Jacob’s presence.

Schwab’s Bridges of Souls traps the reader just as the Emissary of Death (an entity from beyond the Veil) traps Cass in a game of cat and mouse as she embarks on her journey through New Orleans. As our “In-betweener” learns more about her abilities, readers will certainly be captivated by Schwab’s continued development of the Veil and its connection to the “living” world. Jacob, too, is growing and is able to interact with the physical world more and more—worryingly so, for he could wind up turning into a poltergeist!

As Cass follows her ghost-loving mother and sticks-to-the-facts father around the Crescent City’s most haunted places, she must question which path she will take or if all paths lead to failure. This third novel is filled with twists and turns that will leave you wanting more. Schwab does a brilliant job of using suspense to make us worry about our hero’s safety. We have grown attached to Cassidy as well as those close to her own heart, but will she be able to save her friends and dodge the Emissary without sacrificing something of herself?


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