Friday, October 4, 2019

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Cassidy Blake and her ghost best friend Jacob follow her parents once again on their TV show about the world's most haunted sites. This time, they travel to Paris, France where the food is delicious and the Catacombs are full of ghosts. When she is pushed through the Veil into the ghost world there, she accidentally allows a strong, malicious ghost to resurface in the human world. Its antics start out small and then eventually threaten the city at large. Cassidy has to remind the ghost who it was before she can send it on and delve into the mystery with old friends and new while keeping her family in the dark about her abilities.

Tunnel of Bones is the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. She survived the Red Raven but not unscathed. Cassidy is still exploring her powers and their purpose that has put a bit of a rift between her and Jacob. She releases ghosts stuck in memory loops to go wherever they go after here. Jacob obviously feels uncomfortable with this and the only other person with these powers (Lara) keeps saying he will grow more and more powerful and dangerous. It's never far from her mind that she might have to do eventually free a dangerous Jacob since he's getting stronger all the time. The rift between them grows as they both keep their true feelings from each other. This aspect felt so real because friendships suffer when secrets and grudges are kept. Their relationship is most of what keeps the story grounded beneath the supernatural elements.

This new ghost threatens not only Cass and Jacob like the last book, but all of Paris. As its power grows, bigger and bigger catastrophes happen. It feeds off of chaos and causes more and more violence. The ghost Cass loosed has forgotten who he was in life and the normal methods of freeing him won't work unless they remind him, forcing them to investigate this poor little boy who died in the Catacombs. Cass is forced to make new French friends in order to help her out. The Parisian setting is rich with dark aspects of history such as the creation of the Catacombs, the bodies moved there, and the people who subsequently died there plus other various disasters and battles. The Catacombs is a place that is so incredibly creepy, dangerous, and mysterious which is captured so well in Schwab's prose.

Tunnel of Bones is a wonderfully dark middle grade that centers Cass and Jacob's friendship. I do think the first book was a bit better because she was exploring this world and establishing everything. This book is more of a straight forward action book. The problem between Jacob and Cass simmers for most of the story until they have a breakthrough in the very end. It didn't feel as deep as the first book and it felt pushed to the side until the main action was done. I still very much enjoyed it, but a tiny bit was missing from the first to the second book. I am still so excited for the third book and anxious to find out what's going to happen to Jacob!

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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