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“You know, I thought you climbing into an open grave and hiding beneath a corpse was a bad idea, Cass, but this is making that look positively sensible,” Jacob. –Tunnel of Bones
Tunnel of Bones
City of Ghost #2
by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy isn’t excited to be in one of the most haunted cities in the world—Paris. While her parents are filming their TV shows about haunted cities, Cassidy doesn’t plan on attracting danger. But when her parents take her to the creepy underground Catacombs, Cassidy finds danger lurking in the shadows.
When Cassidy accidentally awakens a frightening, strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghost hunter and her friends, both old and new, to help her unravel a mystery. As the spirit grows strong, Cassidy realizes that she’s not the only one in trouble. Soon the ghost causes disaster after disaster, which endangers the people Cassidy loves. Can Cassidy stop the angry spirit, or will he haunt her city forever?
The second installment of the City of Ghost series will not disappoint. As Cassidy follows her parents through Paris, Cassidy gets a firsthand look at some of Paris’s ghostly stories. While many of the ghostly encounters could be deadly, Cassidy’s best friend (and ghost), Jacob, is always waiting in the shadows in order to keep Cassidy out of trouble. Readers will enjoy Cassidy’s inquisitive mind and courage.
Cassidy’s adventures take her into Paris’s underground as well as to several of Paris’s landmarks. The adventure is at times creepy and suspenseful, but always interesting. Tunnel of Bones adds several new and interesting twists. As Cassidy tries to help a young ghost remember his past, she begins to wonder if Jacob will also begin to lose his memory of his earthly life. The parallel between the two ghosts adds an interesting dimension to the story.
Tunnel of Bones will entertain readers with a good ghost story. The easy-to-read text contains short sentences and offers action, description, and dialogue. Although several ghosts make a short appearance that does not enhance the plot, a little boy ghost continues to reappear which gives the story an air of mystery and unexpected danger. Cassidy’s faithful friends and encounters with frightening ghosts mixed with a dash of humor creates a highly entertaining ghost story. Although Tunnel of Bones can be read as a stand-alone novel, readers will not want to miss the first book of the series, City of Ghost.
- When Cassidy goes into the Veil, she drops a necklace and begins to look for it. “But before I can reach it, the ghost grabs me by the collar and pushes me back against a tree. I try to twist free, but even though he’s a ghost and I’m not, the Veil levels the playing field.” Cassidy’s friend Jacob comes to her aid. “The ghost looks sideways just as Jacob swings the bucket at his head. The man staggers, black tar dripping down his face, and I gasp, dropping to the ground.” Cassidy uses her mirror to send the man on. The scene is described over three pages.
- In order to see a ghost, Cassidy climbs onto a roof. When the ghost sees her, he pushes her off the roof. Cassidy is “falling, and somewhere between the edge of the roof and the lawn below, I cross back through the Veil and land hard on the ground beside the crypt. The fall knocks all the air from my lungs and sends pain jolting up through my right arm, and for a second all I can do is blink away the stars and hope I didn’t break anything.” Cassidy’s arm “zings” but she isn’t seriously injured.
- When Cassidy opens the Veil, she sees a man “in an old-fashioned suit. He lifts an old-fashioned pistol and aims it straight at me, and Jacob wrenches me back out of the Veil before the shot goes off.”
- The poltergeist opens the back door of a truck and “the contents begin to spill out. Boxes and crates smash into the street, followed by a massive golden frame that hurtles straight towards me.”
- When Cassidy goes into the Veil, she is on a train car. When she changes train cars, she sees a ghost. “And as he turns, I see the knife buried in his stomach. His own hand curled around the blade as if to keep it from falling out. The sheen of blood running down his front.” Jacob drags Cassidy out of the train car and slams the door.
- While looking for the poltergeist, Cassidy runs into a man. “The man snarls and grabs me, shoving me against a wall of bones that rattle as they dig into my back. I gasp, but I manage to swipe the cap from his head before Jacob lunges at the spirit from behind, hauling him backwards. . . Jacob slams the other ghost into a pillar of skulls. The bones topple with a crash, and the man drips, dazed, to his hands and knees.” Cassidy and Jacob run away.
- In order to help the poltergeist remember his past, Jacob grabs ahold of the boy. The boy “thrashes, trying to twist free. The air around him ripples and glows red, and the whole tunnel begins to shake as the crimson light spreads over everything, splitting across the floor, the ceiling and the walls of bone. . . The whole ground begins to shake with the force of Thomas’s displeasure. Even the wall of bones to my left begins to tremble and shift.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Someone tells a story about a man that was invited to a party. When the man goes to the party, “he found a party in full swing, and passed the night with music and wine and excellent company. . . And then something hits me. Not the frame, but a pair of hands. They plant themselves against my back and shove, and I stumbled forward to the pavement, scraping my palm as the frame crashes into the stone wall and rains glass onto the street behind me.”
- Cassidy’s parents are in their hotel room “sharing a bottle of red wine.”
- Cassidy’s best friend, Jacob, is a ghost and can read her mind.
- Cassidy can travel through the Veil and the in-between where ghosts live. Cassidy explains, “That’s the thing about the Veil: It only exists where there’s a ghost. It’s like a stage where spirits act out their final moments, whatever happened that won’t let them move on.”
- When Cassidy goes into the Veil, “the world around me—vanishes. The carnival lights, the crowds, the sounds and smells of the summer night. Gone. For a second, I’m falling. And then I’m back on my feet.”
- In order to get a ghost to move beyond the Veil, Cassidy holds up a mirror for the ghost to look into. Then she says, “Watch and listen, see and know. This is what you are.” When Cassidy says the words, “the whole Veil ripples around us, and the ghost thins until I can see through him, see the dark thread coiled inside his chest. Lightless, lifeless. I reach out and take hold of the thread, the last thing binding him here, to this world. It feels cold and dry under my fingers, like dead leaves in the fall. As I pull the cord from his chest, it crumbles in my palm. Vanishes in a plume of smoke. And then, so does the ghost.” Cassidy completes the same pattern on two other ghosts, and the ghosts disappear.
- Cassidy awakens a poltergeist. Cassidy’s friend tells her, “It’s a spirit drawn to spectral energy… It was probably dormant until it sensed yours, Cassidy. . . That cold sensation you’ve been feeling, it is a kind of intuition, a warning that strong spirits are near. . . Poltergeists are wanderers. They’re not stuck in a loop or a memory, and they’re not tied to the place they died.”
- While trying to understand ghosts, Cassidy calls a friend that tells her “the Veil is tailored to fit the ghost, [and] the place they died, which means it’s essentially tied to the ghost’s memory—that’s what binds it there. So if a poltergeist isn’t bound to the Veil, it’s because—they don’t remember.”