Blog Book Tour | “The Wish Rider” (Book No.2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey

Posted Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the F.I.G. Mysteries series hosted by iRead Book Tours. As I prefer to read serial fiction in order of publication and/or order of the series (if differential), I requested to receive the first novel in order to understand the second in sequence. This is my second review for the tour which is anchoured to my first review highlighting it’s beginning from yesterday! I received a complimentary copy of “The Wish Rider” direct from the author Barbara Casey in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Wish Rider” (Book No.2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara CaseyThe Wish Rider
by Barbara Casey
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Eighteen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the F.I.G.'s (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world.

Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks her friends to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother.

Their determination turns to desperation, however, as they encounter a dark hidden society more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined. It is there that

Dara hopes to find out why she was abandoned in a candy store all those years ago.

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ISBN: 978-1942314448

Also by this author: The Cadence of Gypsies

Also in this series: The Cadence of Gypsies


Genres: Amateur Detective, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary


Published by Hungry Goat Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 160

Published By: Hungry Goat Press (@HungryGoatPress)

an imprint of Gauthier Publications

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Note: Corrected the Synopsis to reflect Dara is eighteen when the story begins, not seventeen.

About Barbara Casey

Barbara Casey

Barbara Casey is a partner in Strategic Media Books, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. She is also a manuscript consultant and the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories.

Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary adult novel received several awards including the prestigious IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. Her most recent young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, received the Independent Publishers Living Now Award and was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of Best Books.

Ms. Casey makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix, Fitz, a miniature dachshund, and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

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My review of The Wish Rider:

Although I hadn’t fully connected with the girls in the debut of the series, I was hoping when they were inclusive to a different setting and pace of life outside the academy where we met them, I’d find a stronger connection to them. Originally, I had preferred reading about the link between Carolina and the Gypsy; as the Gypsy held such a strong connection for me, as her character was truly an interesting one to read about whilst her story-line was full of drama and heartache. This second story picks up after the girls and Carolina learn quite a few things from their adventures in Italy; where the focus is now on Dara who wishes to seek out her birth mother. I have a fondness for stories of Adoption and the children of Foster Care – which is why I had hoped perhaps I might connect more with the sequel, too.

The opening bits of the story re-tell the heart of the debut novel but with a different cadence of disclosure than how the first one was written. In some ways, this time round, the events and the timeline of the first novel felt stronger simply because they were being journalled in memory through Dara; she was the leading voice relating how the girls wound up being interconnected through Carolina whilst explaining how Carolina changed their lives with their trip to Italy. I also felt more connected to Dara, as she turns to lost languages as a coping mechanism when she becomes too anxious or upset about something that is bothering her on a deeper level than anything rudimentary. Languages to her feel like her internal balance beam, where she can return to feel solace and a breath of stability. Her heart is worried about what she will find when she locates her birth-mother, of whom is missing from her life from a sudden absence years ago. You can connect to her emotional state a bit faster in this installment of the series, which I prefer, as it makes the characters more grounded.

This is exactly what I was hoping to find – a quicker introduction to who the girls were and what made each of them individually ‘click’ as a talented young woman! I had missed this in the debut and am wicked thankful each girl in turn was given a chance to make her introduction to the reader right off the bat – so not only do you know who is whom but you get a firm image in your mind about who they are whilst knowing more about what their particular talent is at the same time! If anything, right from the beginning of reading The Wish Rider, I could tell it was written in a different voice than The Cadence of Gypsies. I think this is why I felt more invested in reading this story than the first, too. I like to become instantly connected to characters, to find a reason to stay with them and learn more about their life. When I feel disconnected it’s harder to find a reason to connect or even care about what is going on in the story.

The girls’ each had a reason to distrust people – they were overlooked for Adoption for starters, but it was more about how they each were given a gift that put them outside the step of the lives of their peers or those of whom were older than they were that set them part. Dara had the mind for languages, but Mackenzie was the mathematician whose thoughts tied themselves around symbols and equations; whilst Jennifer had a mind for colours, art and the ways in which visual portraits can clue themselves into tangible meanings. Jennifer I felt might even have Synesthesia, as everything inside her mental imagery is connected to colour driven imagery. The way in which they chose to band together – the three against the world – is quite realistically true, as oft-times friendships are forged in foster care or other alternative outlets of adolescence where a match for a family is not found. They created their own family unit and pieced together their lives as best they could – giving them a reason to stay positive and focused on their futures. It’s commendable and worth noting that if Carolina hadn’t entered their lives, they might not have felt as motivated to stay ‘on target’ for doing good as much as they could have fallen into habits that swung them outside the law.

Lyuba (the Gypsy) slips inside the narrative to re-anchour her inclusion and purpose inside Carolina’s life which I felt was a good segue to re-ground who she was inside the series. The heartbreak she through in her life was truly horrific but it is a testament of her strength how she was able to overcome the unthinkable. Seeing Lyuba happy again in her spirit and finding she was given a window of hope to erase the immense grief she had from so long ago was quite moving. She remained true to her Gypsy heritage, continuing to teach the newer generations about her talent for apothecary and keeping her mind moving forward by thinking kinder thoughts about her future.

The search for Dara’s mother turns quite harrowing – in some ways, I was not expecting the dramatic conclusion of the story, as I thought it was going to be a different kind of mother-daughter reunion. However, despite that, what was telling is how strong the relationship was built between the F.I.G.S. and Carolina – they truly were a family that sticks together even when everything goes wrong or becomes more dangerous than you ever set out to think possible! There were a few things I felt seemed a bit odd (such as the way the police dealt with Dara’s disappearance) but perhaps those were written that way to stall for time for other things to occur soon after. Your not able to pause for breath as the conclusion is at a fast clip followed by what is becoming a mainstay of the series – the reflections and joy of a curious group of girls who found not only themselves through friendship but found a reason to have purpose in their lives.

Note: Most of the first story has been re-introduced and re-explained throughout The Wish Rider to such an extent, I would nearly suggest starting with this book instead of the first. I hadn’t thought I’d find so much of the debut of the series inside the sequel, but I was thinking perhaps the author had decided to re-start or re-begin the series? Either way, whether it was done to help new readers understand the back-stories of the lead characters and/or provide an alternative entrance into the F.I.G. Mysteries, this installment is paced better and gives you more information straight-off that helps you alight inside the core of what is happening. With the flashback sequences and telling of the original adventure, you won’t miss anything at all! Normally, this isn’t the case with sequels as the ‘re-telling’ bits are shorter and not as fully expressed; warranting reading a series in full sequence of publication.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 by jorielov in Apothecary, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Herbalist, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy, Orphans & Guardians, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction




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One response to “Blog Book Tour | “The Wish Rider” (Book No.2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey

  1. I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful, thoughtful review of THE WISH RIDER, Book 2 in The F.I.G. Mysteries. I am so glad you found it interesting and entertaining, but, also, that you connected with Carolina and the FIGs. I wish you and your bloggers my best, and will look forward to visiting with you again.

    Barbara

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