The Wish Rider (The F.I.G. Mysteries – 2) by Barbara Casey
Seventeen-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.
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.
Following the conclusion of Cadence of Gypsies, the FIGs have graduated and are getting ready to go to university. But with the reunion of Carolina and her mother, Dara starts thinking about how she was abandoned in a candy store. Dara, Mackenzie and Jennifer use their skills to search for Dara’s mother. But while on the hunt they start feeling threatened. They soon find a dark cult and that they may be in over their heads.
The Wish Rider flows effortlessly from Cadence of Gypsies. It also has enough notes from the first book to be read as a stand-alone book. I liked how the girls have matured and rounded out as characters in The Wish Rider.
This is a fast paced story with lots of action. There are a lot of edge of your seat scenes and a great evil presence. This is a great mystery and a book that I recommend those that like young adult mysteries to check out. I admit that I liked this better than Cadence of Gypsies and that I will be keeping my eyes open for the next book in the series.
I received The Wish Rider for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review
Grand Central Terminal – Then and Now
The role New York’s Grand Central Terminal plays in my young adult novel, The Wish Rider, Book 2 of The F.I.G. Mysteries, is key in that not only does it represent something of a secret, by-gone era, it represents hope, renewal, and the future for my three main characters: Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer.
Formerly an intercity railroad terminal, Grand Central Terminal was built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel. It is the largest such facility in the world by number of platforms with 44 serving 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower. The total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100, and the terminal covers an area of 48 acres. Restored back to its 1913 splendor, Grand Central has become a major New York destination, and its 12,000 square foot former main waiting room, Vanderbilt Hall, is the site for ongoing entertainment throughout the year.
In The Wish Rider, Grand Central Terminal becomes the final destination for the FIGs, for Dara believes that is where she will find her mother—the mother who abandoned her when she was a young child. With Carolina there to guide them and give her unwavering loving support, the three FIGs set out to accomplish an impossible task. It is there that Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer discover a secret sub-culture, dangerous, hidden, and known only to those who exist there. With Dara’s genius of understanding of foreign and extinct languages, Mackenzie’s genius of solving problems, patterns and formulae, and Jennifer’s genius in intuiting life through painted images and musical notes, the three FIGs are able to escape the horrors of their deepest fears and emerge into the light of what their future holds.