About the Author
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.
Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation.” The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. Her novel for adults, The Gospel According to Prissy, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. In 2016, Ms. Casey’s biography/true crime Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released as well as The Wish Rider, the sequel to her young adult book The Cadence of Gypsies.
About the Book
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.
Heavy to read at the beginning, a large chunk of “The Wish Rider” goes over what happened in he prequel, “The Cadence of Gypsies”. Actually, it’s more than going over—there is a lot of repetition, from character description to location description to historical information, at times feeling like a never-ending, redundant synopsis of the prequel more than anything else. While its great for a first time reader, it becomes quite tedious for recent readers of the prequel.
Just like with “The Cadence of Gypsies”, there is a lot of interesting information to be learned about history as well as about certain locations featured in the book. This time a lot of the information was based on various locations and historical details pertaining to New York City and its Grand Central Station. I didn’t look up all this information to check its accuracy, but I’m assuming that author Barbara Casey did a lot of research before writing both books.
The emotions driving the story were tougher to get into than they were in “The Cadence of Gypsies” mainly because the context of the story wasn’t well fleshed out. For example, at one point in the book, the main characters go somewhere dark and dangerous (which I am purposefully not describing in more detail for fear of spoiling the story). But because the context wasn’t well-described, I didn’t get a feel for why the place was dark and dangerous and even just how dark and dangerous it was. For that reason, the section of the book in question didn’t affect me emotionally as it should have.
Add to Bookshelf?
The previous tome was interesting enough and the next one has enough to potential to warrant adding to your bookshelf.
Thank you to iReads Book Tours for providing a
copy of this book for me to review!