Monday, 12 March 2018

The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey + Giveaway

The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey (Book 3 of The F.I.G. Mysteries)

One of my 2018 IndieAthon Reads
One of my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads

Category: YA Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Mystery / Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications, The Hungry Goat Press Imprint
Release date: February 2018
Tour dates: Feb 26 to March 30, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is light profanity and some threat of violence.)

Where to buy this book:

Add The Clock Flower to your Goodreads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via iRead Book Tours

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan. Accepted to Yale University.
Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan. Accepted to MIT.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan. Accepted to Juilliard.

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again.

​Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

I hadn't read the first two books in the F.I.G. Mysteries series so came to The Clock Flower without knowing anything other than the synopsis information. I was attracted to this book by its striking cover art. Barbara Casey recaps information from the earlier books throughout this one though so I didn't feel lost at any point.

The Clock Flower has a wide scope for what is a fairly short novel so I did feel that the action scenes were rather rushed, especially when Casey carefully lays out so much background information in the early chapters. I liked scenes such as Dara's deft rebuttal of an overkeen fraternity boy when she first arrives at her university. It was good that the three young women have independent talents of their own. This novel is about those exceptional talents blossoming and it is so refreshing to have female characters championed for their intellectual achievements rather than just their potential romantic relationships!

To read further reviews, please visit Barbara Casey's page on iRead Book Tours.

About the Author:

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in 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.

Connect with the author:  Website

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 7, 2018

Win a paperback copy of The Clock Flower + a $10 Amazon GC (open to USA & Can / 1 winner) or win a gifted Kindle copy of The Clock Flower + a $10 Amazon GC (open to USA only / 3 winners)

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Barbara Casey / Mystery fiction / Books from America


  1. Stephanie Jane,

    Thank you so much for hosting me and for taking the time to review THE CLOCK FLOWER. I appreciate your kind words and wish you and your bloggers my best.


    1. You're very welcome!
      Thank you for stopping by :-)

  2. First off, I absolutely love that cover. Sounds like the book was a win overall, even if you hadn't read the other books in the series first.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thank you, Nicole, for your comments. My publisher is also a very talented artist, and she designed all of the covers in The F.I.G. Mystery Series. Each cover shows a connection to the gypsy culture, which is one of the themes throughout the series. Thank you again for stopping by.

  3. Hey look at you reading fantasy! Glad you enjoyed it despite the parts feeling rushed. The cover is indeed gorgeous!

    1. Thank you for your comments, Daniela. I hope you get a chance to read the series. Even though there are elements of fantasy in all three books in the series, the stories are very much based on reality. This includes the terrifying dragon Carolina and the FIGs face. It comes from the ancient Chinese culture that many still believe even today.

    2. Fantasy-lite for me! Small steps into the genre :-)

  4. Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway, reading about intelligent females is right up my alley!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

    1. Good luck on the giveaway,Tori, and I hope you enjoy reading THE CLOCK FLOWER.

    2. These three are certainly inspirational! I wish I had Dara's language skills!

    3. So do I, Stephanie Jane. Each of these young women--or FIGs--was born with a special gift enhanced by her genius. It is because of these special gifts the FIGs are able to survive and cope in a world where they are considered so different. Ironically, it is also those gifts that will enable each FIG to become a valuable contributor not only to their immediate society, but to the world.

  5. This does have a striking cover! I'm not usually a fan of those books that try to tackle a lot in a short amount of pages, but the way the female characters have some focus on non-romance stuff sounds great!

    1. Thank you, Kristen. I hope you get a chance to read it. I appreciate your comment.

    2. The non-romance focus made a nice change in this genre!

  6. The cover and title was what caught my eye for this review so I understand! That's quite a long synopsis as well. I understand what you mean about there being a lot to cover in such a short novel, which makes it rushed. But other than that this one doesn't sound too bad!

    1. Thank you, Olivia-Savannah. I appreciate your comment and hope you get a chance to read THE CLOCK FLOWER.

    2. I think maybe reading in order is best for this series as then I would have known the FIGs better