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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Rating: ★★★★☆
Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 18, 2011)

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

  This book definitely brought something new to my bookshelf. I never finished Shiver, but in comparison, the writing in this book is far more elegant and lyrical. The story takes place in Thisby, a claustrophobic and wild island where water horses, capaill uisce, come ashore very fall. They are not your average horse- they're faster, stronger, and prefer hearts to apples. I love the feel of this novel- the island, the horses, and the people became real to me. I can picture Puck and Sean racing on the cliffs, the ocean roaring below them. 
 You must understand that I absolutely love horses. I was raised with them. I think they are the ultimate symbol for freedom, and the most beautiful creature on the earth. I have been able to perfectly imitate a horses knicker since I was five, and they run to the fence when I do it. Freaky? Yes. Fun and also makes me feel like Ninja Jedi Master of Horses? Yes also. I'm not lucky enough to have a horse right now, but I hope that someday when I can actually legally obtain one I will have whole stable-full. After hearing that, I guess you can understand my reaction when, walking through my middle-of-nowhere town's wal-mart, I saw The Scorpio Races. And I publicly squeed. Very loudly. 
 Anyways, one of my first thoughts for the book was how much I loved the setting. Thisby seems so wild and free. I love the way Puck and Sean feel about the island, seem to have an attachment to it. Especially Puck, though, who's whole reason for entering the race is about staying on Thisby and in the house that she grew up in. But, then again, that part did leave me thinking that it was a bit improbable that someone would risk death for a house. I would have liked for Puck to have a stronger motivation for entering the races.
 I also liked the alternating POV between Puck and Sean. The story would have lost some of it's spice without it. The only problem I had was that the voices of the two are a bit too similar Sean was, however, my favorite character. I loved his cool attitude and his love for horses, and the way no matter how many times someone provoked him he never let them see he was upset. He was a perfect MC. Puck was also a good character, very real, but I felt like some of the things her character did didn't match up with her thoughts and attitude. Maybe it's just me being weird. 
  My one major problem was the climax. I found it... anti climatic. But, as I have said before, I like edge-of-your-seat, pins-and-needles, guts-and-glory kind of books. (Ex: The Hunger Games!) I feel like the whole novel was working up to this point, and it was dramatic and heart-wrenching, but it left me wanting more, and not in the good way. 
 Overall, you should totally read this book. I recommend reading by a fire of some sort, or at the beach. ALSO: check out the B-E-A-Utiful stop-motion Maggie Stiefvater did! I <3 it forever and ever!

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