Monday, January 9, 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater
Released: October 18th, 2011
Pages: 409 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
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.
"I am so, so alive."1

From the beginning, Stiefvater draws you in with the calm and impressive voice of Sean Kendrick. He's won the Scorpio Races four times, and as far as the people of Thisby are concerned, he's a sure winner this year. But when our second narrator – the fiery and determined Kate "Puck" Connolly – enters the races as a last chance to save her unraveling life, the always uncertain races become even more chaotic than usual. 

The capaill uisce are not anything like horses you've seen before, and neither is Stiefvater's latest novel. Water horses from the sea, the capaill uisce are bloodthirsty and willing to attack anyone who comes close enough. Stiefvater brings these deadly water horses to life (as well as Puck's normal and oh so lovely horse, Dove), along with the island of Thisby, the characters of Puck and Sean, and even the side characters. The Scorpio Races may move slowly, but every moment is magic. 

Highlights: Everything is so alive in The Scorpio Races - the island, the characters, the races, the writing. After adjusting to the pacing, I became utterly enraptured by it all. The characters are layered, and the romance is slow and sincere. The fear, action, and excitement are almost tangible, it's so well written.  

Lowlights: Very slow pacing to begin with. I adjusted to it by 97 pages in, and promptly became absorbed in the story. 

Note: Don't expect the actual races to take place until the very end (I thought they were going to be earlier, so naturally, I was surprised). 


1 (Pg. 1) I just like this quote. Kind of sums up the overall feeling of the book nicely, too. 


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  1. Seriously, I love your reviews.

    I don't say that to allot of folks.

    Usually I find reviews too long.

    But yours have great length, never feel short or wordy, and tell me just enough. LOVE them!

    I really need to read this one.

  2. I'm not crazy about the slow pacing, but it sounds like it has so many great qualities. And love the idea of those unique horses!

    And I agree with Juju. You're reviews are aways spot on with information and length.

  3. I'm not too bothered with slow pacing (as long as I can read it while I'm still on holidays and don't have to worry about time!) if the ending is worth it--which, according to many other readers, it is.

    I want to nitpick on the previous comments and their spelling. I'm sorry, I couldn't let it go!
    Juju: "...a lot of folks"
    Alyssa: "Your reviews..."

    I do agree though ~ for people who are just passing by, your reviews are a good length that their eyes won't just glaze over it all. Just very readable. Cannot wait to read this one!

  4. I still need to finish her other, very famous lol, series! BUT, this book sounds like a very good read, even though slow starts are not my thing. lol.

    Great review!

  5. I loved this book so much! It's so beautifully written and captivating. Great review!

  6. I also LOVED this book! Great review, Lea (:

  7. I'm really intrigued by that quote, especially since you say it sums up the overall feel of the book. I won a copy of this book a few weeks ago, so I'll be reading it eventually, but I've made sure to note that I might find the beginning a little slow. I'll have to make sure to hold out!

  8. I'm not excited about the pacing issue but I've read Stiefvater before so I think I can trust her enough to go through this. And it sounds so unique too-not like anything else in YA.

  9. Glad you liked it! It was slow for me in the beginning too but I found myself enjoying it later on. Definitely my favorite of Stiefvater's books. Nice Review! :)

  10. YAY! I loved this one too Lea! Definitely took me a while to adjust to the slow pace of it all, but I just couldn't get enough of Sean and Puck and Corr and Dove. This will be one of my favorites for a long time I think:)

  11. Reading this review just makes me realize that I really should finish a certain other series of hers ;)

  12. Excellent review! I loved this one too, although I also had to adjust to the pacing. Maggie just writes so deliberately, with more emotion than action.