Friday, 18 May 2012

Book Review: The Scorpio Races

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.

When I was a little girl I was OBSESSED with horses. I had every single Pony Pal book ever written, toy horses were scattered around my room, and I constantly begged my parents to let me take up horseback riding. Unfortunately, they never budged, and so I was forced to live out my dreams of horseback riding through the books that I read. You can imagine my delight then when I found out that Maggie Stiefvater's newest book was about horse racing! While I HATED her first book, Shiver, I held out hope that The Scorpio Races would be a much better read. And for the most part, it was!

As I've read TONS of horse related novels over the years, I really appreciated the slight twist to these typical racing tales that Maggie brought to The Scorpio Races. The idea of an island where creatures known as water horses surfaced from the ocean was magical and alluring, and their vicious and blood thirsty natures was certainly thrilling! I also really enjoyed the alternating perspectives between Puck and Sean, as it helped to lend greater insight into their characters and the motivations that lead them to the races. 

The only thing that I didn't really enjoy about The Scorpio Races was the pacing of the actual storytelling. At times I found the book to be a bit slow, and I sat around waiting for something exciting to happen. When the actual race finally happened in the book, I was also disappointed to discover that it was only about ten pages long! After 375 pages of writing about Puck and Sean preparing for this epic race, it was over in the blink of an eye! I suppose that's how long a horse race lasts in real life, but I guess I expected the Scorpio Race itself to be a little more epic, like the one in the movie Hidalgo! 

Although I may have found The Scorpio Races to be a bit slow paced, I think its something that my 13 year old self would have loved! I would definitely recommended the book to younger readers who love stories about horses, and those who are fans of Maggie's Shiver trilogy. While none of Maggie's books have yet to personally "WOW" me, I'm curious to see what she comes up with next!

Rating: 3 Stars


Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I've been interested in this one, I absolutely loved horses as a kid too (I used to ask for a horse for Christmas every year, I actually did get lessons so much fun!) I've heard from a lot of people that the pacing of this one made it difficult to get into. I'm happy to know that this is one for younger kids. Great review!

Jenny said...

I wasn't impressed with Shiver either so I hope this one is better for me.

Lan said...

I personally think Maggie Stiefvater would do so well as a contemporary writer instead of paranormal/fantasy. I couldn't finish either Shiver or The Scorpio Races. The writing was well done indeed but as you say, the plot was so slow that I almost felt cheated the book was called The Scorpio Races when only 10 pages was about the race!

Ninja Girl said...

I felt the same way about Shiver! Well, I didn't exactly HATE it, but I definitely was not in the "I love" category either. But this one sounds much more my speed. I'm glad you were honest about your feelings b/c it made me want to give this one a shot.
Thanks for the great review,
Ninja Girl



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