Monday, 24 October 2011

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Bella's Reading...
Title: The Scorpio Races 
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Standalone
Pages: 404
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of Publication: 25th October 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

My Thoughts:
I was really excited to read The Scorpio Races. I'm a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater, and I've read all her previous books apart from Ballad (which I REALLY need to get around to), and loved them. I love her writing style, and her stories are unique, even when they are about well known creatures such as werewolves and faeries. However, The Scorpio Races is completely unlike any other book I have ever read before, even more so than her previous books. I have never ever read a book about water horses before, and I had no idea what to expect. At first, I was little confused and the story was lost on me, but as I began to understand what was going on, I got wrapped up in the story and I couldn't stop reading. I read the last half of the book in nearly one sitting, only stopping because I literally couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Despite how much I enjoyed it though, The Scorpio Races is an incredibly strange book. I don't know why, but as I was reading, it just seemed so weird. Maybe it was the subject matter, or the way in which the story was told, but something about it just gave off a feeling of strangeness. I think the idea of these potentially man-eating horses freaked me out just a little bit, and the way that they raced in them and people died - I don't know, I guess it scared me. A cute little island where everyone knows each other and they're like family, and then every year they race monsters and people die, and they accept it. It just seemed a little far fetched to me, yet Maggie's beautiful writing made it feel believable, and not too scary, just strange.

The book is told in two parts - Sean and Puck. I liked Puck's parts better, though I did enjoy Sean's point of view. I think I liked Puck's parts more because I could relate to her, and I understood her a lot better than I did Sean. Really, Maggie can write awesomely mysterious men. I must have spent at least half of the book trying to figure out Sean. Anyway, I really liked Puck as a character - I thought she was very determined and she always tried to do the right thing and she thought about everyone else before herself. Even during the races when she should have been fearing for her life and just trying to survive the races, her mind was constantly on the other racers, one in particular, and making sure they were OK.

And Sean... Oh Sean, I think I might be a little bit in love with him. He was kind, mysterious, and he was so kind and helpful to Puck, and even though he had won the races 4 times already he wasn't at all arrogant. He was down to earth, and he seemed so real, and his love for his horse, Corr, was the sweetest thing I have read in a long time, probably since I read Lola and the Boy Next Door. The ending was super adorable too, though I won't spoil you! It just made me sit there, and think, 'aww' for about 10 minutes after I'd finished it, just contemplating and remembering the cuteness of the end.

I really enjoyed the plot too. This book really had everything - a great plot, awesome characters, and a good setting and idea. My only complaint was that at the beginning I got a little bit lost because there was quite a lot of information that I needed to have time to absorb and understand properly, but maybe if I wasn't so engrossed in the story I could have read a little bit slower and taken it in a lot better. So maybe it's my fault... But anyway, once I passed the half way mark, I was flying through it, and I couldn't stop turning pages. The story basically builds up to the races, and I was sitting on the edge of my seat, really hoping for the best, and I refused to stop reading until I had found out what had happened at the end. And the dual narrative really made a difference to the story - you got two points of view of the races: Sean's, who had raced six times before and won four of those times, so he knew what to expect and what he was doing; and Puck's, who had never raced before and had no idea what to expect, yet we really understood her determination to save her family and her house by winning.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Scorpio Races. While it wasn't my favourite of Maggie's books, I would definitely recommend it and it's not to be missed, either by Maggie fans, or by someone who has never read any of her work (WHY NOT!! ;) ). It's weird and wonderful, and I really think that any YA paranormal fans would enjoy it!

*Thanks to Scholastic for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book!

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!


Challenges:
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #49
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #90

6 comments:

  1. I got this from the library the other day, I can't wait to start it. Sean sounds like a sweetheart and so does his water horse. I love endings that make you happy! Great review!

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  2. awesome review, I can't wait to read this! Love how detailed your thoughts on it were

    The Cait Files

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  3. mh, sounds...weird xD
    i dont know if im going to read this one, i only read shiver and linger and loved them, have to read forever soon...but her other books sounds nothing like the wolves of mercy falls, mhhhhhh, whatever, i dont know :D

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  5. I am in utter shock right now.I just finshed this (The Scorpio Races) book and the only thing flowing through my mind is: there needs to be a sequel. This book was so good and full of surprising plot twists. The ending broke my heart.

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  6. Really, really good book. My sister hounded me to read it for months and I don't know what took me so long. Best book I've read since The Hunger Games series. Captivating story and great characters.
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*I am no longer accepting blog awards :( I do not have time to go through all the things that come with it, and though I'm honoured you thought of me, I'm sure you can find someone who will love it, and be able to carry out the rules :)

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