Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Number of Pages: 404
Source of Book: ARC won from the fabulous Lori at Pure Imagination
Author's Website: m-stiefvater.livejournal.com
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 have to be honest - I'm a little bit torn about this book. I LOVE Maggie Stiefvater's writing and all of her other books, but THE SCORPIO RACES was a little harder for me to get sucked in to. I had so many teacher friends whose opinions I really trust tell me this was a fantastic book, but I couldn't quite get into the can't-put-this-book-down type of feeling.....until I got about halfway through the book (and it's a pretty long 404 pages), and then I got so hooked into it and didn't want to stop reading until I got to the exciting conclusion of this standalone story. But it did take me a couple of starts & stops to get there. So, if you feel the same way at the start, give it time and a chance. Maggie continues her beautifully lyrical writing in this book, but it seems to be in an even more sophisticated mood-provoking and descriptive way. This is a quiet book, but Maggie's research into the various water horses mythology stories and English cliff settings is apparent throughout in the emotion and feeling her words evoke.
The way the setting is used to create the mood in this book is done with such a deft and subtle hand that it instantly draws the reader into the story from the start. The setting is a character of it's own right in this book, as it needs to be. And the water horses are one of the most interesting mythological/fantasy/paranormal elements I've read about in awhile. It's a heart-wrenching story of friendship and family and what love means and what really, truly matters for people. It's about courage and dedication and loyalty and figuring out who people are and where they're meant to be that really matters. It's about having the courage and strength to go after those things that one wants and the bravery and dedication to see it through to the end no matter how difficult. It's about finding your place in the world and doing everything to keep it yours.
It's a book with a sweet romance and dedicated families and intriguing mythology and people discovering who they want to be and what makes them who they are - and then living that life. The romance is quiet and subtle and innocent and meaningful and heart-warming. The loyalty of not only people, but horses also, pulls the tears out at the end, but in such a way that it's sad and hopeful at the same time because everyone wants someone who understands them completely and would be dedicated to staying with them no matter what. THE SCORPIO RACES is different from everything else I've read out there in the mood that is created by the setting and writing, and it's an achingly beautiful read (even if it takes a little while to get into it).