Publishing Info: October 18, 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 29, 2013
Related Posts: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), All the Crooked Saints
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.
THE SCORPIO RACES was magical. I’m not entirely sure what I had expected when I started, but I really ended up enjoying it! I actually felt like it took me a little while to get into it — not because it wasn’t good, but because it took a while for me to “meet” the characters and get to know them. I felt like both Puck and Sean have a really tough exterior so even to the reader it takes a little bit to break that shell. I was never really going to quit it, but I can’t seem to think of different wording than I’m glad that I stuck with it. The writing is simply beautiful and whereas I did not really enjoy the only other Steifvater book I’ve read so far (SHIVER) I was totally captivated by the beauty of Maggie Steifvater’s writing and her character development.
Even though THE SCORPIO RACES ultimately boils down to a race, exciting action, and violent sea horses, I think was I was really sold on was the character development. We really get to know Puck and Sean separately until the races intertwine their two lives. They’re both in different yet similar predicaments — they must win the races and the monetary prize that goes with winning in order to maintain their currently lives and not lose a valuable piece of their family (or whatever they consider their family after everything they’ve already lost). Watching the interactions between Puck and her family and Sean & his horses was the most magical part of this book for me by far. As far as their romance goes, I loved that it wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t even the main focus. It fit in perfectly and easily, without being forced at all.
For some reason, I was totally caught up on the logistics of the water horses. How did they survive in the water AND on land? Did they have gills to breathe in the water? Were their lungs adapted to both land and water? It was never explained and somehow I was a little stuck in the fact that I didn’t know the details.
A big part of the magic of this book for me was Thisby itself. I have no idea in what time period this was supposed to take place but I very much pictured something in the 1930s or 1940s – a time before technology started coming through and the automobile was just becoming a part of every day life. I loved the atmosphere that this setting created. It was such a personality in itself and I loved the feeling of Thisby.
I was REALLY hesitating how to rate it. I was caught somewhere between liking it and loving it, but overall, I think I’m leaning more towards loving it. Thinking back on the general feel and the emotions I felt toward the end, I’ll lean towards the higher rating!
Yes. Get this as an audiobook. Steve West reading for Sean Kendrick and Fiona Hardingham reading for Puck Connelly was superb. I absolutely loved the British accents and for some reason it just made the story flow. Is it weird that my favorite part of the narrating was George Holly’s American voice? I don’t what it was, but for some reason I found it weirdly sexy….. Anyone else? No? Just me? Okay, awkward….
Puck: Even though both characters alternate narrating, I really felt like it was more Puck’s story than Sean’s. I just felt like she had more going on as far as a conflict goes and more of her personality came across to me. She was so spunky and determined and I loved her spirit. She was definitely a ton of fun to read about/listen to.
Sean: Sean was a lot more reserved and a little bit brooding… I loved his quiet strength and his passion for looking after the horses. My heart went out to him the whole book and I just felt like there were so many emotions bubbling under the surface for Sean. He brought so much passion to the story and really made me FEEL for the characters — even the horses!
This book was so magical… and the audio was just fantastic. I’m highly recommending this one — a magical realism I can get on board with!