Monday, January 9, 2012

The Scorpio Races Review

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
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 choice. 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 was so excited when I finally managed to get my hands on this book. The concept sounded original and intriguing, and of course I want to get my hands on anything that has horses. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed.

True to her style in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, the story is told from both Puck and Sean's points of view. While I enjoyed being in both of their heads, at the beginning of the story I was far more interested in Sean. I actually started to wonder if I would enjoy the story more if it was only about Sean when I first started. It was almost anti-climactic when Puck decided to ride Dove instead of an actual capall uisce.

Some of the character's motivations didn't sit right with me especially Gabe's. I'm still not entirely clear on his motives for leaving. I understand that he wanted to get away from the island, but I don't understand why he would -- as the largest earner in the family -- just up and leave his sister and brother with a house that they couldn't afford between the three of them. It would have made sense to me if Gabe wanted to get a higher paying job and send money back to them, but that isn't even mentioned until the end of the book and Gabe isn't the one that mentions it. Towards the beginning of the book when he first announced that he was leaving, it felt more like a ploy for Puck to be forced into entering the race so that he would stay.

That being said, my favorite character by far was Sean. He was the most rounded in the story and I loved his motivations and his personality. I loved the way he trained and loved the horses like they were his own, even though they weren't.

I thought the race would be a much larger part of the story. I almost skipped to the last page to see if there was going to be a sequel with the race because the build-up was so drawn out. I expected something like Hidalgo so it was kind of a let-down when it was only a two-and-a-half mile race that took up a tiny portion of the book. With the long build-up to the race, the part during the race and afterward felt rushed. I wish there'd been a little less build-up and a little more of what happened after the race. I want to know what happens to Corr and Sean and Puck and Finn and Gabe.

That being said, the actual ending broke my heart, but I absolutely loved it.

Overall: 7/10 Loved the concept and the ending, but some of the characters were a little flat and the build-up to the race was very drawn-out


Laura W. said...

Thanks for the review! I was wondering whether to read this, as it didn't seem like my thing but a lot of people liked it. Now I don't think I will, or at least, I won't rush to buy a copy.