The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages [hardcover]: 409
memorable quote: One of the lines in Finn’s code is that you’re not to say anything about Finn being attractive to the opposite sex.
finn & holly
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
Okay. I read Shiver a few years ago with good hopes because the premise sounded awesome, and it was . . . just not the way it was executed. Characters either too exaggerated or left bland, writing awkward, nothing really clicking for me . . . I never continued with that series, and didn’t think I’d read anything by the same author, until this came along. Yet again, the premise caught me, and boy, they know how to get you hooked real good. Plus, I read and heard a lot of people saying that this book was awesome, so much better than the whole wolf trilogy, and that I just needed to give it a shot. So I did.
It could have been worse, really. I know that’s not the most encouraging point to begin with, but I did like the minor characters. Finn. The American, Holly. Even the three sisters. Problem was, I liked them a heck of a lot more than the major ones, Puck and Sean. Even the antagonist, Mutt. I honestly can’t remember if they explained why Puck is called Puck instead of Kate. How did she get a nickname like that? I’d be interested to know, but can’t tell if I found out and it slipped my mind . .
Gabe, Puck’s other brother, was annoying, as he was supposed to be, but he also made no sense. What good brother would practically abandon his siblings just to make himself happier? His decision to leave could have been postponed until they were all back on their feet and it would be less selfish for him to leave. I can’t think of anyone I know that would leave their younger siblings to fend for themselves, only because they couldn’t deal with it any longer. What sort of excuse is that?
I really liked the setting. The entire island, closed off, was easy to picture, and seemed like a magical place to live, aside from the incessant smell of fish and the man-eating horses. At first I couldn’t understand why anyone would risk their lives in these races, aside from getting the money, but learning about the traditions and beliefs of the place helped me to get a feel of their unique culture. The only part of the setting I couldn’t quite grasp was what time period it was supposed to be in. I thought it was far in the past . . . then cars came in. And there were mentions of America, so probably modern times. Then bowler hats . . . and cameras with ‘gigantic bulbs’. Clarification would have been good, if only to get a feel for the outside world in comparison to the close-knit society on Thisby.
I couldn’t ever really connect with the characters, or get invested in the plot, because the entire thing frustrated me so often. It took me forever to read this. It was another seemingly brilliant concept that ended up disappointing me. I’m not sure if I’ll be tricked into reading another Maggie Stiefvater novel, eventually . . .
I give The Scorpio Races 3/5 stars. One for the ending, one for the concept, and one because I think someone, somewhere out there will probably like it better than I did.