Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Published: Oct 18th, 2011
by Scholastic Press
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.Taschima's POV:
The story is about water horses, a girl, a boy, and an enchanting island that has a deadly edge. Puck is an orphan who lives with her two brothers. One day the older brother decides that he's had enough and so he is leaving the island and going into the mainland, forever. This doesn't sit well with our heroine, and so she decides that the only way to keep her brother a bit longer is to enter into the deadly Scorpio Races. The Scorpio Races are these races where a bunch of water horses, horses that much rather eat your skin than eat hay, compete to the death for the number one spot (or rather the riders compete to the death, the horses don't really care either way). The one who has won for the last 4 years is Sean Kendrick and this year should be no different. Only this year is different in so many ways. This year he has to win no matter the cost or he might lose the one thing he loves forever.
I am torn between giving this book a 3 star and a 4 star. The reason being that for half the book, up until page 170 something at least, I kept expecting for something to happened, and I wasn't happy at how slow the pace was going. It was boooring. But after page 170+ something amazing happened, the story took on a full gallop and it kept me truly hooked till the very last page (200 or so more pages). So I guess I will give it a four star flat that is dancing with the line between 4 and 3.
The story is told in 2 different POVs, Sean's and Puck's. I feel this was a terrific move by the author because this way we get to have two experiences, the one from a 4 time winner and the one of a newbie at the races.
I loved Sean's character, because he is the kind of guy who is quiet but confident, and he loves horses so much. Maggie Stiefvater doesn't try to make the guy a mystery in order to make you want him, she writes from his point of view and you get to know him so well that is no wonder you might fall for him. He is tough, and he is strong... and when I think of him I don't think about his looks at all, I just think about his personality, ain't that lovely?
The same goes for Puck. On the outside she looks like a strong, fearless kind of girl. Sean notices her strengths and is entranced because she is the very first girl to ever compete in the races. But on the inside we get to see the insecurities and the troubles that go on this girl's mind. She is strong, but she also has a bunch of problems (family and otherwise). This makes her that much more real.
Before I started reading this novel I thought that the big Scorpio Races was going to take days, and that it was going to be this EPIC race that needed so much more than just racing (like survival skills and things like that). Let me take you off of your misery if you think this because it's not like that. It's just a horse race. A water horse race true, people die and all, but at the end of the day it only takes 10 pages. It's very anti climatic. The book seems to be more about the training than about the race itself. I was expecting so much more, so maybe that's why the first part of the book felt so slow and boring to me.
I liked the ending, but it felt a bit unfinished to me. It left me with questions concerning about Puck's and Sean's future. I think this novel is a stand alone and that is great and all but it could have used an epilogue.
Plus the romance? Very believable. It feels so real. No fluff, no instant connection, no "destiny" type of thing. Two people who meet, get to know each other, like each other for who they are, and so it happens. Not to say that it doesn't have its spark, because it does have a spark, it's just different.
To be completely honest I haven't read anything by Maggie Stiefvater... Don't kill me. I know she is big and all, but wolves are not my thing, vampires are, so I have had no desire to read The Shiver series thus far (even though everybody rages about it). After this book I have more curiosity to read the series, but I am not running out to the store to get it. If it happens it happens.
PS; Throughout the book I was VERY bothered about the older brother Gabe, he is an asshole, and no matter how frustrating your life is you don't leave family behind. SPECIALLY siblings on an island that might as well eat them alive than help them out. You are a bad bad man. I am not even sure who is worse, Gabe or Mutt (the evil guy in the series -the son of Sean's boss- who wants Sean dead, fired, dishonored). Finn on the other hand, the other brother, is a sweet heart who believes in his sister and supports her no matter what. *spoiler* that part where only one person bet on Puck in the races and it turns out at the end it was Finn? 45-1? Brought tears to my eyes*spoiler*