The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Scholastic, 409 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
This is the story of a girl named Puck who lives on an island with her two brothers. Their parents were killed by these terrible “water horses” (fantasy horses who live in the sea and are ravenous), and so Puck and her two brothers are left to try to survive on their own. When Puck decides that she must ride in the Scorpio Races, she has no idea what she has signed up for. Cut-throat competitors, male chauvinistic pigs, and a surprise ally.
The Scorpio Races was unlike anything I’ve read all year. Not only in terms of the story but mostly in the way that it was written. Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words. Her beautiful prose and luxurious writing style are second to none. If you’ve read Shiver, then you know what I’m talking about. The Scorpio Races’ writing was so refined and so exquisite and yet, I don’t think that many people will enjoy this read as much as I did. And it saddens me to say that because I really did love this book.
This book is not one for someone who is looking for a great love story where the characters are made for each other; where they pine for each other throughout the entire book. It is not an angsty read and if you’re looking for a “romance novel”, this is not it. It IS, however, a wonderful journey and although it may start out rather slow and confusing, once you’re aware of what is going on you’ll be dying to find out how it all ends.
I think I would recommend this for older YA readers, just because the characters are a little bit older and mature. It might be hard for a 12 year old to connect to the story. Also, it’s hard to say “if you liked this book, then you might like The Scorpio Races” so instead I’ll say if you’re looking for a good story and aren’t looking for romance, then you’d enjoy this one.