Saturday, 29 October 2011

Review- Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater 
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: October 6th 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

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.

I have not read any previous material from Maggie Stiefvater but I have heard a lot about Shiver so when I saw The Scorpio Races in the library I picked it up.I couldn't really tell what the story was about by reading the blurb.
Basically The Scorpio Races is about killer horses that live in the sea kinda like sharks but they come onto land and eat people. The people of Skarmouth, where this book is set, participate each year in an event called The Scorpio Races where they capture and try to train the killer horses called Cappaill Uisce and race them every November. It's a different and very Interesting Concept.

The two main characters in the story is a girl called Kate (Her nickname is Puck which I didn't understand why?) and a boy called Sean. Kate enters the Scorpio races to prevent her older brother Gabriel from leaving and going to the mainland. Kate's parents are actually killed by the Capaill Uisce so she lives with her two brothers. One thing I didn't get was why none of the youngsters on the island of skarmouth go to school, maybe it is set in a different time? I think they should have elaborated a bit more on that.

Sean is the only person on the island who can tame the Cappaill Uisce. He works for a man called Benjamin Malvern, Sean comes across as a moody and mysterious teenager. What I really liked about his character was that he isn't a typical YA hero he is not described as overly handsome or perfect which was a good change as I was getting tired of drop dead gorgeous, cliched male leads. 

Kate trains with her land horse called Dove but it isn't as fast as the Capaill Uisce. One character who annoyed me to no end was her older brother Gabe. Why he decides to leave his two siblings and go off I don't really get, Sean also has a enemy called Matthew Malvern who despises Sean because of his father's obvious preference for Sean than him. Matthew Malvern is another character I disliked  because he's just a mean old bully.

The love story in this book is very gradual. No love at first sight  which was refreshing to read, the book shows how Puck slowly begins to Discover Sean and after years of being lonely and only caring about his horse Sean starts to respect and love Puck. I thought it was cute especially near the end.

My favorite quote is when Puck tells Sean "I will not be your weakness Sean Kendrick" and he replies "It's too late for that Puck" which is just so adorable.

Maggie Stiefvater's writing is great, she really manages to capture the scene for the reader and I love the fact that this isn't your typical YA.
The bad points has to be that even though the concept is great I found it hard to get my head around the fact of why anyone would want to race with man eating horses or live on an island that has the Scorpio races and why none of the youngsters are educated? They all seem caught up in the Scorpio Races. Some parts of the book dragged and I think many secondary characters were unnecessary.

Apart from that I think this was a good read and a change from other YA fiction out there.
I would recommend this book if you like Maggie's previous work and are interested in savage horses and racing  or just if you are looking for something new and not cliched to read.

Buy Scorpio Races here


  1. Hello! :)

    I saw your interview on The Story Siren so I thought I would stop by and check out your blog. I love it, I'm your newest follower.

    Take a look at mine if you have some time :)
    Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea

  2. I just got a finished copy of this from Scholastic to review, and I've been hearing good things about it- I can't wait to read it myself!

    haha I don't quite get the nickname either... but sometimes nicknames are just kind of random like that, you know?

    I'm happy to hear that his one is so creative and refreshing though! Sometimes I feel like I just need a different sort of read from most other YA books out there :) thanks for sharing your review!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  3. I'm glad you liked the review :) I totally agree, sometimes its nice to read something a little different.

  4. I'm really excited to read this, I love Maggie's other books. (Lament is one of my favs!) And this does sound really unique compared to what's out there, and she's brill at lines like that.
    Fab review.


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