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 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 yet to read anything by Maggie before The Scorpio Races, but I was completely blown away by this heartbreaking and intense story of the deadly water horses. The world building was fantastic and I felt like I was transported to Thisby on the very first page. Sean and Puck were also wonderfully developed characters and I felt I really got to know them through the dual points of view. This is one read that is going to stay with me for a long time and I will certainly be recommending it to everyone I can.
The most fantastic part of this book is the mythology. The Scorpio Races are such a fantastic idea and Maggie went above and beyond in making sure the reader felt like they were part of everything that was going on. The concept of the races was pure genius and while I found myself alternatively cringing and gasping whenever the water horses entered a scene, I am so glad I had the chance to read this. Everything about this book proved how in depth Maggie went in her research and it also showed her own imagination and creativity. This was such an original read that captivated me from the start!
Kate Connolly (aka Puck) did not anticipate participating in the races and this event will change her life forever. I don't want to spoil anything, but from the moment Puck decides she wants to join the Scorpio Races nothing will ever be the same. Puck was such a well done protagonist. Her sharp wit, sarcasm, and bravery shown from the pages and I know I would want to have her on my side.
Sean Kendrick, the four time champion of the races, was another great character. He was mysterious and allusive at first, but the more I read the more I felt I truly understood him. I am so glad The Scorpio Races was told from both Puck and Sean's perspectives because it allowed me to get to know both of them equally.
While the races and capaill uisce were the main focus of the book, there was also a slow-growing and sweet romance. I liked watching Puck and Sean get to know each other and learn the motivation behind each of their participation in the races.
The build up to the races was heart pounding and each page presented a new twist or danger. I was constantly on the edge of my seat and I found myself thinking about this book frequently even after I finished reading it.
Maggie Stiefvater is definitely an author to watch and she has proven herself to me with just one book. I know I definitely need to check out her Shiver series now! The Scorpio Races is a fascinating and enthralling read that I highly recommend to anyone!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
October 18, 2011/Scholastic Press/404 Pages/Young Adult
Source: BEA and Publicist (ARC)
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