Review: The Scorpio Races
Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pub deets: October 2011, Scholastic
Source: Borrowed from Hannah at So Obsessed With
Challenges: TBR Challenge
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In a sentence or so: Sean races to win and to remind himself that he belongs on the island. Puck races to save her house and possibly her family. Only one person can win the race of the water horses, though many will die in the attempt.
Kate ‘Puck’ Connolly has always lived on the island. It’s in her bones. Even after the water horses killed her parents in a boating accident, Puck can’t imagine living anywhere else. The same cannot be said for her older brother, however, who plans on moving from the island. Puck thinks she can stop him, or at least delay him, by signing up as the first girl ever to race.
Sean Kendrick has also been orphaned by the races after his dad missed the cue from the water horse and met his end on the beach like so many other racers. Being somewhat of a guru horse whisperer, Sean has won 4 years in a row with his water horse...but he searches for something more: his freedom. Winning this year will give him the prize money to win his horse outright and leave the stables for good.
This is one of those books that’s YA but totally could have been an Adult book. The pacing is slow and deliberate, the character development is patient, and the story transcends horse racing and really speaks to the heart of the reader in unexpected ways.
About ⅓ of the way through, I was starting to get impatient. I wanted Things to Happen and it just didn't feel like it was going to. I realize now the point of The Scorpio Races wasn't the action, but in the development and set up and depth that Maggie Stiefvater poured into each and every one of her characters and settings. The details are rich and the characters, even the third and fourth tier ones, have motivations and stories that we want to hear.
There is a slow burn non-traditional YA romance happening between Puck and Sean but mostly it’s about them coming into their own person, on their own time. The races bring them together, but they also bring about self discovery and purpose and vision and THAT, my friends, is the golden core of this novel. Experiencing two different characters growing and learning and changing and becoming adults right before our eyes is an incredible gift that Maggie gives us.
If you’re looking for a slower YA stand alone book with depth and lots of life questions being asked, an island that’s relentless and mysterious, and a haunting mythology of Water Horses that ties it all together, read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
Pairs well with: Freshly baked bread and honey. They make these special cakes on the island that sound AMAZING and frequently fresh bread is discussed and oh man it makes you crave some fresh out the oven bread like no other!
Fix er up: Maybe if I had known going into it that it was going to be a slower read, it wouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did. Hopefully I save you that surprise!