The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Genres/Themes: Horse racing, YA, Mythology – Kelpies, Fantasy, Slight Romance
I remember reading Shiver (by the same author) as a teen and being completely over it– something hard to do when I was in love with vampires and werewolves. Because of this, I have yet to give Maggie Stiefvater a second chance, but with all the hoopla over The Raven Boys, I decided before starting a series I would see how I liked a stand alone book first.
I’m glad I gave it a try.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
To start, I think it is important to note that I read this as an audiobook, and I generally have more patience with these books, I do not feel them drag too much (thank you x1.6 speed). Yet, for a book about a race and preparing for the race, I thought it would be a much bigger deal. The race itself was very short! I was expecting a distance or endurance race, not just 2 miles. This was one of those times I would have liked some description.
I did enjoy that people were not always described. And three cheers for Puck not fawning over Sean’s good looks (was he good looking?)! This was very refreshing.
Can I also take a moment to mention how awesome Puck is? And during the 1920-30s I believe because a reporter brought up the Women’s Sufferage movement — please correct me if I am off. She has to fight against evil mean horses as well as stupid-ass men. Even though she had to be rescued a few times, I thought she handled herself very well.
So, as a journey with Puck and Sean to understand what happiness is, and how we can become our own people, I really enjoyed this book. The race almost seemed like an afterthought (lol). I appreciated the ending as well.
This book has convinced me to try reading The Raven Boys.
I recommend this book to people who like books with animals, books with multiple POV, coming-of-age books, and books that are a little slower in pace. This is definitely not a book for someone who wants epic world-building or everything explained to them.