May 19, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races

By: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: October 2011 by Scholastic
Format: Hardback, 404 pages
First Reviewed: November 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

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 choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

Rating: 5/5

This book is about deadly water horses. Deadly. Water. Horses. How could I not get excited? I mean, just read the description. If that's not enough, go read all of the epic reviews of this book. Okay, sure, those aren't always reasons to get excited, but they were enough for me. And luckily this was just as bloody fantastic as everyone else said it was. I absolutely loved it!

This isn't my first time reading Maggie's work (we're on a first name basis for this review because I'm too lazy to spell her last name). I read Shiver whenever it first came out, but I honestly don't remember much of her style then. But it doesn't matter. All that matters is that her writing was stunning in this.

My only criticism is that if I were to open the book to a random page, depending on the content, I probably wouldn't know who I narrating right off the bat. However, the more I read, the better Puck and Sean's voices came through. And I never had a probably following their points of view as I was reading.

But my favorite part of Maggie's writing was her attention to description and detail. It was never overdone and I'd even call it beautiful in places. Stunning in others. She really transported me to the setting, even though I didn't know exactly where we were, what year, etc. She made it all about the present, and I loved that. She painted the entire story into my head, and I loved it. I have nothing more to say other than Maggie is awesome.

Great! I loved both Puck and Sean, as they both had strong, distinct personalities and were characters I loved following. But what I loved most was their inner journeys. Watching them find what's important in their lives was something you don't see to much of in characters anymore, especially in non-contemporary stories. And I absolutely loved that.

As for the supporting cast: Yessss! They were great. All of them played such important roles, and I loved Maggie's ability to add several characters without the reader getting overwhelmed. Maggie also stayed away from cliches and stereotypes while still adding the characters to love and the characters to hate. Puck's brothers were both different from each other; Gabe someone I wanted to dislike in the beginning then understood as the story progressed, and Finn was such a sweet younger brother.

I could mention all of the characters and what I loved about them, but that'd take too long. But I do want to mention the horses. I'm so, so happy that Maggie gave the horses personalities. They were more than horses and water horses. Corr and Dove were more of main characters than just horses. It made this story even better. The characterization was fantastic.

And the plot? Excuse the language, it's necessary: Hell. Yes. HELLYES! Where do I start with this?! Where?! This plotline was more than just original. It was more than just a well-written novel. It was incredible, brillant, fantastic, stunning, and just an all around spectacular adventure.

I've read that some people didn't care for the beginning, or didn't get into the book from the get-go, but I did. I loved the subtle entrance to the setup, to both Puck and Sean's normal lives, while starting the story. It fit perfectly with this for me.

But the story did pick up even more, do I even describe this plot?! I don't was fantastic. Maggie managed to make a gorgeous story without having the main plot point (the races) until the end. She made me feel for the characters so much and their situations that I found myself rooting for both Puck and Sean, which is not an easy thing to do. So throughout this story, I was torn, I was nervous, I was angry, I was excited, and everything in between, just like the characters.

And I must mention the romance element. It was perfect! So subtle and beautiful and perfect. Maggie didn't create a story around romance, but instead, wove romance into an already great story. Also, the ending. The. Ending! So much emotion and beauty in the ending. I almost started balling, but from happiness, because that's what they were all striving for.

Other: I do have to say that I loved the whole First Name Last Name thing Maggie did, where she almost always used both when referring to people. It fit so well and I loved it. Also, my name was in this! :D Evelyn! I mean, she was a minor, minor, minor character, but still...I got excited. Oh, and Maggie loved the word "cross" when it came to Puck. Ha!

This was just amazing. Just amazing. Such a breath of fresh air. It read like an adult read with everything that's perfect from YA. One of the few non-contemporary reads I've read that's full of beauty and meaning and purpose. It's more than a story about deadly water horses, which is utterly unique and awesome in its own right, but it's a story about finding the true meaning of your life. About happiness, and getting what you need, not what you want. This was just a beautiful, fantastic read.

No comments:

Post a Comment