Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publish Date: October 18, 2011
Genre: YA, Fantasy
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.
Puck is not your typical racer. In fact, she's the first girl to attempt the deadly Scorpio Races, and she's doing it to bring her family back together in a last ditch attempt after her older brother abandons she and her younger brother, Finn. Puck has a battle ahead of her though. The Scorpio Races aren't about racing pretty ponies. The Capaill Uisce are fierce, mythical water horses that are as ferocious as they are powerful, and they'll turn on their rider as soon as they'll attack anyone else. Fueled by blood, they're harnessed by magic and charms to ride, but there's never a guarantee a rider will survive the Scorpio Races. Puck must battle to the finish line, challenge the four-time reigning champion and attempt to bring peace to her family once and for all...but first she has to survive the ride.
I'm probably one of the few YA book bloggers in the whole wide blogosphere that didn't fall madly in love with the Shiver series. In fact, I rather disliked it as a whole. So sue me. That said, I'm a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater's Ballad and Lament, so I've always loved her ability to tell a story. When I read the premise of The Scorpio Races, I was captivated, and I can say with one hundred percent conviction and honesty that the book lives up to its potential. Fierce and frightening, The Scorpio Races is set in a vivid backdrop of a deadly battle but is fueled by equally colourful and magnetic characters. With rich prose, gorgeous details and an ever-spinning and flowing plot makes The Scorpio Races a truly incredible journey for readers of all ages.
I'm a huge fan of character-driven novels, and The Scorpio Races truly delivers. Puck (Kate) is a fantastic and relatable character. She's willing to lay it all on the line for her family, and she's more than willing to face the challenge of her fellow competitors. The beauty of Puck is that she's not some silly girl desperate to make a stand. She's a bit rough around the edges, she doesn't care what others think of her and she'd lay down her life to save her little brother without a second thought. Sean, the four-time champion is a worthy adversary. In a world of YA characters where men are artistic and wishy-washy, his very presence is strong and commands attention. He doesn't waver, he doesn't falter and his relationship to the races is a mystery that fuels the core of The Scorpio Races. The brilliance of the novel is that, yes, the characters drive the story, but the plot matches and surpasses the characters, as well. It's original, riveting and entirely engaging. It's dark and blood-tinged world I'd love to be lost in again and again.
I love when I read books that set themselves apart in every sense of the word, and I'm so happy to say that I found The Scorpio Races did just that. I give it a 5 out of 5, hands down, and I would highly, highly recommend it to fans of both YA and adult books, especially those who enjoy fantasy, touches of dystopian and dark stories.
I received this ARC free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.