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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

by Maggie Stiefvater

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Recently added bydestinyisntfree, Caramin, michele.juza, martitia, PG14, private library, C.Vick, melanielost

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This book is about Sean and Puck. They are both in a horse race. The race horses aren't normal horses though. They both want to win for different reasons.
I liked this book because it showed both Sean's and Puck's perspectives. You wouldn't know what's going on if it didn't have the perspectives. I recommend this book. ( )
  SophieS30 | Feb 16, 2015 |
This is a heart stopping, surf pounding book that will have you cheering for puck, or maybe Sean, or who knows! I really enjoyed reading this book. I've heard of the water horses before but this new spin on them really made them so life-like that I know I'll be searching the ocean to see one myself. Now whether I have to trail to Wales, Ireland or Scotland to do so is the question! ( )
  slsmitty25 | Feb 11, 2015 |
The Scorpio Races is set in a fantasy island called Thisby where water horses (called “capall uisce”) rise from the sea every year between October to November. To all appearances, these water horses look like land horses, except that they are bigger, stronger, faster and they’re carnivours. The people of the island would capture these horses as they rise out from the sea, train them, and on the first day of November every year, they will have a race.

Dying is not a necessity. It’s just an occupational hazard. Yes, this is me telling you this book isn’t a Hunger Games rip-off. If anything, I would say that this book runs closer to something between National Velvet by Enid Bagnold and Stravaganza: City of Stars by Mary Hoffman.

I’m a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys Cycle. I’m a huge fan of horses. So when I discovered that there was a book by Maggie Stiefvater on horses, I was pretty excited. After all, Raven Boys was fantastic; how bad can The Scorpio Races be?

Short version: Not too bad, but bad enough.

Long version: Unlike The Raven Boys, which was written with a unique flair and distinct personality, The Scorpio Races felt rather generic, much like hundreds of other YA books out there in the market. Even the story was rather predictable. Think: there’s a girl and there’s a guy. They meet. They fall in love. I mean, I’m not against romantic relationships that are obvious right from the start but I do believe that there should be more development before two person got together. Right until the end, I don’t quite get what makes the relationship between Puck and Sean love and not friendship.

Cliche plot aside, the pacing of the story wasn’t too bad. There were a lot of setting-up but I wouldn’t quite call it slow. However, for the longest time, the story moved along without seeming to be going anywhere and suddenly, the race was upon us and then it was over. Just like that. I was pretty stunned when it was over because I felt like the book was over before it even started.

Anyway, the timeline of this book was pretty bizarre. Chapter One of the book began in mid-October; the race was held on the first of November. However, for one reason or another, there was a month between the appearance of the first capall uisce of the year (in Chapter One) and the actual race.

On top of all that, I don’t claim to know much about horses but I’m pretty sure they aren’t as inconsistent as the Dove (Puck’s mare) in the story. One moment, she’s freaking out on the beach when she’s around the capall uisce and Puck had to do her best to calm her down and the next, she’s really, really quiet when a capall uisce visits her stables at night during a storm. It’s like, she only spooks when the story remembers that she’s there.

Then, there’s the ending. Trust me when I say that I love happy endings but I also want the ending to make sense. The ending of this book does not. It left me with a truck load of questions because this ending solves nothing even though everyone got together. To me, this felt more like a happily ever after for the readers instead of for the characters in the story.

It’s just like what another reviewer said. When I read a book, I expect to either learn something from it or be entertained. This book doesn’t quite do either. It’s written well but that’s all there is. ( )
  Jael112 | Feb 2, 2015 |
Description: 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.

Thoughts: I'm so glad that people were talking about this book on here or I would have written it off as something I wasn't interested in since I didn't really like Shiver. I was so wrong.

The setting and the way that Stiefvater sets the stage for what is to take place is wonderful- a bit sparse and mysterious and bleak and yet so compelling. The mythos that she is dealing with is wonderful and engaging and she disected it so well that it manages to be fresh and ancient at the same time.

And I would like to bring special attention to the way she created the love story here. She didn't stoop to false overemotion or require characters that were startilingly good looking. She just pushed them in each other's direction in the exact way life does and let it uncoil from there, so naturally and slowly but with real interest and heat for the lack of physicality.

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending because I wanted to know what happened next. It's not that the ending wasn't beautiful or that it failed to wrap up the story, it's just that it left so much tantalizing possibilities. Wish she was writing a sequel but she doesn't plan to.

Rating: 4.17

Liked: 4.5
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4
Writing: 4
Audio: 4

http://www.librarything.com/topic/153717#4085897 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 17, 2015 |
[Re-Read Apr 2012] Even better. I loved the characters even more this time, and teared up at the end.

[First read Nov 2011]
I am amused to realize I finished this on November 1st, the same day Scorpio Races themselves are held in the world of the book. And now I desperately want a buttery November cake dripping with honey.

I really enjoyed this -- perhaps even more so than LAMENT and BALLAD, my previous favorites of Stiefvater's books. This wasn't a book that gripped me with a fast paced plot, but I loved the atmosphere, the wonderfully flawed characters, and the island of Thisby itself.

And the ending was perfect. ( )
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
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To Marian, who sees horses in her dreams
First words
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die. (Prologue: Nine Years Earlier: Sean)
People say my brothers would be lost without me, but really, I'd be lost without them. (Chapter One: Puck)
You only have to be the fastest of those who are left.
It's easy to convince men to love you, Puck. All you have to do is be a mountain they have to climb or a poem they don't understand. Something that makes them feel strong or clever. It's why they love the ocean.
My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.
The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. (p. 359)
I feel the island underneath me and Sean's mouth on my lips, and I wonder if luck will be on our side today. (p. 373)
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Haiku summary
Capaill uisce are
Race horses with a difference:
Fast and furious.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 054522490X, Hardcover)

Product Description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger comes a brand new, heart-stopping novel.

With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff--with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

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