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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races (edition 2011)

by Maggie Stiefvater

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1,359None5,634 (4.21)133
Title:The Scorpio Races
Authors:Maggie Stiefvater
Info:Scholastic Press (2011), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Children's Literature, Your library, Favorites

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

2012 (27) 2013 (15) adventure (15) ARC (13) audiobook (16) coming of age (11) death (13) ebook (20) family (35) fantasy (207) fiction (77) horse racing (24) horses (121) Ireland (13) island (14) islands (17) Kindle (13) love (19) love story (13) orphans (44) Printz Honor (15) racing (43) read in 2012 (12) romance (61) teen (26) to-read (75) water horses (46) YA (104) young adult (101) young adult fiction (19)

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Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
An excellent book. The premise of racing water horses that emerge from the sea is an unusual one but apparently an old myth. Stiefvater takes the myth and turns it into a page turning adventure that involves romance, horse training and racing, orphans, a believable antagonist and his evil son Mutt. Sean on Corr, a water horse, and Puck on Dove, a regular horse, are each racing for their heart's desire but against each other. Their island of Thisby, steeped in lore and superstition, makes an excellent backdrop for the believable characters. I would recommend this book to anyone. Although somewhat dark it has a good ending. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 15, 2014 |
The plot was so inventive and original! It read a bit slowly at times, but the ending made the slow pace worth it. ( )
  WiseYoungFools | Feb 26, 2014 |
This book is hard to rate and I'd probably give it 2.5 stars if pressed (Why won't Goodreads allow for half stars? *shakes fist*). Stiefvater's ability to describe character and setting is magnificent, but her actual storytelling skills are lacking in this tale, in my opinion. The pace of the book is so slow that I had to force myself to stay with it, thinking that it had to pick up. At about page 300, I felt it tick up just a little, but not enough.

Writers are told to show and not tell, and Stiefvater does that exceedingly well. However, she spends too much time showing setting and moments that don't really move the story forward. And then when you really want to hit the slow-mo button to squeeze out every bit of emotion (like when the main characters finally kiss), she glides by it too quickly.

It was a beautiful character portrayal, but I felt it could have been just as good--no, better--if she had told it in half the number of pages. ( )
  CyndiTefft | Feb 7, 2014 |
Loved the writing style, descriptions, and story so much. ( )
  Adelynne | Jan 17, 2014 |
n The Scorpio Races, contestants ride on bloodthirsty water horses, and the first to the finish line wins the grand prize. Sean Kendrick is the rider to beat, but Puck Connelly, the first female rider, keeps Sean on his toes. They both are playing for high stakes in this deadly race.

I had not heard of the Irish myth about the water horses, but because I’ve read all of Stiefvater’s other books I wanted to give this one a try. When I first picked up the book, I couldn’t really get into it and so I put it aside. Later I found the audiobook at the library and thought that might be a better way to experience this book. The audio narrators are wonderful and their spirited reading kept me listening. The slow paced story does take patience to get through, but the reward is an exciting race with characters you come to care about.

The story takes place in the made-up island of Thisby, and Stiefvater does a wonderful job bringing the island to life. It’s easy to envision the cliffs, the water, the colorful characters, and the mythological horses in Thisby. The race is all everyone can talk about in the month of November, and the promise of financial riches encourages riders to participate, even though the possibility of dying in the race exists.

The story has a dual narrative with Sean and Puck trading off. Sean is calm and quiet, and is playing to win something of inestimable value to him. Puck is determined and full of life. She’s a reluctant rider, but financial circumstances drive her to compete. The pair becomes fond of each other, which complicates things.

Sean and Puck have a low-key romance built upon their mutual respect for the horses and the island. It reminded me of Peeta and Katniss, where you don’t want either of them to lose the games/race. Theirs is a quiet slow-building romance that’s not the focus of the book, but helped me to get to know the characters better.

Steve West and Fiona Hardingham narrate the audiobook. The lovely prose and nature of the story lends itself well to the audio format, and the narrators convey the right tone, rhythm, and emotion for the story. Maggie Stiefvater performs the music in the beginning and end of the audiobook and it is well suited to the story. In addition, the author speaks at the end of the audiobook about the years spent working on this book, and all of the research involved. She even created a stop-motion trailer for the book. Check it out below.

Though I’m not usually a fan of horse stories, The Scorpio Races is a unique read with great world building and characterization, and it is a fantastic audiobook. ( )
  readingdate | Jan 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
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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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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 2 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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