September 6, 2012

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio RacesThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every November the inhabitants of a small island community hold the Scorpio Races.  The dangerous and often deadly horse race combines riders with the mythical water horses that arise from the ocean each fall.  Catching and training them can be more dangerous than the race for some.  Sean is a Scorpio Race champion, respected and sometimes feared.  He longs for a life free, answering to no one but himself.  Puck is a spirited, young girl, looking for a way to save her family from financial ruin.  The prize money from the races can provide that for her.  Who will win the race and who will die trying?

I really liked the premise of the book.  The water horses were fascinating, based on mythological creatures and tweaked by the author's imagination.  I enjoyed the beginning of the book and how the characters were developed.  The tension and love story between the two main characters was well written.  I could taste the salty air and feel the spray in my face as I read the book, the descriptions really transported me there.  My biggest beef with the book was the pacing.  I expected the race to be a many day event and began to wonder when we were finally going to get around to actually racing.  It seemed like there was a lot of build up for this race that only took one chapter from start and finish.  Perhaps if I hadn't already planted the idea of some long, drawn out endurance race in my head, I wouldn't have been annoyed two-thirds of the way through the book, thinking, "When are we going to get to it, people?!"  It's all about expectations.  That being said, I did enjoy this story, as I have enjoyed all of this author's books.  I will continue to read her novels in the future.

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