Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

WOOOW! Going into this I didn't really know what to expect other than that this was written by Maggie Stievater (whom I love) and that it had a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads. So mostly, I decided to go into this as blind as I could.

This book is about two characters, Puck Connolley and Sean Kendrick, who enter the Scorpio Races that take place every November. Both have their own compelling and desperate reasons for entering this dangerous water horse race. People die, not all the horses are actually horses, and now I have a craving for November cakes despite the fact that they're made of fiction. 

Going into 2017, I wanted to start my reading challenge off strong. One does not simply set their reading goal on Goodreads for 100 books and not think about these things. So far, I've read a novella and a graphic novel, but I was holding out for a book that I knew would help me start off the year right. Cue, The Scorpio Races. There are few things as satisfying as saving a good book for later when you really need it. I'm pretty horrible at doing this. When I find an author that I like, let alone love, I tend to wholeheartedly devour everything they've ever written. With The Scorpio Races, fortunate for my reading goal, this was not the case. I first heard of the book right after finishing The Raven Cycle about a year ago and have been saving it ever since. 

Maggie Stiefvater writes beautifully. This is a fact. Sometimes I get taken by the beauty of her writing style before the story itself. In this case, I loved it all: the concept, the characters, the pacing, the magic. Everything. Maggie is great at action that sets your heart racing and romance that doesn't overpower. I found myself shipping Sean and Puck before they'd even said a word to each other. I found myself waiting in anticipation to see both of them through each others' eyes. I wanted more, but was also completely satisfied by the end, which I think may be my favorite kind of juxtaposition. 

Similarly to how they saw each other, I always looked forward to seeing how they both respectively viewed Corr and Dove. It made me feel warm inside. I don't really know how else to put it. I've never cared much for horses, yet Maggie made me love two of them right off the bat. The magic, love, loyalty, and respect. By the end, my heart was aching with dread by what almost happened.

Also, can we talk about the girl power in this book? l was constantly thinking, "HELL YEAH, you go, Puck!" She's grown up surrounded by brothers and then finds herself in this race that too is dominated by men. Though she knows most of them, grew up and around many of them, they are not friendly or welcoming or inclusive. They are rude and aggressive and oppressing. But in the face of all of it, Puck holds her ground. She is fierce and unwavering. I loved it. 

It is not often that I find myself enjoying books of multiple perspective. Often, I find it hard to distinguish between different points of view because they tend to read the same. After reading the book I saw some reviewers say that they felt that The Scorpio Races fell into this. I disagree! I could always tell when I was reading Puck and when I was reading Sean even without the title headings. I think why they work as friends (and more) is because they run on similar wavelengths. They have almost single minded dedication to their horses, their love of Thisby, their shared sentiment that they will never leave the Island. I find them likeminded, but not the same character.

All in all, I'm so glad that this was my first read of 2017. Unfortunately, now everything that I read next is going to pale in comparison. Happy New Year, I'll be sitting here daydreaming about killer horses, Sean and Puck, and November cakes! 

Favorite Quotes:

  • "There are moments that you'll remember for the rest of your life and there are moments that you think you'll remember for the rest of your life, and it's not often they turn out to be the same moment."
  • “Does anyone ask you why you stay, Sean Kendrick?"
    "They do."
    "And why do you?"
    "The sky and the sand and the sea and Corr.”
  • “And I told you before, I'll sell you any of the thoroughbreds.”
    “I didn't make any of those thoroughbreds. I didn't make them what they are.”
    “You made all of them what they are.”
    I don't look at him. “None of them made me who I am.” 
  • “I think every now and then about Sean’s thumb pressed against my wrist and daydream about him touching me again. But mostly I think about the way he looks at me – with respect – and I think that’s probably worth more than anything.”

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