Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 421 (Kindle)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
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.
The Scorpio Races was a weird one for me. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it never fully grabbed me. Skarmouth is a kind of magical and deadly place. Every October, the fearsome waterhorses emerge from the sea, and it’s up to the islanders to catch, tame, and train them for the upcoming Scorpio Races on November 1. Sean has won four out of the past six years, and he hopes to win again to finally own his own horse. For Puck, it’s nearly a matter of life or death. She’s going to lose her home and her oldest brother if she doesn’t win her first race.
I think most of why The Scorpio Races didn’t wow me was the characters. I liked them, but they were kind of boring. Sean is the awesome waterhorse whisperer, so I expected from the beginning that nothing would happen to him. He has this way with these ferocious beasts, so I was never worried. As for Puck, she’s just kind of there. I admired her for sticking with her decision to not only enter the race, but to ride her own regular horse. But I also expected from the beginning that she’d have this amazing triumph and overcome all of the odds against her. There was nothing really special about her, other than being the first girl to the enter the race. I guess I just wanted more out of both of them. Surprise me!
The last quarter or so of The Scorpio Races was great. There’s plenty of excitement as the race draws nearer and the stakes become even higher. Obviously, Puck and Sean can’t both win, and they both need to for different reasons. There’s also someone out there who will do anything to make sure that neither of them win. I had already made up my mind on who I thought would take the victory, but I wasn’t sure how they’d get there, so the race did keep me on my toes. I just wish the earlier parts of the book had been as engaging, or not nearly as drawn out.