The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater(Cover picture courtesy of Book Box Daily.)

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 chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Well I suppose that The Scorpio Races at least has good descriptions.  That’s pretty much all the praise I can give this book.

This is the first book I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater and it will very likely be the last.  The Scorpio Races is a book that’s 404 pages long that tells a non-existent story.  (Spoilers ahead.)  Puck, or Kate as she’s properly called, is a young girl living on a mysterious island that has caipall uisce.  Essentially they’re vicious, flesh-eating horses that live in the water.  And the crazy people on the island (the ones that stay there anyway) race them on the first of every single November.  Kate’s older brother is leaving for the mainland to make a better life for himself and his orphaned siblings but oh no, Kate can’t have that!  She decides, on a whim, to enter the Scorpio Races in order to delay her brother’s departure…by one whole month.  Yep, that’s her great plan.  Maggie Stiefvater later inserts further drama about the house coming close to being foreclosed on but it just seems like a lame justification for Kate’s stupidity.

I should have liked Sean as a character but I couldn’t muster up the energy to give a crap about him.  He works for an awful man because he wants to buy the horse he’s become attached to.  That’s it.  He often speaks with the mainland horse buyer George Holly, but Holly’s main purpose as a character is to offer exposition and generally pad the length of the novel.  He serves no useful purpose, believe me.  And it seems the only purpose Sean has in the end is to save Kate’s stupid butt when she decides to enter the Scorpio Races on a regular horse.  Amongst flesh-eating caipall uisce.  Does her stupidity have no end?

I nearly fell asleep by the time the races started.  The races start on page 380 in a book that’s 404 pages long.  The rest of the novel is meaningless ‘training’ sequences that always seem to end in forced, awkward ‘romance’ between Kate and Sean.  It just seems like added drama rather than a genuine romance.  I mean, if George Holly hadn’t said that Sean and Kate obviously had feelings for each other I really don’t think I would have noticed.  There’s a fine line between subtle and non-existent.

Ugh, for a novel with a great premise, The Scorpio Races was a complete bomb.  To be honest I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

I give this book 0.5/5 stars.

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4 comments

  1. Jemima Pett

    I’m sure the author will be upset that you didn’t like it, but it’s a very good review. Clear and supported by evidence. Food for thought.

  2. Savindi (The Streetlight Reader)

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like this one Carrie! I’ve heard that this Stiefvater’s best work so far. Interestingly one of the book tubers said in her review for The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater that her writing is an acquired taste. I have to agree with her. I loved The Raven Boys by Stiefvater and I was so excited to read the sequel : The Dream Thieves, but I had to put it down because I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I was pretty bored. Her writing is beautiful, but for TDT, it just didn’t work. I’m still undecided if I’m going to pick up any of her other work. But I’d recommend The Raven Boys. It was very good. It’s very much a character driven story. Great Review!

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