Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publish Date: October 18, 2011
Pages: ARC
Reviewed by: ISALYS
Reason for reading: Given as a RAK gift :)
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.
As of fan of Maggie's Shiver series, I was excited to read this book. It's so different from any other books I've read, including Shiver that it made me excited to try something new.  Sadly, this book was not a homerun for me.

The Scorpio Races is told in two voices, Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick's.  Puck and Sean live on an island, in some country during some year (the 20's perhaps?) where every year killer water horses emerge from the sea to be tamed by the only men of the island who are brave enough to ride (or attempt to ride) these beasts in a race before their return to the watery depths.  The premise was original and seemed interesting, yet I just couldn't connect with the story or the characters.  I couldn't seem to get myself to care about them and so I had to push myself to get through the story.  By the end, I still had more questions than answers. What exactly are the capall uisce and where do they come from?  Where exactly are we?  What year is it?  Yeah, that sort of thing.

The characters were diverse and colorful, but I still felt some sort of disconnect.  Puck was caring, very family oriented but whiny and clingy.  Sean was the strong, silent type but distant and hard to read.  There was no chemistry or spark between them.  I kept waiting for that moment where they'd "click" but it never came.  They seemed confused and uncertain which left ME confused and uncertain.  The only relationships I never questioned was the one between Puck & her horse and Sean & his water horse. 

The only thing that shined in this book was the writing itself.  Maggie's strength is in her ability to string words together so they flow and sound almost poetic.  There was one scene where Puck and her brother were enjoying a quiet dinner on a rainy night when a killer water horse finds its way onto their property and starts hunting them.  That moment did make my heart race and my palms sweat!

I know this book has gotten some really stellar reviews and ratings from others; maybe the story made those readers feel something that I just didn't and I wish I had.  As for me, this one was just 'meh'.


  1. Autsch! Sadly, I didn't see so many great reviews on this. I admit, this one never intrigued me to be honest so I'm glad I didn't read it. I LOVE Maggi and I'm excited for her new series, but this one, I'm going to pass on..

  2. :( That being said, you did give it a whirl and now you know it didn't work for you :) I feel that is always better than just not knowing LOL

  3. Oh, that is too bad! I really enjoyed it. But, I knew I would have to put aside those kinds of questions, such as the year and location. You just don't get those kinds of details from Steifvater, you know?

  4. I know that this is a work of fiction, but the island, town and inhabitants seems so real that I felt I could find this place somewhere on the map around England, Scotland, or Wales. This is one of those books that you lend to others so you can have someone you can discuss the book with. Well thought out characters that you become deeply invested in. Quite a book.
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