Review for The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater!
Quick View Review
Overall Rating: *** (3.3/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
One Sentence Review: An expertly written novel that only really captured my attention near the end, this novel left me slightly disappointed but still in awe of Stiefvater’s author abilities.
The Scorpio Races: a group of horse races that happen every November on the tiny island of Thisby, races in which riders have to worry not only about winning, but also about just getting across the finish line intact and secure.
Sean Kendrick is one of the main attractions of the race. Being the four-time returning champion, his name is one that is known both among tourists and locals. Despite his fame, however, he is not a man of many words, and appears distant and closed-off from the world around him.
Quite the opposite of Puck Connolly, who is only riding the races because she has something to prove. She’s the first girl to ever participate in the races, and not everyone is necessarily happy about her joining them on the beach.
The book tells the story of the few weeks before the race, when tensions are higher than ever. But could it be possible that, even during a time of high stakes and rivalry, a love story begins?
I’m going to say it, even though I know there are so many people who disagree: I was disappointed by this book. After reading The Raven Cycle (a series by the same author) and hearing the positively raving reviews of this book, I expected something utterly epic, an unforgettable tale unlike any other; and although this book knocked being unique out of the park, I felt the story itself was repetitive until I got to the last 100 pages or so.
The characters, though, were terrific. I fell in love with the various relationships present, and similar to The Siren by Kiera Cass, felt that the island itself might as well have been a character for all of the personification and sentimental attitudes the various characters exhibited towards it. Seeing Puck and Sean develop and grow because of each other was truly one of the few reasons I feel this book is worth picking up, and although I didn’t personally fall in love with Sean, I absolutely adored seeing him open up and confide in Puck, who seemed to perfectly understand him from the first glance. Their love is the kind you desperately hope you will find someday, the perfect combination of mutual understanding and need for communication, consisting of a perfect blend of humor and serious conversations.
Like I mentioned earlier, the plot was seriously lacking in my opinion. I just felt that the first 3/4 of the story were agonizingly slow and painstakingly repetitive, with the characters going through the same routine and complaining about the same things that just kept occurring again and again. Had it not been for the beautiful writing and the flawless characters, I would’ve just skipped to the last portion, when the story literally made my heart pound in my chest I was so nervous and excited. In terms of the plot, I’ll give Stiefvater this: she does know how to build suspense and craft a climax, that’s for sure.
The writing. Now having read two different pieces of her work, I’m still in complete and utter awe of Maggie Stiefvater’s undeniable authoring skills. Her writing is pure beauty, captivating to the core, and endlessly satisfying; there comes a point where it almost seems like poetry and as a reader it becomes a wonderful rhythm of words, an encapturing song that grabs your attention no matter the story it tells.
Overall, although I would definitely recommend the Raven Cycle before I would recommend this book, I can’t deny the fact that The Scorpio Races is a fantastic novel; however, I think its greatness originates more from Stiefvater’s writing than from the plot of the novel itself.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!