Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Scorpio Races

Every year, the small island of Thisby holds a bloody event: a horse race that usually takes the lives of several of the jockeys. The reason is that their horses come from the sea - wild, ferocious beasts with an appetite for human flesh. In other words, they're not your average ponies. So when Kate decides to enter the races, she must convince the village - and her family - that a girl can compete. And win. With the help of dark, brooding Sean Kendrick, the best horse trainer on the island, she might just get the job done. 

I could say a lot about this book, and it could take me a few hours to do it. So I'll just put down what I didn't like, and what I did. 
Here's what I liked: 
1. Maggie Stiefvater certainly has a pretty way with words. Her descriptions of colors, smells and emotions are very artistic. 
2. The horses. The horses were supposed to be terrifying but they came across as normal horses, in many ways, because they were a constant presence throughout the book. I kind of liked it. 
3. The idea. A deadly race and impossible odds was a great way to start off the novel. I also loved that it wasn't a book about two people in love and nothing else. It had deeper motivation than mere obsession with one boy or girl. 

And here is what I didn't like: 

1. Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words, as I said above, but her words go on for way too long. The book is 404 pages and the race does not start until page 380. Until then there wasn't any building tension, and I often got lost in all of the endless dialog that entailed complicated horse trainer language. I needed it to be easy to read because I don't know anything about horses! 
2. I said it earlier: lack of tension. And by tension I mean excitement. There was hardly any until page 380, and by then the book was pretty much over. 
3. The two main characters, Sean and Kate, were virtually identical in personality and demeanor. A contrast would have made them interesting. Instead they blended together and became one bitter, angry, dark character. 

In other words, the story could have been told in about 200 pages, and I had to fight to keep my eyes open while reading it. On the bright side, there's finally a YA novel on the market with horses in it (when was the last time that happened?)!
Okay, lovelies. I'm off to read Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler, whom I hear is also known as Lemony Snicket... 

I love horses, don't you? 


  1. Great review! This one has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. I want to read it, but I don't think I'm ready for anything too "wordy" right now. I'll definitely give it a read eventually. Thanks for the review! :D

    1. I'm glad you liked it!! Yeah, I would definitely set aside a little extra time for this one, haha


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