Turquoise's Reviews > The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

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bookshelves: multiple-pov, deep-philosophies, distinctive-pov, lovable-heroine, lovable-hero, wth-ending, twist-and-turn, knew-it-from-the-start
Read in November, 2011

Before reading this review, please remember that this is my opinion on The Scorpio Races, and I respect any different reviews. This, however, is what I think…

Kate ‘Puck’ Connolly was an orphan living in a town best known for its annual game of Scorpio Races, where men riding on dangerous, blood-craving water horses to compete along the beach. Puck’s older brother decided to move to the Mainland with his friends, living Puck and her younger brother, Finn alone with no help and nothing except for heavy debts. To stop him from leaving, Puck announced to participate in the Scorpio Races with her ordinary pony horse Dove, hoping that the month of practicing will bring her spare time to live with her brothers and prize big enough to pay her debts.

Sean Kendrick was the reigning champion of 4 Scorpio Races at the young age of 19. He worked for Mr. Malvern, the richest merchant in town, to take care of his water horses as he was crowned as the ‘Horse Whisperer’, given his outstanding and rare talent in horse-taming. After years of training with one of Mr. Malvern’s water horses, he built a strong relationship with Corr, hence deciding to buy it as his own from Malvern. Mr. Malvern made a deal with him, that if he paid him and won the coming Scorpio Races, he would give it to him.

Same goal, different motives, same competition, different persons.

The writing was truly beautiful and the creation of that town is just… magical. The landscape was described to be so vivid and haunted that I automatically built the place in my head when I was reading. Though dangerous and barbaric the town people may seem, it was a world that I really wanted to see with my own eyes and visit it.

While the writing was amazing, the pacing dragged most of the time. The Scorpio Races only lasted for a short period of time, as it was a race of speed and strength, but I expected more actions and descriptions of the gorgeous water horses’ movement. As the race was deemed to be dangerous and the jockeys were vindictive in the early course of the book, I expected some gory, scary traps in the Race or murderous tricks they manipulated to win.

The romance… That was a good question, was there any romance in The Scorpio Races? Should there be any? Why was there romance at all??? Hate to admit that it would be too dry if this YA does not contain any romance. However, like The Hunger Games, I don’t think the romance was needed, solely written because teen girls have to have a little taste of romance.

Do you notice how many conversations between Puck and Sean were from Dean’s POV? Do you note how Sean never said thing vague things to confuse to make her fall more in love with him? Do you understand anything he said? No, no, and hell no. My conclusion: did Stiefvater know what she’s doing when writing those heavy dialogues? Just like Puck, I felt like I’ve just learned some really deep, useful knowledge, but I never got that ‘click’. I think that’s because I have not encountered any games or race similar to Scorpio Race in any way, so I did not get deep philosophy Sean said, but then almost all of the readers are like me, don’t have that kind of challenge and experience. If Sean had explained more (or even tried to explain) and this book contained more internal monologue by Puck that digests his philosophy, I would have enjoyed and admired the Scorpio Races.

You certainly do love your brothers, Puck.

Who on earth with a right mind would participate in a DOA for water horses with a pony horse? I get that you needed money, I get that you want to keep your brother, but you were joining a suicidal mission when there’s a rope right there in the corner for you to save yourself. I do not comprehend your motives when you first declare your participation in the race. For me, you were just too angry at the moment that everything you think about was blurt out loud. After your meeting with our villain and Sean Kendrick, I understood a bit more, but I still didn’t go with you on that, Puck. I am not a sexist, though sometimes you really have to listen to the law of nature.

You and Sean have something in common—both of you were in love when neither thought about that. Only a few thoughts by you guys were dedicated to your admiration. I am totally convinced that you care very much for Finn and Gabe, but Sean? I saw affection, not love.

3 water horses out of 5. The Scorpio Races is a book about growing up and scarifying things for the better, bigger ones. An emotionally rich and deep book, I didn’t realize how agitated I was with the result of the race until I finished reading the book and how badly did I wanted a rematch. I love the fact that the book ended with Sean and Corr’s big moment, and I just LOVE the name Sean Kendrick.
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