Mary’s Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

How Excited Was I To Read This Book? 8. I had avoided Stiefvater’s Shiver series: The craziness of Twilight eliminated my interest in any book involving wolves, were- or otherwise. Now I think I should check those out.

Also, I knew this book involved man-eating horses. How can you not be curious about that!

Mary’s Book Rating: A strong 8. This book met my already high expectations.

Book Review: The story is told from the perspectives of two narrators: Puck Connelly and Sean Kendrick. They both have the kind of first names that demand a last – at least as employed in this book. You could never call Sean Kendrick just “Sean.” It would go against the laws of nature.

I have to commend Stiefvater for having created two very different voices here. It did not feel like the same voice with two different names. And both were likable for different reasons. Puck because she was brave and fierce and bravely and fiercely loyal. Sean Kendrick because he was steady and competent and yet still fascinating. The teenage girl in me had a definite crush.

Another thing I liked about this book was the sheer creativity. This was no regular girl-and-her-horse narrative, yet the story retained those elements. On the other hand, it was very different from the recent spate of young adult dystopian offerings – this was an alternate reality and a harsh one but there were no rebel forces, no oppressive totalitarian government. In short, it was more Marguerite Henry than George Orwell.

Lastly, I really enjoyed Stiefvater’s writing: she has an elegant descriptive style that was particularly well-suited to this almost mythic tale. For example Sean Kendrick is described as “a dark-haired boy that is made all of corners.” I loved reading her words as well as her story.

First Lines Can Sometimes Tell You A Lot About a Book: “It was the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”

Aaand I’m hooked!

Recommended for: Fans of adventure or fantasy books, or the ever popular girl-and-her-horse genre. In some ways it also recalled family car trips when I was growing up and listening to Dick Francis novels on tape. So if you like a good horse racing description, this one is a can’t miss!

If you liked this book you should also check out: This is a tough one because The Scorpio Races is really a genre-bending book. I’m going with Kristin Cashore’s Graceling because of the adventure, Dick Francis or Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand if you loved the horse racing! Oh, and consider taking a trip back in time with National Velvet!