Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Scorpio Races

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.

I've been trying to write one-sentence reviews of the books I read on goodreads, and to illustrate how I felt about this book, this was my one sentence: "Even the man-eating horses weren't able to make this book more exciting."

I was both unsurprised and disappointed to find that I disliked this book. I've read really positive and really negative reviews. One book reviewer I really like recommended this book if the reader liked The Blue Sword and Fire (by Kristen Cashore) - both books I love. So, even though I wanted to be done with Maggie Stiefvater after Forever, I decided to pick this up.

It dragged and dragged and I found myself skipping forward, scanning pages for more interesting bits (something I never do). You would think, wouldn't you? That if there are brutal, flesh-eating horses on nearly every page that there would be some action? Something exciting going on? Nope.

And the thing that I just couldn't figure out (and maybe I missed it because I skipped that part) was why on earth anyone would choose to ride these horses in a race every year, especially because people died constantly. Why??? What was the point? It wasn't like in the Hunger Games where if you're going to be subjected to brutal violence at least it was because you had no choice. The only thing I could figure is that the people in Maggie Stiefvater's world lusted for violence.

And the romance took up such a very small amount of page time (I know because once I got sick of the plot that's what I started scanning pages for). Overall, this book was frustrating and I could barely finish it.  The only reason I still have this two stars on goodreads instead of one is because Maggie Stiefvater has a gorgeous, poetic way with words. I paused several times to reread her descriptions. The setting really came alive and I could imagine and feel exactly what her world looked like, smelled like, tasted like, sounded like. Maybe she'll release another book and I'll try again someday, but I won't be in any hurry.

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