Reviews

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

mlliu's review against another edition

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3.0

I don't recall ever reading any stories about water horses, so I liked the book for that concept alone. The author creates this wild, beautiful place, but I found so many of its inhabitants ugly. I had a hard time understanding why the protagonists loved the place so much when the people around them treated them so poorly. These people aren't all villains, but I disliked them for their pettiness and insularity and because of that, I didn't enjoy the story as much as I might have otherwise.

jolientje29's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0

user613's review against another edition

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4.0

This is a memorable read, equally parts disturbing and beautiful.
The story involves a horrible bloody race in a richly built world, with many well-developed characters. The writing drew me in, along with the non-stop action and suspense. The details came alive, the myths, the fictional world, the survival aspect of it. If not for the magical mythological horses, this novel could’ve been a dystopian sci-fi novel. It reminded me of [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)|Suzanne Collins|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1586722975l/2767052._SX50_.jpg|2792775] in a more slow-paced, historical world.
I didn’t love the flesh-eating horses and blood, but there was so much else going on in the story, the world was so much bigger and deeper than those horses, that I almost didn’t mind. The romance itself was sweet and gradual, and I loved how it started with a real relationship, based on so much more than attraction, though, to balance it out there were quite a few suggestive, lustful, comments from other characters.
The ending left me with a feeling of - wow.
It’s a powerful read, and I’m still not completely sure what I feel about it. I wonder if it would’ve been quite as powerful if it was less bloody, or less suggestive.

Content:
Violence: the novel surrounds man-eating horses and (practically) racing to the death, so there’s quite a bit of violence here, some of went into more detail than I liked
Romance: the love story gets no further than a kiss. Other than that, there are many suggestive comments referencing different body parts.
Religion: mild religious elements, including going to church for confession, different people’s belief systems and how they find a godly presence in the world, and myths involving a god or godesses.
Language: some cursing and profanity

coco_lolo's review against another edition

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3.0

So I won this from Goodreads at the beginning of November, but I've yet to receive my copy. Is it normal to wait that long?

3/16/11: I got tired of waiting for my copy to come in, so Spring Break was the perfect chance to get this. I'm not very big on horses, and I wasn't sure how I would like this book or what to expect, but it was actually pretty good.

First of all, the plot. It was an interesting story, one I would never have imagined. I mean, killer horses? That's more than cool. There were a few points where I felt things were missing, though, things that could have been drawn out or elaborated more: What were Puck's parents' names (I figure I am the only one who wants to know that)? What color were Sean's eyes (I see him with black hair and deep brown eyes)?

The two narrators, Puck and Sean, are unique characters who are somewhat similar but completely different at the same time; Puck is fierce, private, brave, and is not afraid to speak her mind, while Sean is even more reserved than she, quiet and closed off and calm. They share things in common, one being their love of horses, but just different kinds; while Puck rides an island horse, Sean rides one of the dreadful capaill uisce, the water horses that rise from the sea and eat flesh. One thing I like about them is that they don't just fall in love on the spot; they gradually begin to care about the other, and I think that they are still falling for one another even at the end of the book. And throughout the novel, they become stronger people, more open maybe; that was good to see. The characters' conflicts were interesting, too: Puck riding in the races to keep her eldest brother from leaving and to pay off their house and Sean riding to get enough money to buy Corr, the horse he rides and his best friend.

I will say, though, that I am not a fan of horses; they just kind of freak me out, so I didn't connect with this story like I did with Stiefvater's previous works. The writing style was fresh, somewhat raw and beautiful at the same time, but there was also this lack of fluidity at times to me. Also, it seemed like she described too many things as being black and brown and blue; I know that's supposed to be the color of the ocean in November, but it just seemed like those descriptions were there too much.

The ending was a happy one, though I was honestly hoping for someone to lose an arm or something. I know, I'm morbid. But I just thought it would have been really powerful. Still, I'm glad that it ended the way it did, with Puck winning the money and saving her house and Sean getting Corr.

mythslleniouslibrary's review against another edition

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4.0

I will admit that it took me awhile to get into this book, but after Puck and Sean first met; I was hooked. I loved this book, and I really hope she writes a sequel!

iamhume's review against another edition

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5.0

The premise of this book is based around a boy and a girl riding in a race filled with the dangerous and beautiful water horses that would just as easily let you ride them as they would tear out your throat. Yet, it's not really about that. It's about people living on the tiny island of Thisby and how they live among each other.

Yes, there are murderous horses and a scene which actually had the decency to scare me, but the heart of the novel really lies in the people and their triumphs and failures. Those people mainly being Sean Kendrick and Kate "Puck" Connolly. I loved Puck and Sean, how their worlds started out so separate that by the end of the book it seemed impossible how they had become so intertwined. And the side characters were so varied and fleshed out I loved them too.

Well, not the Malverns'. They got what they deserved.

I see how some readers can be turned off by this book. It's slow paced, it's filled with descriptions of the horses and the land and the sea, and the horses, but I found it all the more appealing. It's more of a contemporary book with magical realism, than paranormal fiction.

It's certainly not a book I'd normally like, but I love Maggie Stiefvater and I went into The Scorpio Races understanding her writing style enough to accept the slow build up of the story. And I'm not even a horse person.

melissafbee's review against another edition

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2.0

I almost DNFed this book because I had meant to finish it over thanksgiving break and ran out of time! It was not what I expected, maybe if I was a horse lover it would’ve resonated with me more. Audio book was better than reading it though.

booksareprettygreat's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

3.0

buchweiser's review against another edition

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1.0

Zu dem Buch hab ich nicht viel zu sagen: Pferde, Pferde aus dem Meer, ein gefährliches Pferderennen, Menschen, die Pferde kaufen und verkaufen, ein Junge und ein Mädchen, die Pferde reiten, Happy End.

Es war mein erstes Buch von Maggie Stiefvater und es wird vermutlich auch mein letztes gewesen sein. Es passiert einfach nichts und steckt voller Klischees.

Vielen gefällt das Buch. Mir nicht.

kittyhollow's review against another edition

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3.0

It was an interesting read... Different for sure... But gah! I can NOT stand it when the main character can't figure out that she is romantically interested in someone. "I had a sudden interest when I heard his name" "I couldn't stop watching him" "my cheeks flush at the sight of him" "my mind keeps wandering to".... And after every instance she goes "I wonder why" or "I can't figure it out"...