Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Publishing Date: October 18th, 2011
My rating: 3.5 Stars
Goodreads Summary:My AP U.S. History teacher used to joke that he'd given us fun projects for the final couple months of the year because they always erased the bad memories we had of the grueling tests and homework packets we had to do for the majority of the year.
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.
And that's what the last fifty pages of The Scorpio Races have done. They were so intense, they basically obliterated the mind-numbing monotony of the other 350 pages. I would've given this book 5 stars for the last 30 pages alone. But nope. Stiefvater had to attach the other 300+, and so I am aggrieved that I can't give it a very high rating because of them.
When I say monotonous, I mean bored-out-of-mind monotonous. I was praying for something to happen, and I skimmed a lot of the paragraphs about Thisby or the details of the island and races because there were so many of them. Don't get me wrong, Stiefvater does have a gift with words, but it got a bit grating to keep learning about the sea and the horses over and over. Then again, if she hadn't focused on the world-building, the world of The Scorpio Races might not have come as alive as it did. That's the crux of the matter. Also, the book actually got pretty creepy and gory. I liked that.
I was practically begging for Sean and Puck to just do it in a patch of cliff grass or something. I mean, Sean and Puck don't even meet until 100 pages in, and their relationship progresses at the rate a snail takes to go uphill. Which is not bad at all, but took a lot of the excitement out of the book. And what is it with all the parents missing? That's just...weird and coincidental. I would've liked to know more about them, since Sean didn't seem to feel all that bad about his father being eaten up. Maybe I skipped more paragraphs than I should have?
I liked the characters (George Holly. What a badass. Oh, and Benjamin Halvern and his butter tea. I sort of want to try it), though, and the sweet romance once it started going. Sean was quite different from all the guys I've been reading about, with his sharp demeanor and quiet devotion. However, I'd have to say my favorite part was the relationship between Sean and Corr. It's just one of those friendships between animal and human that's stronger than you could ever expect. They're totally my OTP now. All in all, I'm satisfied with this book despite the utter boredom I went through, and I'm definitely encouraged to read Shiver now.
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