The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}

acf05a77 2750 4257 a085 f096e900ad01 zpsbae75743 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: October 18, 2011 by Scholastic Audio
Format: Audiobook, 12 hrs and 6 mins
Narrator: Steve West, Fiona Hardingham
Source: Purchased from Audible
5 owls The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}

Summary

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.

My thoughts

Sean and Puck both live on Thisby island, where the highlight of the year are the Scorpio Races. About the same time every year, lethal water horses swim up on shore to eat whatever animals or humans they can catch. And every year, riders catch the water horses and enter them in the race. Sean’s been in the races for years, and he usually wins. Puck wasn’t planning on ever racing, but family circumstances force her hand and the possibility of winning the prize money is too good to pass up.

Puck and Sean were both very strong characters. Neither had parents and had learned to rely on themselves long ago. Sean had no family at all and was living with the island’s richest family while working at their stables. He was self-reliant and kind, quiet and strong. His quasi-brother was such an a-hole to him, but he maintained the peace and I was impressed with his restraint. Puck lived with her two brothers, one older and one younger. Their parents had died not too long ago and Puck was leaning on her older brother while trying to stay strong for her younger brother. She was in a difficult place, especially as her older brother drifted away so he could do his own growing up.

I liked the secondary characters, they were all full of personality and added that special something to the story. The good guys were fun and the bad guys were real jerks.

Neither Sean nor Puck were very talkative, so there wasn’t a lot of witty dialogue. It was nice for a change, though. They didn’t speak unless they had something important to say, so you really listened to the words. There were a lot of comfortable silences.

There was no grand sweeping love story here. There was just a touch of romance, but it was sweet and innocent. It was the perfect amount; any more would have been out of place in the story.

The writing was absolutely fabulous. Maggie Stiefvater knows how to create a whole new world. The entire island was described in such detail and with such care that you can’t help but picture it perfectly. The bluffs, the trees and bushes, the beach, the houses, the horses, the shops; all of it in perfectly vivid detail. Really, I can’t say enough how much I loved the world-building.

The pace lagged a bit, there was a ton of build-up before anything substantial happened and it was way too long before the actual races took place. Quite a bit of that filler could have been cut out with no effect to the overall story. Other than that, I liked the general direction the story took. There was some mystery as we were kept in the dark about some details, and there was a lot of action, once it got started.

A word of warning for animal lovers – this story (obviously) focuses on horses (with a few other animals thrown in) and it’s not all sunshine and roses. The horses and the riders are hurt, sometimes graphically, and some die. If you have an aversion to stories where the animals suffer (as I normally do), then you’d do best to avoid this one.

Now I need to talk about the narrators. I adored them both, and I would totally listen to them read from the dictionary if they ever decided to do that. They embodied the characters completely and their voices were smooth and pleasant. They didn’t have to yell at the tense parts, they could change their voices to show the mood changes. They are my top two narrator choices.

The sum up

A unique and interesting story with action, adventure and a touch of romance. If you’re going to read it, I highly recommend the audio version.

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Other opinions

Novel Journeys
A Nudge In the Right Direction
Starlight Book Reviews

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I love to hear your thoughts and read every single one of them.

  1. That’s funny, I started this one in audio book too a few days ago! I love Maggie so I expect no less from her :
    Liza @ Reading with ABC recently posted..Top Ten Words/Topics that will Make me NOT Pick up a BookMy Profile

    • This was my first Maggie book, so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s safe to say I was impressed!

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