Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio RacesIt 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 have no idea how to start this review. My opinion of this book is so mixed. On one part, the setting and the story was enchanting, the characters and relationship were great. My problem was that it took so long to get into, the first third or so of this book dragged for me, but the majority of it was amazing. I think that maybe my issue was that i expected a book called "The Scorpio Races" would mostly be about the Scorpio races but a lot of the time was spent world building.

The world that Stiefvater builds is beautiful. It reads like a sort of historical, celtic Scotland, or something similar, with the cold winter sea and this setting became so vivid to me that I felt that I was in that place, I liked the way that the on;y supernatural aspect of this book is the water horses, it helps this book sound like a legend and boy, did this world blow me away.

I found that Stiefvater suffered from the problem of telling not showing which made a lot of the first hundred or so pages of the book just chunks of description with very little dialogue to keep it interesting. Don't let this put you off, we see a lot of character interaction and development later in the book, and a lot more action as well.

One thing that i will point out is that I had trouble distinguishing between the cahracetr voices. Stiefvater has written in dual narrative well before, but seemed to struggle making the voices easy to recognise in this one.

Overall, The Scorpio Races was a mythical and enchanting read but it took a lot to get into. If I was to rate it on the last three quarters of the books this would be a B at least, but unfortunately because of the start, I have to rate it down.

Overall rating: C+

Stand Alone/Series: Stand alone 
UK release: October 6th 2011
UK Publisher: Scholastic
Book received as an ARC from the publisher


  1. I can't wait to read this one! I loved her lament and Ballad but I really didn't like Shiver so I don't know if this one will be a one I like or hate. Too bad about the beginning being slow though. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. You're reviewing a lot of books I've read or want to read. Some of the reviews I won't read yet (GLOW, EVE) because I have ARCs in my own pile and don't want spoilers. Others, like this one, I want to read. I'm so undecided over whether or not to read THE SCORPIO RACES. I t hink I might, knowing going in that I won't *love* it and it has issues. Then it won't be the hyped story I originally was anticipating!


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