I loved this book. Everything about this book is fantastic. The story, the development of the characters, the description, the action, the performance...I can go on and on. All of it is fantastic.
I also love how in today's teen literature, the characters, particularly the girls, are strong with grit and integrity, yet they maintain a feminine side. And romance with boys is then possible. The boy's are not intimated by the girl's strength but encouraged by it.
If you enjoyed the Hunger Games or Walter Farley's The Black Stallion, then I believe you will enjoy this book too.
I absolutely adored this book! So much good character development and I literally held my breath at the end! I love an author that spends time making you really see their vision. This was a great followup to Maggie's Mercy Falls series. Thank you!
The love story between the main characters is very organic.
Sean - one of the two main characters, his story touched me a bit more than Puck's, but both characters are extremely likable.
Steve was very good. Fiona's voice was pleasant, but her cadence bothered me. Throughout most of the book she would say a few words and then pause and then say a few more with the end result being pauses where none belonged. I'm not sure what caused this because there were a couple of spots where she didn't do it. Both narrators had British accents and had to occasionally do an American accent for one character - both did a pretty passable American accent, although Steve's was slightly better.
There were several, but one of my favorites was when Puck and Sean rode Corr.
I thought the book started a little slow, but stick with it because it ends up being very good. There was something about the language that made it feel like the young adult book that it is, but it was still an enjoyable read for me as an adult.
They helped bring this story to life so much more than when I read the story myself. While reading the story it took much longer for me to get into it, but these narrators are incredible! I really enjoyed listening and picked up on quite a few things I missed while reading it the first time.
I enjoyed this book. I avoided it for awhile because I thought it would be too young, based on Audible's categorization. I gave it a chance since I loved the author's other series, The Raven King. The characters are (I think) in their late teens (17-19), and have to act as adults as their parents are dead and they have to take care of each other. It was a refreshing tale that was raw and to the point. So many other books are drawn out be be spread across a series, but this was a great standalone book.
I enjoyed the relationships between the characters and the emotions evoked by the book. I felt I knew what it was like to live on the small island, with the good, and also the bad of being stuck in the unfortunate circumstances of the characters.
The main character (Puck) lives with her older and younger brothers, after their parents die. She finds out that they will lose their house, and that their older brother is leaving them. She also has to care for her younger brother, and her best friend is her horse. She needs to win the race to save the house and her brothers.
The main male character (Shawn) has also lost his parents, works for a jerk who owns the island's main stables. He loves all the horses there, but one most of all. The owner's son is even more of a jerk than his father, and is jealous of Shawn. Shawn needs to win the race to have some independence and the horse that he loves.
Puck and Shawn build a relationship that is friendship and a little romance. It feels real, and when it comes time for the race, they worry about helping each other, knowing that only one can win.
There were also some great side characters, including a rich American that befriends both Puck and Shawn, a bunch of women that work with Puck, and her older brother's friends.
One more theme of the story was the fact that Puck is the first women to ride in the annual race, and she has to prove/defend herself against closed-minded men.
The ending was exciting, but ended a little abruptly for me. Overall, I was satisfied.
I was a little worried because I love animals and didn't want to read about them being exploited or harmed. There were some brutal scenes, but they were quick enough, and it didn't really bother me. Humans died as often as horses.
The narration was some of the best I've heard. One narrator for Puck and one for Sean. Kept it clear who was talking/thinking, and I wouldn't change anything with that.
This was clever, new, and not clouded with love stories, though it did have kind of one. It was very nicely cleaned up, almost unbelievably (yes i know it's fantasy), but it didn't match the brutality of the rest of the story. Still a great read, i really enjoyed it.
I was really impressed by this book. It is the first book I have read by Maggie Stiefvater. I was blown away. I loved the concept of water horses. It was really unique and refreshing. I listened to the explanation at the end of the audio and found it fascinating. I liked the narrators. They did a fantastic job reading each character. My favorite character and voice was Puck. Fiona Hardingham did a great job and I plan on listening to more of her audio books. The story flowed nicely and I look forward to reading more from Stiefvater. My favorite part was the race. It was fast and plenty of buildup. There was so much anticipation leading up to that two mile and it was epic to listen to it. I will gladly recommend this book to all of my friends.