I loved this book. I must say that I was taken aback by the violence and death in the first chapter, however the book was redeemed by the marvelous story, the sublime performances and suspense and action sequences. Very well done.
Description was great, story was inventive and Maggie definitely built a new and interesting world. The characters were interesting.
The story switched back an forth between the male and female characters this was a very nice surprise. There were two readers and I loved the way they told the story together.
I considered buying this book many times and hesitated because I am a senior citizen not a young adult! I needn’t have worried. The main characters are struggling with typical coming of age issues (although in very untypical circumstances) but, the story doesn’t bog down in them. I found the characters to be well developed with their own strengths and quirks.
This book was my introduction to Maggie Stiefvater. The book has an engaging plot that has been summarized by other reviewers. I really enjoyed her technique of switching points of view and yet still moving the story forward. I don’t know whether to give kudos to the author or the narrators for giving Puck and Sean their own distinctive mannerisms/speech patterns.
Given the plot, it is no surprise that there are some violent episodes in the book. However, the author did a good job of describing the situations without excessively gruesome details.
It is evident that the author understands horses and she keep me intrigued with her Capaill Uisge creatures. I rode horses every day for most of my youth, and after ‘reading’ this book I swear we had a Capaill Uisge or two in our stable.
The narrators were excellent. They pronounced the unusual words such as Capaill Uisge consistently and clearly. Their pace and delivery complimented Ms. Stiefvater’s wonderful prose so that I was reluctant to leave the Capaill Uisge world.
The story itself is wonderfully written. You get the sense that it is historical rather than fictional. The narrator was excellent as well.
It would be hard for me to pick. The narrator did a great job of bringing each one to life.
I think the end when the horse comes back.
Please, for the love of God, do not make a film. Movies are never as good and they often just destroy the book. I find that a good book is typically disappointing as a movie, but maybe that's just me.
This was such a cool book. I'm in my early 40s and just loved it. I'm convincing my sister to listen to it with her kids as I think they would love it (being horse people).
I choose to listen to this on audio and i am so glad i did that alternating points of view where easier to keep track of with the two different narrators telling the story. I also picked up this book as i heard their making a movie about and the whole concept of killer water horses is going to make a spectacular movie i believe. I love the descriptions of the land, and the horses, it truly was like a story being painted for me. A great book.
It was a great adventure story.....
BUT SO LACKING IN THE ROMANCE DEPARTMENT!!😭
I wouldn't suggest any girl or .. Boy😏.. Whose into strictly romance should read this book.. Just cause you likes The Shiver Trilogy by the same author, that doesn't mean this would suit it. It's more of the adventure type of story, like I said, it lacks romance. 😟
This book captured my interest and drew me into the story right from the start. The performance by both Steve West and Fiona Hardingham was excellent and the accents brought you to the little island of Thisby, where the mysterious water horses were loved and feared. Maggie Stiefvater did a spectacular job developing the two main characters and the slow (put just right) development of their relationship. I just wish there was a sequel and didn't want the story to end!
As you've probably noticed, I'm not very good at giving summaries of the books I read – that's what the Goodreads link is for. So my reviews are mostly about how the story engaged me intellectually and/or emotionally. I feel like I've been talking about the book for ages now, but I can't even begin to articulate how much I loved it. Of course a very big part of that was the narration, which was absolutely superb. When I've listened to audiobooks before, I've been familiar with the story, so my prior experience was more like enjoying a performance, rather than actually engaging with the story. For "The Scorpio Races", I had no idea beyond the bare bones – "Water-horses race, people die" – and so every nuance, every emotion was derived from what I was hearing.
It's a story full of almost unbearable tension – the tension of the upcoming Scorpio Race, where each day leading up the race, horses and riders die, and others will most certainly die during the race itself; the tension of the main characters, Sean and Kate, and the desperation of their hardscrabble lives; the relationship between Sean and Corr, the deadly water-horse he rides; the almost unbearable tension of Sean and Kate's romance-that-is -not-a-romance. I mentioned last week that I felt it was dragging, but then I realized that that was actually an element of the slow-build towards the climax, the race itself and its aftermath. I got to the point where I actually devoted three hours to finish listening to the book – I simply could not bear to wait any longer.
It's not a retelling of Celtic mythology, though its origins are there. It's a story of elementals – fiery Kate, Sean (and Corr) as Water, Kate's fae-like younger brother Finn as Air, and the island setting, Thisby, as Earth. There's also a strong sense of Sean and Kate as deities, fated to meet and mate. Their scenes together (each told in first-person) bear all the confusion of two young people who are not quite socially adept, but instinctively understand the depths of each other's hearts.
I'm particularly glad, too, that this story was self-contained, and not part of a trilogy – I don't know that I could have borne to wait for a resolution! Though I would dearly love, and look forward to, more of Sean and Kate, Corr and Finn and Thisby.
(To be honest, I don't know if simply reading the book would have had the same impact. I checked it out from my library as a downloadable audiobook. (Oh brave new world! To have such technology in it!) and knew well before I finished it that I wanted it, but the Audible price for non-members was daunting. Fortunately, it was available for the Kindle at a very reasonable price, with the Whisper-Sync available. I knew of Whisper-sync, but hadn't ever tried it. How it works is, after you buy the Kindle edition, the Audible edition is available at a greatly reduced price. So I have both a printed (which will be invaluable come Yuletide) and the audio edition. If this technology is available to you, I highly recommend it! )
The Scorpio Races is a beautifully written urban fantasy built loosely around the Irish sea horse myth. The author wisely jettisoned a lot of the hoarier aspects of the myth and instead concentrated on our two protagonists, Sean and Puck, and their relationship with the creatures.
On the remote British island of Thisby, the inhabitants are menaced by bloodthirsty creatures in the form of horses who emerge from the sea yearly. But the humans have learned to control the creatures - and even ride them in a yearly high stakes, life and death, race. Sean Kendricks is one of the most gifted grooms of the sea horses. But they have also scarred his life and he is a young man with only one goal: to own the sea horse with whom he has a special bond. Meanwhile, also on the island is Kate "Puck" Connolly. Like Sean, she lost her parents to sea horse attacks and is just trying to survive the harsh conditions of the island. But the family isn't making ends meet and she will be forced to enter the Scorpio race and defeat the reigning champ, Sean, if her family is to survive.
While I'm typically not a fan of books in which the plot is going to center on a final event, The Scorpio Races bucks the conventions that normally would make this a tedious read. For one, there is no 'great romance' getting in the way of the plot. People are greatly centered and act appropriately for the conditions in which they live. As well, there are no moustache twirling villains; no person is altogether good or bad. They are each making their way on the island. And the end race is built up to in such a way that the meat of the story (and the redemption of the characters) happens long before the event.
The writing is effective - easy to follow but also layered and nuanced. Stiefvater never feels the need to overwrite the scenes and all of the characters live very much in the 'now'. Both Puck and Sean are strong characters, driven but also flawed in important ways that only enhance, and not detract, from the story.
I've enjoyed all of Stiefvater's books and this one is no exception. I really especially liked that this is a story all contained within one book instead of dragged out over a series.
I listened to the audible version and it was well done.
I would not say the audio version is better, I can't make that kind of comparison. I love the audio and print versions equally. The audio version does, however, make everything seem more real, Thisby could be a real place, with real people, with real feelings. These become evident in the vocal tones and inflections used by the narrators. The casting is perfect, Puck and Sean are so much more real. I love it.
I love both main characters equally.
How can you not love Kate/Puck Connolly - she's a great female character.
And Sean Kendrick - how can you not love him with his one foot on the land and one in the sea. He's so... you can't help but love him.
I loved everything about Steve West and Fiona Hardingham's performance, they were great. So great, I'm not ashamed to say that I have listened to them narrate The Scorpio Races about 11 times. (this last session of uni was nightmarish, they really, really helped)
Yes. But I showed great personal strength and didn't listen to it all in one sitting yet.
Money/Credits well spent. One of the best audiobooks I've experienced.