Pauline Alama, August 26, 2013 (view all comments by Pauline Alama)
There are just so many reasons to love this beautiful story! The characters are worth caring about, the setting is so vivid I can almost hear the ocean, and the story is so gripping that I could hardly put it down. It's an original twist on the legend of the water horse -- sort of like Seabiscuit, except that some of the horses can eat you. On the fictional island of Thisby, an annual race draws foolhardy men to test their courage on water horses: predatory creatures of legend, born from the sea. Driven not by desire for glory but by desperation, a young woman signs up for the race riding an ordinary mortal horse. While it's fully and gloriously within the best traditions of the fantasy genre, exploring a mythological idea with a full-fledged sense of wonder, the Scorpio Races is also grounded in a healthy dose of reality, including one of the most convincing depictions of poverty I've read anywhere outside Dickens. Although marketed to Young Adults, this beautifully written novel is well worth the attention of Not-So-Young-Adults, especially if you love animals or the ocean.
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Lyndsie, June 25, 2013 (view all comments by Lyndsie)
I feel like this is one of those amazing books that flew under the radar. I've read small blurbs and heard rumors praising this book, and when I finally read it, it's like I was let in on such an amazing secret. The Scorpio Races is completely original. The story takes place on the fictional island of Thisby. Every October, Celtic water horses gallop from the sea onto the beach. Water horses look like larger versions of the horses we know, but they are also fierce and flesh-eating beasts. Men of Thisby capture the water horses to use for a deadly race in November: The Scorpio Races. There are two main characters: Sean and Puck. Sean has won the Scorpio Races before, and wants to win again. Puck is the first girl rider, and she enters the race not for fame, but for the money, which she and her family desperately need.
While it has elements of fantasy and mythology, it feels quite real. The island in which the story is set feels tangible. I smelled sea air while reading this book. The romance is very subtle, gentle, but completely believable. Every character is complex and fully realized. Adults would (and should) appreciate this book just as much as young adults. I have already bought another copy for my best friend, and I've lent my own copy to be read. If you like the Hunger Games, this should definitely be your next read. My only regret is that it's not part of a series, because I would love to read more books set in the same world. The Scorpio Races haunted me and will continue to haunt me. Spread the word. Read this book.
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