The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Source: bought hardcover
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Age Genre: Young Adult
SOME RACE TO WIN. OTHERS RACE TO SURVIVE.
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.
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 Cannolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. 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 find it fairly difficult -- perhaps even impossible -- to form my thoughts of this book in a coherent manner. It's a book that's hard to describe, with prose that's hard to find words for. It's a book that is both beautiful and terrifying; enchanting and brutal; apathetic and raw; Violent and majestic.
It's hard to describe such a book.
I can tell you people don't talk a lot in this book. Not with each other; sometimes not with themselves. There's value in silence in Thisby, and it is weighed with much meaning. But sometimes, I wished they'd just speak and hash it up. Less glares, more words.
I can tell you the main characters, Sean and Puck, were hard to connect to at first - they are both kind of antisocial. Focused on themselves and those they love, and not much else. But their voices worked together. They fit, and because of that you'll scream at the book for them to meet already, to see their interactions.
And once those interactions start, you'll be wanting for more. Waiting for some progress. And it's understated - there are no grand gestures or declarations, no discussion on their feelings between them. Just the way the act, and think, and move along each others rhythm. It was kind of lovely, while at the same time I wanted more. I wanted after.
I can tell you this book lives and breaths death. It is disturbing and harsh and difficult and people die, and it's not really anything out of the ordinary in this book's reality, and people will gamble over their corpses, and no one will bat an eyelash at it.
I can tell you it's more "adult" than The Raven Cycle, the only other books I've read by Maggie. There are innuendos in the book - not by our MCs, but by the adults around. Words of beds and doing and it generally doesn't shy away from the fact people have sex. It's not crass, and we've nothing even remotely close to actually it in the book, but it's open about it.
And I can tell you that whatever you're thinking you're getting into with this book - you don't really know anything. It will take you by surprise. Hopefully, a good surprise, but I can see why for some it's not.
This is not a book I'd give to my mother. She won't be able to bare the brutality of it.
Kindle / paperback / hardcover