Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater- Review

There are so many enjoyable types of books.  The quick read, that has you racing to the finish, the poetic read that has you savouring the feel of each word, the funny read that has you laughing out loud all the time, the thought provocking read that stays with you long after you finish, and the easy read which demands nothing from you and provides a great distraction with light entertainment.  Then there are the incomparable reads (which are constantly compared, by the way, to everything else out there), books like Harry Potter, which are both consuming and entertaining but most notably sweep you off your feet to somewhere all together other, somewhere you've never before dreamed existed.  Incomparable books are the ones which are so layered and perfectly written that you can double back and read them again and again, sometimes in the same sitting.

Scorpio Races was completely an incomparable book for me.

I won't sully it by trying to give you a description outside of what you likely already know about it.  There's a race, with flesh eating horses that come from the Ocean.  There's a boy and there's a girl. The rest is the story, the fabulous part about this paper wonder, so I don't want to spoil it for you.  Suffice it to say, it sounds weird, but it works really, really well.

It's hard to put into words what I loved about this book, possibly because I loved everything about it.  Stiefvaters characters are nuanced, both mysterious and well fleshed out.  I felt as connected to her lowly bit players as I did to her mains, and as fascinated about each of their histories and what drove them to remain on the desolate island of Thisby.  Thisby is so rich and interesting it's basically a character itself.  An island so inhospitable you have to wonder why anyone would choose to live there, and yet it's a beloved home to many who were born and raised there.

Then there is the dialogue.  Wonderful, truly unique, and often the esscence of brevity, Stiefvaters dialogue was unlike anything I'd run across before.  It defined the local culture of Thisby for me in a way, almost like a dialect (though there isn't one).  Coupled with the locale, the dialogue gave an ambience to this story that completely took me away from wherever I was in the moment I was reading, be it busy subway or quiet living room.

Reading this story was a complete treat.  Every moment was dead on, every word was just right, it was both satisfying escapsism and enraptured reading delight.  I give it the single highest praise I can, which is to shelve it next to Harry Potter.  Now stop reading this review and go buy The Scorpio Races already!!

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic press, October 2011
My copy kindly provided by Scholastic Canada
Buy The Scorpio Races on Amazon


  1. Oh, it sounds like a great read! It's been on my wishlist for a while and I hope I'll be able to buy it soon. Thank you for the great review! :)

    Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea

  2. Oh you're welcome! I can't wait to see what you think of it.

  3. This book was great! Maggie Stiefvater did a MUCH better job on this book than the Shiver series. This book is along the same caliber as The Hunger Games. Great action. Interesting plot. Intriguing characters. Clean reading. And a little romance. Just what I was looking for.
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