Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Publication Date: October 18th, 2011
Listening Length: 12 hours and six minutes
Narrated By: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham
From the Jacket:
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 Connolly 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’ve been sitting on this review for days, writing and rewriting it in my head. I keep a list of my all-time favorite books, that has slowly grown over the past couple of decades. Since I began this blog, I’ve added a few to that list, but I’ve only written a review for one of them. There is a lot of pressure in trying to eloquently capture what you love so much about a book in order to share it with others. I finished The Scorpio Races last week (the last of the Maggie Stiefvater books out and available for me to read) and immediately added it to my favorites list.
First things first, let’s start with the audio performance. The Scorpio Races is told from the dual perspectives of Sean Kendrick, read by Steve West, and Puck Connolly, read by Fiona Hardingham. Both did a wonderful job, but Steve West has the voice of a god. It reminds me so much of Neil Gaiman, who, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of listening to on audio, should rectify immediately. His voice is deep, precise, and sonorous, and I would really like it if he narrated my life from now on.
At the end of the book, there is an interview with Maggie Stievfater. In it, she talks about how she wanted to book to transport readers to the magical island of Thisby, so they would feel as if they were there while reading it. She accomplished this so completely that when I close my eyes and think about the story, I can see myself standing at the edge of the shore, under the cliffs, with the breeze blowing through my hair and the ocean in my ears. It is incredible.
The Scorpio Races is a story of magic and history and tradition and water horses. It’s about the people of Thisby and how their lives are shaped by the races that happen every November. It’s about the choice between staying where you’ve always been or having the courage to try and find something new.
I love a book with a strong female lead and Stiefvater delivers. Puck Connolly has never raced before, and this year she finds she must race to secure the well-being of her family. She is the first girl ever to enter the races, and must deal with all of the people who do not think she belongs as well as her own fear and uncertainty. She is strong and brave and determined as hell, and I love her.
Final thoughts: I love this story so much. It is the perfect book to bring on a trip and just get lost in. It makes me feel like cozy blankets and warm fires. Thunderstorms and hot chocolate and thick fuzzy socks. I have no doubt I’ll come back to it time and again.
Favorite Characters: Puck, Sean, Holly, Finn
There are moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and there are moments that you think you’ll remember for the rest of your life, and it’s not often they turn out to be the same moment.
Tell me what it’s like. The race.
What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both, and there’s nothing like it.