Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Scorpio Races

Stiefvater, M. (2011) The Scorpio Races. NY: Scholastic, Inc.
YA Fiction / Fantasy
Printz Honor Book

I knew absolutely nothing about this book when it came-up as the next SHSU Library Science Book Club read. Having recently purchased an iPad, I also made this my very first electronic book purchase.  As a side note, I found reading and e-book to be just fine, and the perks of being able to hilite text, search for words, bookmark, etc. were icing on the cake.  I'm not going to give up on real paper books - in part because I can't swallow paying $15.00 without having something to put on my real bookshelf - because I love holding a book and being able to whip it out and read it, when I have a six minute block of time waiting for pasta to cook or three minutes while I brush my teeth. Firing up the iPad for that isn't any good.

So, the book. . . I really liked this and gave it 4 out of 5 stars in Goodreads.  The setting was an interesting phenomenon; I really felt like it had to be set in the past - the American, Mr. Holly, seemed old-timey to me - but I think it was that life on the island stood still and perhaps those who visited for the races fell into that same lull. There were intrusions from the outside world with the cars and one character who decided to market her wares by creating a catalog to mail to the mainland. 

After a slowish start, I found it a real page turner, but I wasn't happy with the ending. It was abrupt and though I think this is a stand alone, it seemed to leave it wide open for a sequel. . . Stiefvater swears there is no chance of a sequel but I'm not convinced. I would have liked a little epilogue or something.

The descriptions were excellent and made it easy for me to fall right into the story. I felt like a fly on the wall. Those are some scary horses - picture the color-changing horses in Oz prancing along and then viciously grabbing and scarfing down a Munchkin - and now I'm interested more in the tales from which the author drew her inspiration. 

I would not have picked this up on my own, but I'm very glad I read it.  It has adventure, romance (though not CHEESY romance), strong female and male main characters, and of course the mystery/fantasy element.

Here's the book trailer with music and animation created by the author, Maggie Stiefvater.

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