Monday, 11 June 2012
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater
The cover is blood red with the shadow of a horse on it. Curly dark red is strewn across it in the shape of a heart, and the white writing over the top is pretty cool too. I do like an interesting font.
However, I don't usually like seaside stories, and aren't usually fond of horses either, but the idea of the story was what made me pick it up. The Scorpio races happen every year. They are a race of sea horses, and to race means that someone will die. It is a certainty.
The idea is that a girl enters the race (the very first girl may I add) to save her family from poverty as there is a hefty amount of money available if you win the races. So, that's a good start - it has danger and a touch of romance. From there it went downhill.
This book, in one word, was disappointing. The idea was good, the sea horses were actually pretty scary, but to me the characters did not have enough substance to them. I liked most of the characters, but I wasn't overly invested in them. The only one I thought was interesting was Finn, the girls brother.
It might be worth a mention here that I did think it was a bit weird how easily people got over deaths, for example, of their parents and friends. You would have thought that some of the book would be about their feelings on that, but not much time is put into it, it is more about the feelings of now. Saying this, it does make for a quicker pace.
The romance was quite well written, it played out how you might expect it to in a usual teen relationship. But the whole tone of the book was either solemn, nervous or occasionally exhilarated. However, it was easy to read, unless the tone depresses you.
Something that I did think was very good though, is the fact that Steifvater deals with women's rights and the treatment of women in a mans sport. It was well done in mu opinion.
I do think that this is written with younger readers in mind, even though one of the main characters is supposed to be 19. I think this is more for 14-15 year olds who love horses. I'm not a fan of horses, but I thought that the idea would make it worth the read, which it certainly is. But, for me there was still something missing in this book.
The ending is very exciting, but everything comes off as you might expect it to, so, yeah, disappointing. The ending isn't so much of a bang as a small fizzle in which everything goes as you always expected it to.
However, it was, overall, fairly enjoyable, and brilliant to the right audience. Unfortunately, I'm not the right audience so it gets 2 out of 5 stars, because quite frankly, there's not much substance to the characters.
( Also, don't read this if you hate it when authors use people's whole names. It grated on my nerves.)
Quite a lot of other people seem to like it, so have a look at these opinions: