The Scorpio Races
Narrator: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham
Length: 12 hours & 7 minutes
Genres: Fiction, Young-adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Take a Peek: Audible | Overdrive | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
I listened to this audiobook using hoopla and if you haven’t checked that out you should! It’s similar to Overdrive.com and lets you use your library card for FREE STUFF!
Story Rating: 5 Stars
Performance Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
I FINALLY read (listened??) to The Scorpio Races and IT WAS JUST AS MAGICAL AS I COULD HAVE HOPED!!
There’s something you should know about me to completely understand my excitement over this. It’s story time kids! Back in middle school and high school I was a hard core English horseback rider. My mother owned a horse facility and we would go to shows all the time to compete. Now I’m a master at putting my hair in hairnets, pulling tall boots on and off, and own dozens of fancy breeches that I’ll probably never need again. I even worked at the barn, so I did it all; shoveling poop, moving jumps, grooming horses, lunging, turning them out, feeding them, throwing hay, EVERYTHING. When I wasn’t at school, I was at the barn working. It was my entire life for about eight-ish years.
You can probably imagine how this has shaped my view of pop culture. If I’m watching/reading/listening to ANYTHING having to do with horses, I’m definitely analyzing the hell out of it. Most television shows and movies get it laughably wrong. For instance, Once Upon a Time is famous for doing the upshot of an actor bouncing around to make it look like their riding and then panning out to show a stunt rider. Or even a mannequin!
I mean, it makes sense, but this kind of stuff never fails to LITERALLY make me laugh out loud. So you can imagine my complete and utter delight when I realized all the horse-related stuff in this book (sooooo pretty much everything) was completely spot on. You have no idea how many movies, TV shows, and books I’ve walked away from just because I couldn’t stand all the wrong horse facts. But this book was a breath of fresh air and Maggie just keeps proving to me how amazing she is. WE GET IT OKAY? YOU’RE A NATIONAL TREASURE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO GLOAT.
On the island of Thisby, Sean grew up around the Scorpio Races. His father taught him everything he knew, showing Sean the ins and outs of the capaill uisce (pronounced CA-ple ISH-ka. Thank god I listened to the audiobook) or water horses. They emerge from the sea and come on land, hungry for flesh and viciously attacking anything that comes too close. If you’re brave enough to catch one and ride it, you can participate in the Scorpio Races. Dear old dad was a regular in these races, exposing Sean at a young age, until a fatal accident that ends with him getting trampled. Fast forward several years and Sean is the well-know running champion, unstoppable on on the water horse Corr, and THE person to beat on race day. As an amazing capaill uisce whisperer, Sean has landed a job working in a barn for a rich scumbag and his son—the rightful owners of Corr, much to Sean’s displeasure.
Meanwhile, Puck Connolley is living in her childhood home with her two brothers, her normal horse Dove, and their cat. They’re all alone, struggling to make ends meet after the tragic death of their parents, but life could be a lot worse. *CUE TRAGIC EVENT* In a move that so amazingly SELFISH and INCONSIDERATE, her older brother Gabe announces one morning that he’s leaving the island in two weeks to start a new life with his friends. Puck and her younger brother Finn are flabbergasted. She has no idea how they’ll survive without his help. In sheer panic, Puck announces she’s racing in the Scorpio Races, hoping that this will stall Gabe from leaving for a little while. It works, but at what price? A woman has never participated before and when Puck announces she’ll be racing on her normal non-water horse Dove, it causes quite a scandal.
With Sean going head to head against the awful rich scumbags for Corr and Puck fending off angry sexist townsfolk, they decide to team up to get through the races together. And it all leads up to race day.
“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”
This book is AWESOME!! So much crazy stuff happens! Within the first half-hour alone these are the notes I took:
- THERE’S A WATER HORSE RACE! I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS BUT I’M EXCITED ABOUT IT.
- Sean speaks to his father’s water horse before the race, asking it NOT TO EAT HIM???? AND IT LISTENS???????? ZOMBIE HORSES?????
- He watches his father get trampled (better than getting eaten I guess??).
There’s a lot of blood.
- Puck races a regular horse against her brother WHO’S IN A CAR. Get it gurl.
- A water horse just MAGICALLY APPEARS out of nowhere.
- Puck and her brother are terrified of this because, you know, water zombie horses have a taste FOR FLESH. WHAT??
- Sean talks to a friend (acquaintance??) who’s casually butchering a cow. MORE BLOOD. Poor Sean.
I loved that these mythical water horses and this crazy race were set against the backdrop of modern day. It felt like I could hop a plane to Thisby and ride a capall uisce in the races, you know, if I had enough money and a death wish. Sean and Puck were strong characters too. It was amazing to watch their relationship slowly grow and I loved that it wasn’t rushed. Their romance was very subtle, which these days, was a breath of fresh air.
But my favorite part of the entire book had to be the message of girl power. It was so liberating as a woman to watch Puck stand up (quite literally) against the entire town and claim her right to race. More than once I wanted to stand up and throw my fist in the air in classic Breakfast Club fashion. YAS QUEEN. YASSSSSS!!!
I’ll admit to being a little impatient and frustrated during the last quarter of the book. There is SO MUCH that happens in the beginning and then it sort of levels off for a while. The entire middle is all just one giant build up to the race, which I understand, but after a while I just wanted them to get on with it. This was a minor problem though, and probably just a personal glitch on my part.
By the very end of the book, I also found myself wishing we had seen more of Puck and Sean’s relationship after the race was over. The night before the race there’s a quick blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kiss and we see a tiny bit of each character afterward, but I wish there had been something in the epilogue with them as a couple. I just love them so much, I WANT MORE OKAY?!?!
And funny enough, the two narrators who did this audiobook also did An Ember in the Ashes, which REALLY caused me some problems. I love both of them because they’re amazing voice actors, but I COULD NOT stop hearing Elias and Laia for the first half of this book. Obviously that’s not their problem, which is why I still gave them five stars, but still. For the first six hours my brain couldn’t stop thinking “ELIAS?? LAIA???? WHAT YOU GUYS DOING HERE????? CROSSOVER??????”
Yes! PLEASE read this!! There’s romance and ponies and feminism and mythical water horses who hunger for blood and flesh. What more could anyone want???
TALK TO ME
What did you think of The Scorpio Races? Agree with my review? Disagree??
Is there anything on TV or in movies that bothers you like horseback riding bothers me?
Example: I have some friends in animation who can’t watch cartoons without dissecting them to death.
What books are you reading right now??
Holler at me in the comments!!