viernes, 8 de mayo de 2015

The Scorpio Races


Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal Fantasy, Fiction.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Year: 2011
Ranking: 3,5/ 5
 
 Synopsis


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. Others die.

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 chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

The Author

Stiefvater was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After being home-schooled from sixth grade on, Maggie Stiefvater attended Mary Washington College, graduating with a B.A. in history. After graduating, she worked as a portrait artist, specializing in equestrian art, which is collected internationally. At 16, she legally changed her first name from Heidi to Margaret.

Stiefvater published her first novel, Lament in 2008. Before Lament had been released, she sold the rights to Ballad, the sequel to Lament, and to Shiver. Shiver was embraced by independent booksellers and overseas publishers. The Shiver Trilogy spent more than 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Personal Experience with This Book


I started reading this book because it was the book of the month for a Goodreads group to which I belong. In addition, the story was very different from what I'm used to reading so I decided to pick it up. I have not read many books that deal with animals before.

The premise of racing and the water horses looked very good at the beginning. Furthermore I felt as the author described the horses that this novel would make me nervous because of the danger that these horses represented. However, the premise stayed on a premise and concern came only once during the whole book; in one chapter.

The plot of the book is basically the Scorpio races but I think the book is more based on the two main characters. In their lives and their personal problems. The race goes to second place in this regard and the truth is that I did not like it very much. Maggie explained way too much things that did not need to develop that much and left aside others who had added  a little more flavor to the story.

Saying that the book is slow, it is simply to say very little. In the first half of it nothing really happens. It is more to inform the reader about the two main characters - who only know of the existence of the other but do not interact very well before the first half of the book. It also explain the situations that lead both characters to be in the position in which they find themselves having to run those races which endanger their lives but without giving much detail about it either.

At first I struggled very much identifying with the main characters. Puck made me feel despaired. This girl can be really stupid, most of her decisions were really dumb and, in fact, I think Maggie could have saved many pages if she had just done the cause of her participation in the races in a most convincing way from the beginning (the cause changes in the middle of the story, which does not make sense to me). On the other hand, we have Sean, who I sympathized a little bit more from the start and I felt very sorry for his situation. Besides his relationship with his horse seemed very moving and charming, I think this was the reason I kept reading even though I was not liking the book at all.

Then, from the second half of the book interesting things start to happen one after another and the pace of the book completely changed. There is a special event that happens which made me nervous and I got into the story in a way I was not into before that specific event, and I have already read more than 100 pages. So, I am infinitely grateful to this chapter because without it I might have left the book in halfway through.

However, I found that in the second half of the book everything seemed to happen very quickly, including the relationship between the main characters. It was as if the author wanted to finish the story as quickly as possible. That is, she lost all that time in the first pages and she was now running. That upset me very much. We cannot see how the love between the two main characters slowly develops. I mean she explains a long period of time where they are figuring out their feelings for each other in like two pages. The race also develops in a very short way and the conclusion of it, although satisfactory, was described so broadly and so short that made me want to throw the book out the window of my room.

I did not like the book but not to the point of hatred. What I can say is that I did not give a lower rating because the relationship between Sean and Corr (his horse) moved me very much. If it were not for these two I would not have put this book 3.5. I really wanted to read "The Raven Boys" and now I do not know if I’ll read it because if these books are so slow as this one I will not like them at all.

 
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