If you think of seahorses as cute little half-horse, half fish thingies with curved tails, you’re in for a great shock. Maggie Stiefvater’s seahorses, or water horses, are big and powerful and hungry for blood. Today, we’re looking at a new standalone title from Stiefvater, best known for her lyrical YA Wolves of Mercy Falls and Fae series.
Want to win an ARC of The Scorpio Races? Read on!
Lydia Dare’s paranormal historical romances feature the hottest theme in paranormal combined with the most popular time period in historical romance. This is the third in a trilogy of vampire Regency romances, where the glittering world of English high society is a playground for the rich, titled, and undead. Vampire Alec McQuarrie’s heart was broken long before it stopped
THE OFFICIAL BLURB: 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.
MY THOUGHTS: I’ve always had kind of a love-like relationship with Stiefvater’s series books, where the writing is absolutely lovely and lyrical but the urgency of the read never quite set in for me so that I could forget I was reading YA and just enjoy the experience. So The Scorpio Races took me a bit by surprise—it’s beautifully written, hauntingly imagined, and builds at a steady pace until I ended up staying up half the night to finish it just because I had to know. Technically, it’s YA, but mostly it’s just a good paranormal story.
Puck and Sean—who don’t actually meet until about halfway into the book—are both orphans, not only literally but in terms of their future. They don’t know quite how to imagine their lives will look outside their current, difficult circumstances.
And winding in and out of their lives on a tiny island in a Celtic-like world, likely off the coast of Ireland but we’re never really told, are the water horses, who come out of the sea onto the island once a year and race in an event that has become a money-making tourist attraction. Much is expected of Sean as a four-time winning race rider; nothing is expected of Puck, the first girl to ever sign up. Yet like most races, the winning of the contest pales beside the journey in getting there.
This isn’t a fast read, but it’s compelling and different and oh-so-satisfying.
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