Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Narrator: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham
Pub: 2011; Scholastic
Length: 12 hours; 6 minutes
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy; Adventure
How a book began a 1 star and moved to a 5-er OR how audio books can sell even the most who-cares-story.
I checked out Scorpio Races from the library because EVERYONE raved about it last year. "Ohemgee this is the best fantasy book in forever" I shrugged shoulders and moved on. But then, I was browsing through audio downloads that were available immediately because I desperately needed some company in the car and whadoyaknow this popped up.
I guess for a Young Adult book it's pretty lengthy at 400 pages (are the words big?) and I'm going to tell you something that will probably shock the pages outta you. I disliked this book until maybe the last 100 pages (1).
So why the meh attitude and how did it change?
If you aren't familiar with Scorpio Races, in a nutshell, islanders tame vicious water horses once a year for a grisly race down the island. The winner receives money and the losers are thrilled to be alive. Seriously. These water horses are vicious, they seem to love human flesh.
Sean has been the winner for the past several years and this race proves to be the most meaningful one yet - he'll get his financial freedom AND his horse.
Puck is one of the competitors, coming in as a first year. And oh yeah. Puck's a girl AND she's going to ride a horse NOT a water horse. There's some family drama going on that makes it nearly impossible for her not to race.
So we have competition. We have female-powerfulness. We DON'T have romance (initially)! So far three things that should make it a winner. BUT...folks I have a confession.
I d.i.s.l.i.k.e. horses. Like seriously DISLIKE. I don't get it. I don't understand people who go all ga-ga over the beasts. I don't think they're cute, pretty, svelte, beautiful, [insert any other adjective here]. Nor do I think they're especially loveable (although I have friends who swear by it).
Why did I continue listening then? The audio version of this book is fantastic. Ahmayzing. The narrators are wonderful and engaging and they have accents. I truly felt as though I was listening to their side of the story while the book was going on. They were THAT engaging. Plus all of the other characters were kinda interesting.
So I ignored the horses. Which was terribly difficult to do considering they were EVERYWHERE.
And then something happened. I can't remember really when my opinion shifted, but I do know that I'd leave working out and make it home just to sit in my driveway to listen longer.
By the time the book was over, I found myself rating it five stars. Although I admit, I don't know if I would have continued reading if I wasn't listening.
(1) 100 pages is merely an estimate since it was an audio book.