Monday, June 3, 2013

The Scorpio Races - a book review, or My Little Pony Death Race

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater
416 pages

This is a book about water horses. They are not called sea horses because that's something else entirely. These sea water horses are nothing like Snorks. They kill people. So what do the residents of Thisby Island do to contain the threat known as capaill uisce? They throw a horse race of course!

Which, you know, makes total sense. A deadly horse race so people can win money and fulfill their wildest fantasies. Which, for Kate Connolly (known as Puck) is to rescue her dilapidated farm. Not to, you know, move to the Mainland to escape the deadly threat of the water horses (are you with me so far?).

Sean Kendrick is out to be Sean Kendrick. He has a tortured past and a tortured soul and he wants to win the race so he can be free of his boss. Which is more admirable than saving a farm and NOT moving away from the threat of bloody beach horses.

I'm not even kidding. Half the time I'm reading this book I'm saying to myself "Why the fuck don't you just move?" And "Oh you found a dead sheep and your children can't go out after dark because they might get killed? WHY DON'T YOU MOVE TO A SAFER FUCKING PLACE?"

The answers border on the asinine: "Thisby is my home!" or "My heart is in Thisby and nowhere else!" The amount of Shell Shock a resident actually goes through while living on Thisby is mind boggling. Oh and everyone is poor and half the people want to move to the Mainland but don't. They want to sit in their homes located on mud holes and let the guy who runs the island treat them like third class citizens.

Which, you know, makes total sense.

So what did I like about The Scorpio Races? I love the way its written. I love the mythology of the island. I love that it's a unique subject in a genre that needs more uniquey-ness. Most might find the plot boring, but being a resident of Derby City; there's something about horses I will always find compelling.

Thisby is a bit like Sleepy Hollow; a unique story about a town's local legend, it's got a slow creepy chill to it, and it's a welcome change to an ever expanding genre. I'm okay with it. Except when the residents are completely oblivious as to how not to die.

Two Out of Five Fucks Given

Full Disclosure: I read this on my Kindle.

Side Note: Sean and Puck almost remind me of Dagny and Rearden from Atlas Shrugged. The two are extremely head strong, stubborn, and come across as self-righteous in the worst possible ways.
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