This month’s pick for the Fall Book Club is Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I read the book a while ago when I snatched up the ARC at BEA so this review is going to be briefer than most of my book club reviews. I look forward to hearing what others think about this new novel from the Wolves of Mercy Falls author.
Overall, I’m torn about this novel. It’s so different than the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, which I adored. This novel is older, darker. And based on sales numbers, lots of readers are confused about this novel, too. During a brief conversation at Harper many editors didn’t know if this was teen or tween—you know you’re in trouble when publishing professionals don’t even know the basic details about a book!
The strength in this novel is the language. Stiefvater builds a beautifully cold and isolated world using a few words as possible. And the sparse dialog, especially between Puck and Sean, really proves that Maggie Stiefvater is a talented writer.
It’s Puck and Sean’s relationship, though, that caused me to pause the most while reading the novel. Their relationship isn’t the sigh-and-swoon type of Sam and Grace. I never actually felt connected to them. I cared more about Sean’s water horse than Sean himself. The characters seemed like a excuse to use the language rather than being the driving factor for the story.
In the end, I’m glad that this is a one-off and not the beginning of a series. Although the writing was compelling I doubt I’d pick up a sequel. And the cover art isn’t doing the book any favors, either. It’s dull—almost appropriate for non-fiction. Check out the UK art, it’s world’s better!
What do you think; are water horses going to be the next trend in paranormal?