Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfater



The Scorpio Races was far and away the best book I read in 2011.

You know how some books just suck you in, and hold you captive, and are just completely magical and perfect? And when you finish, you are so happy because it's a perfect ending when you didn't think that was possible five pages ago, but your are also bereft because you've left that world? That's how The Scorpio Races was for me. Thank goodness books can be re-read!

The story begins with the ominous and intriguing words, "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die." For on the island of Thisby, every November, the deadly Scorpio Races are held. A brutal and dangerous ride along the beach on capaill uisce, vicious and deadly water horses, who emerge from the sea and must be caught, and controlled, if you want to survive the races.

Kate "Puck" Connolly is the first girl to ever enter. She is driven by a desire to change her family's fortune and stop her elder brother from leaving for the main land. No one wants her in the race, and Puck isn't even sure if she'll survive it, but help comes from an unexpected quater, four times champion and loner, Sean Kendrick.

The thing Maggie Steifvater really excels at is mood and atmosphere, and the writing in The Scorpio Races is as beautifully descriptive and evocative as in her other books. The setting, while being richly described, was also vague. As was the period events are taking place in. Which made it easier to believe in the fairy tale like aspect of the water horses and the rituals the riders had. It also gave the book a kind of old world charm. It is also full of amazing characters who are all so richly and well drawn I think they might be out there living on Thisby.

The Scorpio Races begins slowly, but the undercurrent of tension, caused by Puck announcing her intention to ride, builds and builds and after chapter forty I simply couldn't be separated from this book until I had finished. It's heart pounding, nail biting, stay up way past bedtime stuff.

I was so invested in both Puck and Sean's stories, The Scorpio Races is told in a duel narrative, and so you get a chance to see into both their hearts and minds. I was desperate for them to get a happy ending, while being sure it couldn't possibly happen. There can only be one winner in the races, and they both have everything to lose. Without giving too much away, the ending is perfection. . . and had me in floods of tears.

The romance is less, fornt and centre than in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, but I loved it more. There is more hesitation and self consciousness and so I was willing them to give in to their feelings. Also Sean Kendeick might be a man of few words, but the ones he does utter are pretty much perfect. "It's late for that Puck" - oh happy sigh! Plus bread is clearly the new chocolate for those of you courting.



So yes, my book of the year. If you haven't picked it up yet, you really must. It's gorgeous and heart wrenching and a keeper.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

12 for 2012

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

 A new book by Sarah Rees Brennan. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

I have heard so many wonderful things about this on Aussie blogs and I loved A Little Wanting Song

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

A new books by Diana Peterfreund again I. Can. Not. Wait. Especially as it's a retelling of Persuasion by  Jane Austen.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Book 2 - Laini Taylor

Flew through the first one and I am desperate to see what happens next.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Sounds so gothic and great.

The Right and The Real by Joelle Anthony

I've read this and can confirm that is is amazing! I can't wait to see a finished version though because the cover is gorgeous!

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cooke

Gothic mansions and ghosts! Out today!

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Would read anything by her.

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

This sounds like it will break my heart, but I do love her writing so I'm prepared to have it broken. plus a Pump Up the Volume style radio show.

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

I've just started Froi and it's brilliant so far, I'm sure the last volume will be too.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Ah the title alone makes me smile

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

How will it all end??

Plus I am hoping the magical novel Maggie Stiefvater keeps mentioning will be out this year, but I can't see any information on it yet.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Apologies for the lack of links and pictures, but this is my third attempt at this post and blogger keeps publishing a load of random numbers. Fingers crossed that this time it works

Monday, 2 January 2012

12 for 2012

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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a Happy New Year! We celebrated with champagne, mint chocolates and Star Wars - good start to the New Year! Then I went running this morning :D

Anyway, to recap, here are my favourite couples of 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfater


The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlainia Tibsensky

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

The Sky Aways Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Guitar Highway Rose Brigid Lowry

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The winner fo the giveaway who can choose two books from the above is

Rivka Belle! Congratulations! I emailed you.

Thanks for reading this year, I'll be back tomorrow with my 12 for 2012! Here's a great year for books.