I’m in a long-running chat with a boatload of Maggie Stiefvater fans so after reading the Raven Boys series last year, I finally got around to Scorpio Races this year. I got it as an audiobook and while I appreciated the dual narrators (as I did for Emergency Contact) I just … I dunno. This one didn’t do it for me. This was another audiobook I cranked to 1.5x just to get through it.
It’s not that it isn’t a compelling story. I have a soft spot for worlds just one degree removed from ours, and this definitely is. There’s magic, but in such a limited way and so much else is the same, it intrigues me. Here, on the island of Thisbee (and only the island of Thisbee) there exists an animal known as the water horse (capaill uisce – had to look this up, I’d only heard it so I had zero idea how to spell it). These are glorious and huge and monstrous and meat-eating so people being people, the islanders have organized to race these beasts when they are at their most dangerous.
Maybe that’s the story I would have preferred, something about what it is that makes humanity look at these creatures and go “yeah, I’m gonna ride that, really fast, around a bunch of other ones and hope it’s the other guy that dies.” Instead we got a teenage love story I could really have done without. I guess in the end it was a boring story inside a fascinating world. Ah well.