The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater Alrighty then. I've been terrible at doing reviews lately, and I finished this book, like, a month ago. So now I'm going to review it. Because I have like two other books that I really, really want to review. Not that I don't want to review this book, because I do. But yeah. I guess I just don't have anything very entertaining to say about it.So, to briefly explain what The Scorpio Races is about, I made this illustration:Uh yeah. So it's basically about an island where horses eat people. Awesome, eh? It didn't help that I was watching copious amounts of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" while I was readin this book, so that's basically the image that kept appearing in my head.But to go into more depth... Basically, on this terrifying island, there are man-eating horses living in the ocean. And once a year, a bunch of people get together to race on these horses and try not to get their heads bitten off. Our two main characters are Sean––who is a pro at this scary horse-riding stuff––and Puck––the first girl ever to enter the races, and who likes to ride ponies rather than carnivorous horses. It's been kind of a while since I read this, and it also took me a ridiculously long time to read. So, I really can't go into much detail. Also, I had an uncorrected proof copy if that makes any difference, but ... I don't know. Basically, I think Maggie Stiefvater is awesome. I first fell in love with her Books of Faerie (Is there ever going to be a third one of those, by the way?), and then of course with The Wolves of Mercy Falls. The Scorpio Races is very different from either series (also, it's a stand-alone). But it still possesses all those lovely traits that make me enjoy Maggie's books.The strength is really in the writing and the atmosphere. I love Maggie's writing style; she's great at descriptions, and makes everything vivid and easy to picture. I've seen a lot of people saying this book is very "atmospheric," and normally I'd be like, "Ha ... what does that even mean?" But it's totally true. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. There's just something very distinct about the atmosphere. It's sort of creepy and gloomy, and almost has a kind of fairytale quality to it. (Which makes sense I guess, seeing as the idea of "water horses" comes from mythology.) The world is very detailed (physically, anyway), to the point where I could almost feel myself living in it.The only way in which the world-building fell short was, I was confused as to when and where exactly the story was taking place. I guess it's not the world's most important detail, but at times I just found myself scratching my head about it. It was kind of unclear as to whether this was supposed to take place in the actual world, and what time period it was supposed to be. The past? The present? The future? I got the sense it took place in the real world, but on a fictional island (well, obviously). But everyone seemed to be living like it was olden times ... but like, I don't know. It still seemed kind of modern in a way. But, oh well. There was something intriguing about the ambiguity and mysteriousness of it all, so it didn't bother me that much.As for the characters ... Puck and Sean were both pretty cool. Their voices were kind of indistinct from each other, which was the only problem. There were a lot of times when I thought one of them was talking and then I'd be like, "Oh, haha. Never mind." But, you know. That's a fairly common issue with multiple first-person perspectives. Otherwise, they were both interesting characters with good backstories. I also liked that their romance didn't feel all too rushed. And I know that's a problem a lot of people had with Shiver. So, just saying that if you disliked the romance in Wolves of Mercy Falls, you might still enjoy the romance in The Scorpio Races. It felt more developed.So, my one major criticism of this book was the pacing. I guess I was expecting it to be more like ... terrifying, bloodthirsty horses galloping around eating everyone in sight. But, it was more focused on developing the setting and characters––which isn't a bad thing, of course. I just felt like it could have used a few more action-y parts. Maybe I just have a short attention span. Anyway, the actual Scorpio Races don't actually happen until the very, very end of the book. (Like, in the last 20 pages or so.) So, it felt a little bit rushed at the end, when I feel like the excitement could have been more spread out.But otherwise, it was very good. The world was imagined beautifully, the writing was delicious as always, and the characters were likable. Over all, quite a satisfying read. And I'm really looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater's new book. :)