The Scorpio Races is getting a lot of attention lately--deservedly. A friend described it as atmospheric, and she is so right. It has atmosphere, adventure, thrills, humor and more! Set on an island that, one infers, is somewhere near the British Isles, the island, Thisby, occupies as large a part of the book as any of the characters. Thisby is rocky, foggy, and occasionally invaded by horses which come out of the ocean. These water horses are not the cute little ponies that swim between islands off Virginia or live in the marshes of southern France. No, these creatures are much bigger than even the normal land-bound horse and have big teeth which they love to use on any potential juicy meat.
But along with the danger, the water horses also drive the economy of the island, bringing tourists from all over the world for the annual Scorpio Races, in which many riders and handlers are killed even during the practice sessions. Sean Kendrick has won the main race several times for the breeder he works for--earning the hatred of the boss's son. But Sean drives himself and the stallion, Corr, to win for reasons he shares with no one.
Puck Connelly and her brothers, who have lost their parents, are about to lose their house. Their older brother is leaving the island soon. Puck must win the Scorpio Races to save her home and keep her younger brother off the grinding factory line. But no female has ever raced before. Nor has a regular horse ever challenged the vicious water horses. Can Puck even compete on her beloved mare, Dove, in this brutal deadly race?
It is easy to imagine the temptation to love these huge gorgeous animals, to begin to train one, and then to be slaughtered by an instant of relaxed attention. The horses are vividly drawn and breath-takingly frightening. Quite an adventure--wouldn't mind a sequel. ~ Tessa J. Eger 4.5 out of 5 stars