Mundie Moms

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Review & Giveaway: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by: Scholastic
Released on: October 18th, 2011 TODAY
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen - quoted from Goodreads

There's something magical about Maggie Stiefvater's writing. She has this ability to capture my attention with her beautiful lyrical writing, relatable characters and creative story telling. Much like her fey and wolf series, Maggie has a talent for taking a well known lore and making it her own. She does this by taking a mythology that's been around for ages and gives it a fresh, unique, engaging re-telling that's all her own.

The Scorpio Races rich mythology is based on water horses, also known as the capall uisce in this story. This deadly water horse is most active in November, which the races are set around each year on the island of Thisby, a prized thing to capture, if it's captured at all. It's during this time that the men gather their best horses, some of which they've captured from the ocean and learned to control, in hopes of being crowned the winner. This race is one that not only requires great strength, but a keen understanding of your surroundings, as the stakes are high and not everyone lives to tell about it. One of the unique things about Maggie's water horses is their ability to attack and often time kill those who enter their waters.

Along with a heart pounding race is two alternating story lines from four time Scorpio Race winner Sean Kendrick and Puck, also called Kate who's the first girl to ever take part in these races. I really liked the way Maggie not only brought these two characters together, but I loved the way their relationship developed. Sean is the quiet, full of wisdom type. He's also extremely intelligent when it comes to horses and the water horses. He's not just a racer, but a horse trainer and the partnership he has with his wildly tamed horse Corr was my favorite relationship from this story. High fives to Kate! I loved this stubborn girl who didn't let others phase her in her decision to take part in what's known as a man's race. This girl can hold her own, despite the crap she takes from some of the guys and her own personal reasons for entering the race. It takes more than two great main characters to tell a story and Maggie's included some fantastic secondary characters as well.

This is s story that's truly unique, I know I keep saying that, but I can't compare it to anything else I've read. Maggie does such a suburb job with her fantasy. She brings a story to life that has this timeless feel to it. I love it when a story feels that way. I also like that she wasn't afraid to tackle the issues of gender, class structure and I loved the theme of loyalty which went for both the human friendships and the relationships they had with their horses. This story has a lot of great elements to it and it's truly a great fantasy read. There's danger, adventure, family relationships, friendships, a subtle romance, mild violence, a breath taking setting and an element of magic to it. This is a story I'd definitely recommend to readers 13 years and older.

See Maggie's research pictures
Buy a SIGNED copy here
See her on tour here
Visit the This Is Teen facebook page for more, including an awesome giveaway

Don't forget to ENTER TO WIN @this_is_teen's #ScorpioRaces Twitter Sweepstakes! Prizing includes limited edition custom necklaces & autographed copies of the book. Go HERE for more details.

THANK YOU to Scholastic, we have an AWESOME giveaway for MM's! We are giving away a copy of The Scorpio Races along with this beautiful custom made bracelet!

To enter, please fill out the form below:

* 1 entry per person
* US addresses only (if you live outside the US, you must provide a US mailing address to send the goodies to)
* You must be 13 yrs & older to enter (if younger you have your parent's/guardian's permission to enter)
* This giveaway will end on November 1st, 2011

Clockwork Angel Read Along Day 7: Chapter 6 Strange Earth

It's day 7 of our Clockwork Angel Read Along! Please be sure to visit our link here for our schedule, guidelines and to fill out the form to be entered to win some fabulous prizes. Feel free to answer any number of the questions asked. You don't need to answer all of them if you don't wish to.

Today we're discussing chapter 6. The plot thickens are Will, Jem and Tessa are on a quest for answers. Charlotte and Henry link Mr Mortmain to the Dark Sisters house and Jessamine reveals a shocking truth.

* This chapter starts off with a warning to Will and Jem. Do you have any guesses into who you think one, made the machine/clock girl and two could have sent the warning? I'm thinking it was someone who had to have known they were going to the brothel, but no one outside of Will, Jem and Tessa knew they were going there. Do you think someone is watching them?

* Jessamine reveals a shocking truth to Tessa when she tells her that she despises everything about the Nephilim, and that she never wanted to be a shadowhunter. She tells her some reasons why, which I can in some small way see why she'd feel that way. Do you sympathize with her or do you think she should just be grateful the Shadowhunters took her in and accept her future with them?

* Henry and Charlotte have some damning evidence that links Mr Mortmain to the Dark Sisters. Once again he has some clever answers as to why that is. Are you buying into his answers or do you think he knows more than he's letting on? What do you think of De Quincey?

Twitter Tuesday - Sarah Rees Brennan

We just love Sarah Rees Brennan here on Mundie Moms and we were very excited to hear about how her new gothic-style story concept came about.

So hop on over to Sarah's blog and take a look at her new feature, Gothic Tuesdays, where she will take a look at a gothic book or two each week and give her take on it. And we LOVE her takes on things.

This week, Sarah explains  Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". Here's a sample from the very beginning:

HERO OF USHER: Just going to visit my old school friend Roddy, it'll be a jolly lark!
HERO OF USHER: ... Goddamn this is a creepy house.
RODERICK USHER: I feel extremely unwell.
HERO OF USHER: Well, a name like 'Roderick Usher' would get anyone down. Buck up, old chap!
Read the rest of the post on Sarah's blog. Happy Gothic (Twitter) Tuesday!

Today's YA Releases

I've had so much going on lately that I've totally slacked on posting the latest books news and releases. Today there's some fabulous releases hitting book store shelves.


October 18th

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Crave by Melissa Darnell'
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Swear by Nina Malkin
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Half Blood by Jennifer Armentrout