Monday, August 13, 2012

The Scorpio Races: Audiobook & November Cakes

Book Description from Amazon:

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

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 choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

My thoughts:

This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. The English accents threw me off a bit in the beginning but it all worked well together and added to the experience of the story. I became truly emerged in the story. By the last CD, in my car on my way home from work, my heart was beating like crazy right long with the riders in the race. Maybe I loved this book because I have always wanted a horse but never had the opportunity and this was a way to live vicariously. (But then again, aren't all books a way to live vicariously?)
I nearly teared up a couple of times while driving and when I finally got home and listened to the last five minutes or so I was bawling in earnest. (Now, mind you, it really doesn't take much to make me cry. But still, I believe what I was doing could be considered weeping.) Crying not from sadness, except for sadness the book was over, but from powerful, raw emotion of the well crafted story. Maggie Stievater has this way with words that is just...magical. It is smart, witty, emotion and thought provoking. I've read other books she has published (The Wolves of Mercy Falls series: Shiver, Linger, and Forever and her Faerie series Lament and Ballad) and they are all good too. But The Scorpio Races is the best to date, I think. At the end of the audiobook there is an author's notes section where Maggie explains how her idea of water horses evolved and gave further insight into the story. Super cool fact: Maggie wrote and played the music heard on the audio production of Scorpio Races and is an accomplished bagpipe player.
I would certainly recommend this book, audio or otherwise. There is a love story it is stuble and it sneaks up on you and it's all the better for it. Amazon says the age range is 14 and up and that seems to be approprate in my opinion.

For a bit of creativity:

In The Scorpio Races there are several mentions of November Cakes. These are special cakes that they only get around race time. Just from hearing the description, I thought of super awesome cinnamon rolls. I did some looking around and on the author's website she has a recipe for November Cakes so I had to try them. I just need to hang onto Thisby a little while longer!
Here's the link to Maggie's Recipe
Pic of my (attempt of) November Cake:

(Note: When I made my version, we accidentally used the wrong recipe. The one Maggie says DO NOT use. Yeah, that's what me and hubs did. Oh well. They still tasted pretty good. Next time we make November Cakes we will use the right recipe!)

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