If you like that, try these … The Scorpio Races

Hi all!

Welcome to another post of If you like that, try these …, my fortnightly post series where I share book (and sometimes movie or TV show) recommendations based on a book I’ve read. A new post comes out every second Thursday!


Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 3.10.39 pm

“I say, ‘I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.’
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, ‘It’s late for that, Puck.”


scorpioWhat’s it about?

The Scorpio Races happen every November: riders attempt to control mystical sea horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Most die before they get there. Sean Kendrick, at nineteen, is the returning champion, who keeps his fears buried deep. Puck Connolly is different: she’s never ridden in the races and becomes the first girl ever to do so. She has to contend with a misogynistic culture, her own fears and strength, and Sean himself.

What are the themes/elements?

Magic realism, misogyny and sexism, anxiety, romance, Irish mythology, death, racing, reaching your goals, cruelty to animals, strong female character, violence, competition, gender roles/expectations, loyalty, importance of family, tradition and customs, poverty, dual perspective.


So …

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 9.12.18 am

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 3.32.14 pm

6719736What’s it about?

The first book in the Lumatere series follows a young man named Finnikan who is summoned to meet a young woman who claims to be the last surviving member of the royal family of his beloved country — the royal family that was brutally murdered ten years ago. Finnikan is at first affected by Evanjalin’s arrogance and then her hope, but Evanjalin is not what she seems.

Why did I choose it?

This #LoveOzYA novel is an incredible adventure novel that melds fantasy with ideas of  traditions and customs and sexism in society. There’s a slow-burn romance that keeps you glued to the page, much like the romance between Sean and Puck. Finnikan and Evanjalin — like Puck and Sean — start of as nemesis and, as they spend time together, fall for one another. It also focuses on reaching your goals and doing anything to get what you want.



Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 12.07.50 pm

strangethedreamerWhat’s it about?

Lazlo Strange is an orphan and a junior librarian. For years, he’s been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep, and one day, he’s offered the chance to travel there with a hero called the Godslayer, in order to help the city. But what happened to Weep that cut it off from the world, years ago? Why can no one remember the city’s real name? What did the Godslayer actually slay? All the answers lie in Weep.

Why did I choose it?

Strange the Dreamer is a book that focuses on traditions and customs, as well as myth and fantasy. Like The Scorpio Races, it talks about the importance of family, and features an incredible, strong female character in the form of Sarai. It also includes a lovely romance and has a dual perspective narrative. I adore this book so much.



Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 4.40.09 pm

15783514What’s it about?

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood town for his father’s funeral and recalls what happened to him forty years earlier — a series of horrific, magical events that began with a suicide, and a friendship with an incredible young girl named Lettie.

Why did I choose it?

This horror novel from Neil Gaiman also features magical realism, and of the strangest kind. The magical realism in this novel is violent, much like The Scorpio Races. The Ocean at the End of the Lane also has a strong female character in the form of Lettie, who is a lot like Puck — they’re both fearless when it comes to saving the day and doing what needs to be done.



Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 4.50.55 pm

13611052What’s it about?

A mysterious circus arrives overnight with no warning or announcements. Behind the scenes, two magicians, Celia and Marco, have been trained since childhood to compete against one another, but unbeknownst to them, their mentors created this game between them … but only one magician will be left standing. It’s a battle of imagination and will, but Marco and Celia begin to fall for one another.

Why did I choose it?

I chose The Night Circus because it’s one of the most popular magical realism novels out there, and definitely one of the best. There’s a small mix of horror and violence, but it mainly focuses on the idea of reaching your goals and accomplishing them. There’s a fierce competition between Marco and Celia, a lot like the competition between Sean and Puck. But, like Sean and Puck, Marco and Celia begin to fall in love and a lovely romance is a big part of the plot.



Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 5.06.01 pm

13600168What’s it about?

A young art student named Karou works for an otherworldly creature and conducts strange errands for him: mainly harvesting teeth. She speaks many languages (most not human) and her hair actually grows blue. But she has no idea what she is. When she meets Akiva, a powerful magical creature, the key to who she is might be revealed … as does a star-crossed romance between herself and Akiva.

Why did I choose it?

I don’t often recommend books by the same author in one post, but I’m making an allowance for Laini Taylor. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantasy novel, with a bit of magical realism mixed in, but a whole lot of slow burn romance. Karou is a lot like Puck: they’re both amazing female characters who don’t take no for an answer, and reach their goals. Daughter of Smoke and Bone also discusses sexism, and the role of women in society.



Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 5.09.07 pm

wrathanddawnWhat’s it about?

Based on 1001 Arabian Nights, Shahrzad offers herself in marriage to the murderous boy-king, who kills his bride each night and marries another the next day. But she has an ulterior motive: she’s there for avenge the death of her best friend, whom the Caliph murdered. But she needs to keep herself alive long enough to kill him; so she tells a different story to him each night, but withholds the ending. But, the Caliph isn’t what he seems and soon Shahrzad begins to fall for the man who killed her best friend.

Why did I choose it?

You might be surprised to see The Wrath and the Dawn on this list, but I have good reasons! Puck and Shahrzad are both eerily similar: Puck joins the Scorpio Races in order to protect her family, and Shahrzad marries the murderous king in order to avenge her friend, whom she loved. They’re both incredibly strong female characters, who both reach for their goals and do anything for those they love. The Wrath and the Dawn also features a slow burn romancetraditions and customs, and the role of women in society. It’s also based on Middle Eastern mythology.



Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 12.10.03 pm

moonwasoursWhat’s it about?

Best friends Miel and Sam are strange but inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist and she fell out of a water tower when she was five, and Sam paints moons and hangs them in trees, and no one knows about his life before he moved to town. But as odd as they are, the Bonner sisters are stranger as they’re rumoured to be witches. And these girls are convinced that the roses that grow from Miel’s skin can make anyone fall in love with them, and they’re willing to do anything to get them.

Why did I choose it?

When the Moon Was Ours is a beautiful, lyrical novel about two Latinx teens, one of whom is a trans boy. It’s a magical realism novel that, like The Scorpio Races, discuses the role of women in society and the importance of family. Like The Scorpio RacesWhen the Moon Was Ours is a strange novel, but it’s beautifully written and features dual perspectives.



Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 6.51.19 pm



One thought on “If you like that, try these … The Scorpio Races

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s