The Scorpio Races

Without a doubt, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races is the best young adult book I’ve read in a very long time. This book appeals to a large audience, too. It is not solely fantasy or romance, even though it does have those elements.

Kate “Puck” Connolly has found herself in an interesting situation. Fate has forced her into being a contender in the Scorpio Races, a very exciting, and dangerous, game. As the first woman who has ever entered the races, she faces some challenges that the other riders don’t have to experience. Sean Kendrick is the returning champion, but unlike the rest of the island of Thisby, he doesn’t discount Puck. He actually sees her as a person, and eventually a woman.

Honestly, this book seemed to have quite a few slow parts when I think back on when the action actually happened. It didn’t seem slow while I was reading it though. I felt like I was getting to know the island of Thisby and all of its inhabitants. The descriptions of the different characters and the places were amazing — I actually felt like part of the community!

The action of the racing, the fantastical element of the flesh-eating water horses, the slow burning romance, and the beautiful and detailed setting make for a winning combination. I haven’t read The Wolves of Mercy Falls yet, but I have read the author’s fey novels. While I enjoyed them immensely, I can definitely see how much she has grown as an author, which only excites me about her future works. (And yes, Shiver, Linger, and Forever are now on my to-read list.)

Outline for NaNoWriMo

Yesterday I completed the outline for my novel. Completed, as in, there is a beginning, middle, and end, and the plot seems to actually work! This is more of an accomplishment than I thought possible a few months, or even weeks, ago. I was really having a hard time figuring everything out.

My outline is about 6 pages long, handwritten. Today my plan is to type it out, revising and adding scenes and ideas as I go. I’ve already got 2-3 Beta-readers in mind, just to make sure my outline makes sense and to get feedback and suggestions. I know that NaNoWriMo will be much easier if I have a clear path already laid out, instead of trying to bush whack my way through as I go.

I’m home from church, I’ve got my hot tea and a bagel, and I’ve got a warm fuzzy purring feline, Minerva, snuggled against me. I think that means I’m ready to go!

Correction, in the few seconds it took me to write that last sentence, Albus has climbed into my lap, somewhat obstructing one of my arms, making it a bit difficult to type. So, now I have two felines basically in my lap. That’s ok. It’s good to be loved!

A Lion Called Christian

I read this book a few months ago and wrote a short review about it. I thought I’d share it now.

Someone recently sent me a link to a very touching and enchanting video on YouTube. After watching this reunion of two men with a grown lion they had raised as a cub, I had to buy the book to read the whole story.

A Lion Called Christian tells the true story of how two Australian men visiting London in the late 1960s purchased a lion cub at Harrod’s. For a few months, Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall shared their small apartment with Christian, the lion. Their apartment was located above a furniture shop called Sophistocat, so Christian seemed to become a mascot of sorts for a while. As he continued to grow, Ace and John began to explore options for Christian’s future. Life in a zoo was just not something they wanted to consider. Eventually, two English actors, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, wandered into Sophistocat, initially intending to purchase furniture. However, their meeting with Christian eventually led to his relocation to Kenya and integration into the wild under the care of George Adamson. A year later, Ace and John went to Kenya to visit Christian. At this point, he was already a member of a pride and according to George, quite possibly the largest lion in Kenya. Christian remembered his two friends and welcomed them gladly, as shown in the video.

I absolutely loved this inspirational story, and I recommend this book to all animal lovers.