THE SCORPIO RACES
In her most addictive story yet, Stiefvater revives the strong, silent type in sexy, brooding monster tamer Sean Kendrick. His co-narrator, Puck, is heartbreakingly adorable as a stubborn little sister growing into a brave, self-assured woman. Stiefvater is a master of magical realism, and her prose leaves the reader cold, damp and anxious as November closes in on the isolated island setting.
The island of Thisby depends on the commerce of the tourists who come each fall for the Scorpio Races, a death-defying sprint with jockeys atop vicious, untamed water horses. The horses ache to return to the sea and they hunger for human flesh, making riding them sickeningly dangerous. Few race, and fewer survive. But two riders have enough at stake that they’d do anything to win the prizes — fame, money, and something deeper each of them craves. (SCHOLASTIC, Oct., 416 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780545224901, HC, 14 & Up)