I so love having the option of rating something with half-stars. Because this book is better than 3 stars, but doesn't quite make it to 4 stars for me.
Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing writer. She puts words together in ways that are absolutely gorgeous. Like this:
"Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid."
"The campus possessed a shabby gravitas that was only possible with age and affluence."
But, sometimes she does get trapped in her the beauty of her own prose, and she sort of forgets that, "hey, I'm telling a story here!" And things stagger around, or they wallow, or they fall into a sticky a bog of "come on, can we get moving, please?"
This book has a lot going on - four important male characters, Blue, The Gray Man, and a family of female witches. Greywaren, ley lines, and dream thieves. I struggled a lot with the first half of the book - I wanted to love it, but I just didn't. The pacing improve a lot in the second half, as she started to really pick up the threads and knit them into something that made sense.
If people ask me if I would recommend reading this book, my answer is yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. If only so that you can read words like this:
"Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret.
His first secret was himself. He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer. He was a warring star full of endless possibilities, but in the end, as he dreamt in the backseat on the way to the Barns that night, he created only this: [deleted]"
But, I still think that Scorpio Races is Ms. Stiefvater's best work.