Having both Puck and Sean's PoVs to alternate between painted a complete picture of Thisby, the island they inhabit which produces the blood-lusting water horses (the capall uisce, pronounced CAPple ISHka), and made it a living, breathing organism - I could feel the wind coming up over the cliffs, the sand biting at my skin, and the smell of the salty ocean. Every time I put down my book, those sounds and experiences would start to fade and I would miss them, and an ache would develop until I could return to this magical world.
I loved both Sean and Puck. They both share a love for Thisby, and their reasons for racing, while very different, were both noble and heartbreaking. Sean is nothing like Sam from the Mercy Falls trilogy - he is dark and fierce and commanding - and I loved him for it. His search for stillness, in an attempt to keep his emotions in check, was a display of strength that I admired and I respected him for it. Puck is also fierce in her own way, and in order to save her family she is determined to finish what she started, even though it shakes her to her very core. She's a little rough around the edges, but her admittance of this fault is endearing rather than off-putting.
I expected a story about horse racing. What I got was a story about self-discovery and the value in proving to yourself that you are stronger then what others would define for you; about finding out what you would be willing to sacrifice to get what you desperately needed. It was breathlessly horrifying and beautifully heartbreaking.