I was obsessed about this book for almost half a year. Scary, creepy vampires and a short sassy girl who bakes things like ‘Killer Zebras’ and ‘Death of Marat’. Oh man, I suddenly have the urge to do some oven work…
Overall Rating: 5/5
I think this book is very readable. Robin McKinley has a sort of rambling, thought-flow writing style, if that makes any sense. Some of her books I find difficult to read because they just go on and on until I can’t remember what the point of the chapter was about. “Sunshine”, however has enough of that style to give the book a slightly surreal feel, but not enough to make my eyes cross.
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives a quiet life working at her stepfather’s bakery. One night, she goes out to the lake for some peace and quiet. Big mistake. She is set upon by vampires, who take her to an old mansion. They chain her to the wall and leave her with another vampire, who is also chained. But the vampire, Constantine, doesn’t try to eat her. Instead, he implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane. Realizing she will have to save herself, Sunshine calls on the long-forgotten powers her grandmother began to cultivate in her when she was a child. She transforms her pocketknife into a key and unchains herself–and Constantine. Surprised, he agrees to flee with her when she offers to protect him from the sun with magic. They escape back to town, but Constantine knows his enemies won’t be far behind, which means that he and Sunshine will have to face them together. A luminous, entrancing novel with an enthralling pair of characters at its heart. – Kristine Huntley
I really like Robin McKinley’s take on vampires. Not romantic and beautiful, but not the most disgusting vampires I’ve ever read about either. They’re somewhere in between, and they’re creepy as hell.
What I loved most about this book was all of the talk and descriptions of baking. I felt like I’d actually been in her coffee shop and bakery, and it was just… wonderful. The contrast between comforting baking and scary vampires works so well somehow. I also love that the magic is very vague and mysterious. In some books vague magic doesn’t work well and just annoys me, but I think it fits perfectly here.
Be warned, there is adult content. An almost sex scene and some references to sex, plus very gory violence at the end. I was fine with it because the gore and violence doesn’t make you feel depressed (such as the description of beating up a woman or child or kitten or something), and the sex was very minor.
Beautifully written style, excellent vampire concept and all the baking talk! Mild romance and a heroine who’s neither overpowered nor whiny. A love triangle that isn’t melodramatic or all about whether or not she can live without one of them.
Mild sex, gore and violence, and the author occasionally seems to get lost in thought.
On Amazon you can get it for $8 in Kindle version, $7 used paperback, or $9 new paperback. Pretty darn good. “Sunshine” is available both in ebook, paperback and audio file in my library, which means that it’s probably available in your library too.
If you appreciate strong heroines, also check out last month’s book review “The Grand Sophy”.