Book Reviews of Sunshine

Sunshine
Sunshine
Author: Robin McKinley
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780515138818
ISBN-10: 0515138819
Publication Date: 11/30/2004
Pages: 416
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 410

3.9 stars, based on 410 ratings
Publisher: Jove
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

94 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Sunshine on
Helpful Score: 17
Well written vampire story set in a world with magic handlers and monsters. I read many reviews that compared this to Buffy The vampire Slayer, but I didn't think this story was anything like Buffy. I guess people will use that comparison for anything with vampires and a female protagonist.

This really stands out for me in the stories I've read in this genre. The prose was top notch and this didn't feel like just another vampire story with too many chicks in black leather and sexy, vampire, man candy.
reviewed Sunshine on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
This was very good. I loved Sunshine's dry sense of humor, loved the ambiance, loved all the details about life since the Voodoo Wars... The story was exciting and interesting, and I enjoyed it very much! For fans of the author, the little homages to Beauty and the Beast were fun, too. And what a different voice for McKinley! She really has great range - I'm impressed!

My only complaints are that this might have gotten a little long through the middle, and I want to know more about Con! Specifics! And while we're at it, I want Sunshine's recipes too.

Fans have been plaguing McKinley for a follow-up novel, but so far she's maintained that she has no idea if she'll write another or not. She says she goes where her muse takes her, and to date she hasn't been steered in that direction. I'll be in line for another book should she write one!

All in all, very good, nifty atmosphere, and I liked the characters. Highly recommended!
reviewed Sunshine on
Helpful Score: 8
I was astonished to see this book tagged with the keyword 'overhyped'. This book isn't given enough credit, as far as I'm concerned. McKinley creates a world where ghouls and monsters are just a part of every-day life, a world where Mythology is so integrated with real goings on that it is integrated into the characters' slang (I'm dorky enough that I find this really cool). It's beautifully descriptive, haunting, and above all--believable. Sunshine isn't perfect. She is a self professed coward. She doesn't know how to use her 'gifts', and fears their origins. Every day is a constant battle of conscience.
I'm on my third read right now, and I'm glad to say that I've picked up something new on each rereading. I'd suggest Sunshine to anyone tired of flat, stale heroes and villains, of overly romanticized vampires and flimsy (stupid) heroines.
reviewed Sunshine on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
After reading all the positive reviews, I was really looking forward to Sunshine. But it just didn't work for me. It was a labor for me to get through the story. The world building and overwhelming rambling details never came together. After I read the last sentence, I was beyond frustrated. So much of the book felt...pointless. The "idea" of the book was brilliant. The "execution" didn't work for me. As a reader, I just didn't click with McKinley's voice.
reviewed Sunshine on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
To say this book is slow or Buffy-esque is to grossly mischaracterize this book.

To put it quite simply, I was blown away by this book. I actually found the pacing a good change. It is clearly defined into acts. I really enjoyed the level of detail of what was going on with Sunshine. I felt as if I were a secret passenger inside of her mind taking the ride along with her.

So yes, I was straining to read faster but not because I was bored. Just because I was so into the story I could not wait to turn the page and read more more more.

Really great stuff. NO way am I listing this copy. Find your own! :)
reviewed Sunshine on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was a very good book which could have been great. When Ms. McKinley is on (which is the majority of the book) her writing is crisp and clear, the pacing pulls you into the story, and the characters click into place. However there are spots in the story where the plot drags, the world tilts, and the characters falter.

The post-apocalyptic world which Sunshine inhabits is never really fully developed leaving the reader to make large intuitive leaps. Many character developments are hinted at but not explored. And the wide open ending left me looking for a sequel, which Ms. McKinley has stated she has no intentions of writing at the present.

All in all it was a decent read, but one I walked away from feeling a bit disappointed.
reviewed Sunshine on + 185 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
For those readers who have never read McKinley before, who exist on a diet of paranormal romance or Laurell K. Hamilton or Anne Rice or Twilight, I say you must read Sunshine. The world McKinley creates in this novel goes well beyond the edges of the page, and it only gets richer on rereading. The characters have width and depth and color and not a single one is simple or easy to understand. The narrative voice is pitch-perfect, the themes of light and dark and blood and cleanliness always serving the story and adding depth. Best of all, it makes its vampires feel new, not least by avoiding making them sexy and glamorous but rather, well, undead.

For those who are avid readers of McKinley -- as I am -- Sunshine is on the surface a wild departure from her other works, but in its bones is the culmination of everything that came before. It has the requisite McKinley heroine: mistrusted and awkward, struggling to carve out an unconventional place only to have that place snatched away by events out of her control, but ultimately discovering herself and her past just in time to meet the darkness seeking her. It has the love of myth and fairy tale that led McKinley to retell the Robin Hood myth, retell the story of Sleeping Beauty, and retell Beauty and the Beast not once, but twice. It has the necessity of going on after the climactic battle, starting to put the pieces of a life back together when all has been torn apart multiple times, the sense of hope that it is possible warring with the sense that the person inside has changed too much to fit in any normal happy life from now on.

Most of all, it has many, many echoes of Deerskin, which I consider to be McKinley's greatest work, from the blood imagery to the rediscovering and reinventing oneself bit by bit to the doubt that ones resources won't be enough to overcome all the evil in the world. Especially affecting and evocative for me was the line "Sun-self, tree-self, deer-self. Don't they outweigh the dark self?" that Sunshine begins to repeat to herself like a mantra. Each time she says it it has a slightly different meaning.

There are some things McKinley does in this novel better than she has done in any other. The climactic battle scene is her most coherent and cohesive, even when I was tempted to speed through it because I so desperately wanted to reach the end. Sunshine's narrative voice, already mentioned, makes her a more approachable heroine than any of McKinley's other heroines, which makes her peril and her self-doubt all the realer (though that distancing McKinley mastered for Deerskin's third-person voice was probably necessary given how harrowing that novel is). It is jarring if you go in expecting McKinley's usual high fantasy narration, but it just gets better the deeper into the story you go. There is also more humor in Sunshine than I think there is in any other McKinley novel, and it is always found in the lightest doses when things get blackest.

All in all, the more times I read Sunshine the more I am convinced that it is a near-perfect book. None of McKinley's novels race along (well, until the climax) but I always find the slower parts necessary resting times, times to catch my breath and assimilate all that went on in the last battle (be it internal or external). It is undoubtedly an adult novel like none of McKinley's other novels are -- there is quite a bit of violence and one brief explicitly sexual scene. But it is a rich and worthwhile read that ages well, and I hope it continues to find a wide audience.
reviewed Sunshine on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Well written and entertaining, with a likable and dimensional protagonist and compelling, complex twists of the tongue on familiar themes.

The books greatest strength is the unique, feisty, quick-witted voice of its narrator, particularly as she waxes on about her perspectives on life in general and her life, in specific. These riffs are invariably entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny.

Also worthy of high praise is the author's deft handling of her universe's paranormal elements. She reveals information on all the many monsters and myths-made-flesh that populate her reality in a voice that smacks of naturalistic musings, never stilting her internal dialogs up until they become info dumps, but rather elegantly brushing just enough detail into her wandering narrative to force the reader to intuit for themselves how her world differs from ours, and how it does not. This technique is a double bonus in that it lends both a deep sense of textured reality to the idea that this character actually LIVES in this world of which she speaks while, at the same time, encouraging all manner of reader assumptions for her to verify and/or blow out of the water as she sees fit while she takes us along on the journey of her story.

Where the book is less successful is in the pacing. Around the 1/3 mark, the action takes a siesta that goes on FAR too long, filled with precious little but hand-wringing and waiting and more hand-wringing and more waiting and then a little more hand-wringing ...

It's an unfortunate flaw that replicates itself later in an even more unfortunate place, bringing the book to a virtual stand-still that all but stalls the climax into a fatal nosedive before finally hopping off the dime and getting ON with it already.

The bad pacing is significant enough to leave a lingering dissatisfaction as the story winds itself up; a sin that is compounded by a scattering of sub-storylines opened as if they are relevant to the whole only to be left dangling with no attempt to clarify why they were introduced in the first place.

Upon turning the last page, I actually went online to look for the sequel, somewhat irritated to find this was the first in a series of books, only to become far MORE irritated to find it ISN'T the first in a series of books, but rather a standalone. And that the "to be continued" feel it left for several subplots are not set-ups for the next installment, but rather just dangling strings left untied for all eternity while the author makes statements about not being one to revisit characters already created, much preferring to create a new cast for every book.

That's all fine and dandy if you finish your book before it closes, but when you leave as many strings swinging in the wind as this book left, it becomes ... irritating.

That being said, on the whole, the story, and particularly the protagonist, are entertaining enough to make the book worth the time it takes to read it. Just be advised going in: you're going to be left needing another book to finish what McKinley started, and that "other book" does not exist. And will not, according to McKinley, who flat out stated that no, there will be no more books about this character so richly created to such good effect.

Damn shame, really. I would have read it, if for no other reason than to tie up those dangling strings. And also because laugh-out-loud protagonist POVs are worth their weight in gold, and this book has that benefit in spades.
reviewed Sunshine on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Sunshine is an amazing book that left me stunned. It is not perfect but the level of writing and character development are leagues above many of the vampire/fantasy novels out there. The heroine is strong and intelligent but still feminine. The story builds as the reader discovers with the character her hidden abilities. Sunshine is the standard by which I will judge all vampire/fantasy novels.
reviewed Sunshine on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I went back and forth about getting this book in the first place, but was swayed by some of the positive reviews, and the general premise of the story.

However, I was very disappointed in it.

I had to wonder if the author was getting paid by the word sometimes. A lot of the middle of the book was bogged down in minutia and day to day musings. Instead of giving you insight into Sunshine, it just made me skim forward until something meaningful happened. This book could have lost 50 pages and have been better with a tighter story.

The premise had possibilities, but it got lost in the story, as the author also threw in some other angles that just seemed to detract from the main storyline.

Trading it fast so I can get my credit back!
reviewed Sunshine on + 504 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The beginning reminds me a lot of Nancy Baker's Kiss of the Vampire where a young woman is abducted and jailed with a vampire. This time it's a young woman who makes her living cooking cinnamon rolls (yum, I think I could live with that job) in a family run coffee shoppe. She has a close group of friends and a likable boyfriend and seems very content with the way her life is going until she's abducted by vampires and chained up with only a hungry, dying vampire for a companion. The writing is different from McKinley's lyrical, breathtakingly beautiful style (Deerskin, Beauty). This book seems more modern both in slang and subject matter and so far I'm enjoying it very much, though I did stumble over some of the narrative at first.

As the story progresses, and our heroine "Sunshine" has plenty of time to reflect on her past, we learn she possessess some inherited magical power that increases when she's in full sunlight. In this world vampires and "Other" creatures are commonplace.

This is a good read but not my favorite by Robin McKinley.
reviewed Sunshine on + 168 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I did like this book. But, I must admit, it was not at all what I expected of McKinley. I had read all her previous books, and had a certain expectation/sense of her writing style. This seemed completely different. It almost seemed like she read a little too many Charlaine Harris books and wound up writing in that author's style. I found it a bit annoying as I can't stand Charlaine Harris' writing style; it really irritates the heck out of me.

I also was surprised this was marketed as a young adult novel. The character is in her 20's and the "c**t" word is in it. I don't have a problem with that word at all, it's just not something I expected to see in a YA book. But, that could be the publishers fault ... I notice a lot of authors are typecast into a certain genre even if their later books are meant for another.

Nevertheless, I did read it within 48 hours. It pulled me along, and I did really love the main character. I thought she was fantastic. Actually, I really liked all the characters.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars - it really is a good novel. It's just my personal expectations that threw me for a loop.
reviewed Sunshine on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine for her love of daylight, is just your average young woman, with maybe a slightly greater-than-normal interest in the Others: paranormal creatures such as vampires, Weres, and demons. She's a master baker (her cinnamon rolls are to die for) at her stepdad Charlie's coffeehouse, and has a good relationship with her boyfriend Mel. Sunshine's life was going on fine, until the night she decides to drive out to the lake to be alone with her thoughts for a bit, and finds herself smack dab in the middle of an epic ongoing fight between two vampires, Con and Bo.

Once you're in the hands of vampires you're pretty much dead, which is why Sunshine is absolutely terrified of herself when she not only escapes, but manages to save Con from Bo's gang as well. Now she and Con are inexplicably and dangerously linked, and Sunshine is only beginning to realize her magic heritage and the extent of her powers--powers that are wanted by SOF, the "police force" that deals with the Others. Sunshine and Con must form the strangest alliance ever--between humans and vampires--in order to defeat Bo and save each other from sure destruction.

SUNSHINE is quite different from previous Robin McKinley's books I've read and loved. First of all, this IS an adult book, and so some of the themes and content may be uncomfortable for younger readers (although, knowing McKinley readers, most are pretty mature already). Sunshine is also an unusual narrator; I think of her as almost the Jessica Darling of the vampire genre, with her snarky, diary-like commentary, which I enjoyed most of the time except when it got dragged out a bit in the middle and you just wanted to get to what happens next, to the action!

I'm not sure how Twilight fans will respond to this one because vampires are not glorified in SUNSHINE, although Con is attractive in his looming, expressionless way. However, if you are looking for a paranormal book with an extremely strong female protagonist's voice, be sure to check this one out.
reviewed Sunshine on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
One of the best books I have ever read! I'm a die hard vampire novel fan so I didn't think I would like it when I first picked it up but once I started I couldn't put it down. I know I've read it five or six times by now... It's that good(no wait, not good...EXCELLENT!!!)
reviewed Sunshine on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really hesitated to start this book. Deerskin (the only previous experience I had with this author) was a particularly dark story for a young adult book, and perhaps I was too young to appreciate it at the time, but I was pleasantly surprised by Sunshine. The book was a well paced first person narrative and pulled me right along.

Unfortunately, narrative is the key word for a good part of the book. The author tells, in a rather passive voice, the story leaving very little showing, even in the action scenes. Half the suspense of reading this book is letting the story unfold and meander at the narrator's own pace.

My main problem was the large exposition dumps. I was constantly thrown out of the flow of the story and I'm not sure that all that information was necessary. Sunshine's first person voice was difficult to sympathize with. (Which is hard for me to say because I love first person point-of-view.) She came across somewhat childish for a woman in her mid to late twenties and a bit whiny. The secondary characters were never fleshed out. Mel's a great example. Here's this intriguing guy, a bit of a bad-boy but also a cook, and you know he's got something going on, but what? The vampires are loathsome creatures that don't share a lot with humans other than looking basically human. And Con's head is one I'd love to get inside of.

Sunshine's universe, is at once familiar, yet different enough to be confusing on occasion. Sunshine uses terminology familiar to her world while giving minimal explanation to the reader. I came away with the feeling the author assumed the reader had a brain therefore didn't hand all the information on a platter. It was a rather refreshing experience.

I suspect this is a story that becomes richer with each re-read. I find myself in the curious position of having liked Sunshine in spite of itself. So, perhaps, I will re-read Deerskin and pick up some more of McKinley's novels.
reviewed Sunshine on + 278 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed Sunshine on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book. it is in the first person, I did have to actualy think about what I was reading as I read it. I have not had to do that in a while. This is not a romance in the strict sense, so much more is going on. anyway I liked it.
reviewed Sunshine on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine for her love of daylight, is just your average young woman, with maybe a slightly greater-than-normal interest in the Others: paranormal creatures such as vampires, Weres, and demons. She's a master baker (her cinnamon rolls are to die for) at her stepdad Charlie's coffeehouse, and has a good relationship with her boyfriend Mel. Sunshine's life was going on fine, until the night she decides to drive out to the lake to be alone with her thoughts for a bit, and finds herself smack dab in the middle of an epic ongoing fight between two vampires, Con and Bo.

Once you're in the hands of vampires you're pretty much dead, which is why Sunshine is absolutely terrified of herself when she not only escapes, but manages to save Con from Bo's gang as well. Now she and Con are inexplicably and dangerously linked, and Sunshine is only beginning to realize her magic heritage and the extent of her powers--powers that are wanted by SOF, the "police force" that deals with the Others. Sunshine and Con must form the strangest alliance ever--between humans and vampires--in order to defeat Bo and save each other from sure destruction.

SUNSHINE is quite different from previous Robin McKinley's books I've read and loved. First of all, this IS an adult book, and so some of the themes and content may be uncomfortable for younger readers (although, knowing McKinley readers, most are pretty mature already). Sunshine is also an unusual narrator; I think of her as almost the Jessica Darling of the vampire genre, with her snarky, diary-like commentary, which I enjoyed most of the time except when it got dragged out a bit in the middle and you just wanted to get to what happens next, to the action!

I'm not sure how Twilight fans will respond to this one because vampires are not glorified in SUNSHINE, although Con is attractive in his looming, expressionless way. However, if you are looking for a paranormal book with an extremely strong female protagonist's voice, be sure to check this one out.
reviewed Sunshine on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Sunshine is about vampires. And magic. And cinnamon rolls.

I really really wanted to LOVE this book. In the end, I just liked it.

The pluses (and there's a lot)
1)Sunshine is a really strong female character. Even when she's not physically strong she knows what she needs to do. She's true to herself but she also pushes herself to go beyond what she's used to doing. She stays pretty "real" and likeable/relateable.
2)The world McKinley's created is very complex and interesting, but still close to modern times, just an alternate reality.
3)The vampires aren't Twilight!!! There isn't any angsty teen romance!!!!

The big minus - aka why I can't give this more than 3 stars -
The world is too complex for one stand alone novel. So many different things are thrown at the reader -charms, altnernate history, Others, SOF, technology, vampire senses, sorcery, etc, that it was confusing to follow and felt like she packed too much into her world. There's too much going on, and Sunshine herself gets overwhelmed with developements, so it's hard for the reader to stay on top of things as well. This is my one and only complaint, but it was so hard to keep track of what does what and when and what a charm vs ward vs fetch vs ticker are... Just too much. Maybe other readers won't be as overwhelmed as I was.
Other than that, "Sunshine" is a great vampire/paranormal novel. It can be read as a stand alone, but leaves a lot open for further stories, or other stories in the same world.
reviewed Sunshine on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine for her love of daylight, is just your average young woman, with maybe a slightly greater-than-normal interest in the Others: paranormal creatures such as vampires, Weres, and demons. She's a master baker (her cinnamon rolls are to die for) at her stepdad Charlie's coffeehouse, and has a good relationship with her boyfriend Mel. Sunshine's life was going on fine, until the night she decides to drive out to the lake to be alone with her thoughts for a bit, and finds herself smack dab in the middle of an epic ongoing fight between two vampires, Con and Bo.

Once you're in the hands of vampires you're pretty much dead, which is why Sunshine is absolutely terrified of herself when she not only escapes, but manages to save Con from Bo's gang as well. Now she and Con are inexplicably and dangerously linked, and Sunshine is only beginning to realize her magic heritage and the extent of her powers--powers that are wanted by SOF, the "police force" that deals with the Others. Sunshine and Con must form the strangest alliance ever--between humans and vampires--in order to defeat Bo and save each other from sure destruction.

SUNSHINE is quite different from previous Robin McKinley's books I've read and loved. First of all, this IS an adult book, and so some of the themes and content may be uncomfortable for younger readers (although, knowing McKinley readers, most are pretty mature already). Sunshine is also an unusual narrator; I think of her as almost the Jessica Darling of the vampire genre, with her snarky, diary-like commentary, which I enjoyed most of the time except when it got dragged out a bit in the middle and you just wanted to get to what happens next, to the action!

I'm not sure how Twilight fans will respond to this one because vampires are not glorified in SUNSHINE, although Con is attractive in his looming, expressionless way. However, if you are looking for a paranormal book with an extremely strong female protagonist's voice, be sure to check this one out.
reviewed Sunshine on + 123 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sunshine falls somewhere between The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I didn't realize there was a hole there to plug, but it turns out this novel fills a void nicely. I hope there are more to come.
reviewed Sunshine on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I picked this up on a friend's recommendation. And boy, am I glad I did! Its a vampire book, I should say that just from the get-go.

But, its nothing like Twilight or Vampire Diaries. NOTHING like it. So, if thats the kind of vampire book you like, you probably wouldnt like this one. If you are open to vampires who are actually LIKE vampires, then, youd probably like this one.

Ill be honest, though. I got through the first few chapters because I was stuck at the airport with nothing else to read and the writing was good. But, more than once, I remember thinking, what the hell is going on here?

The world Robin McKinley sets up is brilliant, and the way she sets it up is masterful. Its first person, and although most people who set up these distinctly different worlds might go with a third person pov to easier describe the world, she doesnt. She lets you wonder about some of the terms and concepts Sunshine (thats the main character) throws about and everyone seems to know.

But everything becomes clear with time. Of course, by the time things become clear, youre much too involved in Sunshine and Connies plight to realize that the author just explained something shed thrown out there and that youd wondered about back in the first chapter.

Vampires in this book are not beautiful, theyre not like anything our current society has come to expect from the supposedly seductive race. Theyre monsters. Everyone accepts that. Theyre the things that go bump in the night.

Except...when they dont.
reviewed Sunshine on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From Amazon:
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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Randi's review
My roommate insisted I read this book. Honestly I could not get into it. It seemed to drag on and on and the whole Romance with Others genre was getting old for me. I really did not enjoy this book.
reviewed Sunshine on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.com

After years of peace with the vampires, Rae "Sunshine" Seddon makes a big mistake and wanders by the lake to get some peace and quiet. She is captured by vampires and imprisoned next to one who implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane.

Using her long-forgotten power that her grandmother tried to cultivate in her when she was young, she turns her pocket knife into a key and frees herself and the vampire. When the vampires' true plans to decimate and take over the human world within 100 years are uncovered, Rae, a descendant of Onyx Blaise, is recruited by SOF (Special Other Forces) to stop the madness.

The only problem is that her powers were never fully trained and tapped into. With the help of her vampire friend and with enemies at their heels, these two must face the odds to save themselves and all of humanity. Will they succeed? Will Rae be able to control her magic in time to save everyone?

A gripping, high-thrill adventure with lots at stake. The plot and characters are well-developed, and the story is fairly unique and holds the reader's attention. Those who like vampire tales, adventure, fantasy, and apocalyptic books will enjoy reading SUNSHINE.
reviewed Sunshine on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sunshine is a wonderful book by one of my favorite fantasy authors. Whenever I find myself getting sick of the saccharine vampire romances that have flooded the market in recent years I re-read this one. It is a more realistic, slightly grittier take on vampires and the effect they have on human society. If you love vampire books but find yourself getting a tad bit tired of the formulaic paranormal-romance genre then I highly recommend that you give this book a shot. With Robin McKinley's expert story-telling abilities and well-rounded characters you won't be disappointed.
reviewed Sunshine on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.com

After years of peace with the vampires, Rae "Sunshine" Seddon makes a big mistake and wanders by the lake to get some peace and quiet. She is captured by vampires and imprisoned next to one who implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane.

Using her long-forgotten power that her grandmother tried to cultivate in her when she was young, she turns her pocket knife into a key and frees herself and the vampire. When the vampires' true plans to decimate and take over the human world within 100 years are uncovered, Rae, a descendant of Onyx Blaise, is recruited by SOF (Special Other Forces) to stop the madness.

The only problem is that her powers were never fully trained and tapped into. With the help of her vampire friend and with enemies at their heels, these two must face the odds to save themselves and all of humanity. Will they succeed? Will Rae be able to control her magic in time to save everyone?

A gripping, high-thrill adventure with lots at stake. The plot and characters are well-developed, and the story is fairly unique and holds the reader's attention. Those who like vampire tales, adventure, fantasy, and apocalyptic books will enjoy reading SUNSHINE.
reviewed Sunshine on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Such a wonderful book! Great story that was excellently told. I found this book very hard to put down, but at the same time I wanted to savor every sentence. I love Robin McKinley's style of writing. I will definitely be checking out some of her other books. This book was truly a pleasure to read. The story is pretty simple and straight forward, but the depth of the characters the vividness of their surroundings just sweep you away to a new time and place. I would love for her to write a sequel to this. I highly recommend it!
reviewed Sunshine on + 158 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
[close] It's official. I am a spoiled reader of book series. I'll admit it. One of the reasons I could not give Sunshine by Robin McKinley five stars was because it just left too many loose ends dangling. I want more!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The book Sunshine is a departure for Robin McKinley, best known for her adaptations and retellings of classic fairy tales. This story takes readers to a very different place, a dystopic world that closely mirrors our own, but with some very significant differences. Like the existance of vampires, for example.

The story is told through the voice of Rae, a coffee shop baker also known as Sunshine. Rae is a very interesting narrator. Through use of introspective first person, the author lets the story unfold very naturally and slowly, which can be frustrating for the reader at times. As narrator, Rae will, for example, interrupt an action sequence to talk about a historical nugget about the Voodoo Wars, or to describe how she makes her famous cinnamon rolls. She's a little ADHD, and as readers, we just have to go along and hope it all makes sense in the end.

The stream of consciousness storytelling was a bit frustrating for me, as it made for slow reading and I like to really tear through a book. Luckily, the story was so darn good, it was easy to forgive Sunshine's flaws.

Here's the comic strip version: Sunshine's quiet life takes a detour when she's abducted by vampires one night. She's taken to an abandoned house, chained to the wall and left within reach of a powerful -- and starving -- vampire named Constantine. Surprisingly, Rae isn't killed. What happens instead is a life-changing event that turns her world upside down, and reveals powers that Sunshine never imagined possessing. There's magic, Others, specially-trained teams of police trained to fight vampires, Bad Spots and a family tree that might include some sorcerors awaiting readers in this book. I don't want to reveal too much because it's better to let the story unfold as the author intended. But suffice to say -- its a good one.

I've been guilty of reading too many vampire books lately -- I'll admit it. However, it's important to note that these are not Stephenie Meyer's vampires. They aren't romanticized -- there's nothing hunky, or tortured or sparkly about them. They are menacing and scary and alien. Although McKinley does build tension eluding to a budding romance between Sunshine and Con, this never comes to fruition. It seems like something that would have emerged in the sequel that the book needs. (Sorry, still bitter about that.) However, the bond and complicated relationship between the two is very compelling, and definitely leaves the readers wanting more.

One final pet peeve of mine about this book: it is only divided into four "parts." There are no chapters or natural transitions, so it's difficult to find a good stopping point. Now, it's so engrossing, many readers might not notice that the end of the chapter never comes. But if you plan to read the book in small installments, be prepared for some awkward breaks.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. Generally, I only read vampire books if they are good vampires (like Hannah Howell's). I only read this one originally because it was the only reading material available and I was having withdrawals. Now I own it and re-read it.

The tone of this book is unique. The feel is of someone wryly, and somewhat reluctantly, telling you about something that happened that turned their life upside down and yet, they can't quite be sorry it happened and at the same time they kind of wish to return to life before they knew so much.

There are some gruesome word pictures, but nothing too awful and about what you would expect when dealing with the undead. This is not a romance. This is not any fairy tale I have ever heard. It is a wonderfully told story that takes you along for the ride.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really like this story. I hadn't read anything by Robin McKinley before. My only complaint was she was so descriptive in the story that I found myself just scanning pages until I saw the characters were talking again. Sunshine's thoughts went on and on!!

In general I liked the characters in the book and was glad that Sunshine and Constantine became friends and possibly more.
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Helpful Score: 1
Neil Gaiman's review said "Pretty much perfect." and I agree throughly!! Great read!
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Helpful Score: 1
For those readers who have never read McKinley before, who exist on a diet of paranormal romance or Laurell K. Hamilton or Anne Rice or Twilight, I say you must read Sunshine. The world McKinley creates in this novel goes well beyond the edges of the page, and it only gets richer on rereading. The characters have width and depth and color and not a single one is simple or easy to understand. The narrative voice is pitch-perfect, the themes of light and dark and blood and cleanliness always serving the story and adding depth. Best of all, it makes its vampires feel new, not least by avoiding making them sexy and glamorous but rather, well, undead.

For those who are avid readers of McKinley -- as I am -- Sunshine is on the surface a wild departure from her other works, but in its bones is the culmination of everything that came before. It has the requisite McKinley heroine: mistrusted and awkward, struggling to carve out an unconventional place only to have that place snatched away by events out of her control, but ultimately discovering herself and her past just in time to meet the darkness seeking her. It has the love of myth and fairy tale that led McKinley to retell the Robin Hood myth, retell the story of Sleeping Beauty, and retell Beauty and the Beast not once, but twice. It has the necessity of going on after the climactic battle, starting to put the pieces of a life back together when all has been torn apart multiple times, the sense of hope that it is possible warring with the sense that the person inside has changed too much to fit in any normal happy life from now on.

Most of all, it has many, many echoes of Deerskin, which I consider to be McKinley's greatest work, from the blood imagery to the rediscovering and reinventing oneself bit by bit to the doubt that ones resources won't be enough to overcome all the evil in the world. Especially affecting and evocative for me was the line "Sun-self, tree-self, deer-self. Don't they outweigh the dark self?" that Sunshine begins to repeat to herself like a mantra. Each time she says it it has a slightly different meaning.

There are some things McKinley does in this novel better than she has done in any other. The climactic battle scene is her most coherent and cohesive, even when I was tempted to speed through it because I so desperately wanted to reach the end. Sunshine's narrative voice, already mentioned, makes her a more approachable heroine than any of McKinley's other heroines, which makes her peril and her self-doubt all the realer (though that distancing McKinley mastered for Deerskin's third-person voice was probably necessary given how harrowing that novel is). It is jarring if you go in expecting McKinley's usual high fantasy narration, but it just gets better the deeper into the story you go. There is also more humor in Sunshine than I think there is in any other McKinley novel, and it is always found in the lightest doses when things get blackest.

All in all, the more times I read Sunshine the more I am convinced that it is a near-perfect book. None of McKinley's novels race along (well, until the climax) but I always find the slower parts necessary resting times, times to catch my breath and assimilate all that went on in the last battle (be it internal or external). It is undoubtedly an adult novel like none of McKinley's other novels are -- there is quite a bit of violence and one brief explicitly sexual scene. But it is a rich and worthwhile read that ages well, and I hope it continues to find a wide audience.
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Helpful Score: 1
Sunshine could gave been an amazing book, but it moved too slowly. The action was severely limited which is extremely disappointing for a book that so many claim to be perfect. However, it is one of the most flawed vampire novels that I have ever encountered. The author expected the reader to know things with out an explanation. What is a Supergreen? What the hell exactly is a Bad Spot? Terminology was used that was exclusive to this post -apocalyptic type world, but not a single understandable definition was given. I would have appreciated either a small glossary of terms or valid information concerning these beings within the novel. In addition, a preface of about 2 or 3 pages with info on the Voodoo Wars would have sufficed as well.
On a good note the main characters were extremely likeable. Rae aka Sunshine was a delightful and witty character, however she babbled about things constantly sidetracking the reader with sometimes unusable information. I learned more about cinnamon rolls and baked goods than I did about the world of the Others. This character is the readers source of information. The reader should know as much as the main character knows, but I felt was if I was cast in the shadows to gather information through weak context clues. Rae knows what a Supergreen is, she understands what a Bad Spot is.
Another criticism I have is the huge lack of otherness. How dare a book call itself a vampire novel and hardly have the main vampire characters presence within its pages. Rae encounters Constantine maybe 7 times during the novel. I would have loved more interaction with the vampire. Especially since well this is a vampire novelright? Terms like demon, angel, werewolves, werechicken, goblins and ghouls are thrown around, but you only encounter a few. The platform was set for greatness and the author chose to rave about cinnamon rolls. If I read the word cinnamon roll one more time I will scream.
Sunshine has the power to do a certain thing and her grandmother had worked with her to hone in on her power for a short time when she was a child. Once again she only uses this power a few times. There is so much that could have been done with this it utterly pisses me off. She could have practiced with it more and fought vampires more so that the ending battle would be more believable. What about her power gives her the strength to hurt a vampire?

I would have also loved more information on the vampire Constantine and interaction with her landlady sooner. Constantine was a severely underdeveloped character and her landlady seemed awesome and full of information. I could go on and on. When I thought the book was going to pick up and get better it didnt. It was just the constant continuum of things that dont pertain to the flow of the story.
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Helpful Score: 1
I am obviously in the minority here. I didnt like this book. At all. Couldnt get into it. Unfortunately it bored me to tears.
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Helpful Score: 1
Enjoyable but somewhat longish tale featuring a woman who comes into extraordinary powers after she is abducted by vampires.
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Helpful Score: 1
not impressed with this book. couldn't even finish it. the story is good i am sure, but all the details drive me crazy
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There are places in the world where darkness rules,where its unwise to walk. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years,
and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind.
Until they found her. . . .
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Another of Robin's "greats!" I read other reviews after finishing the book, mainly trying to find out if there was a sequel floating around, ready to grab up! Plenty of people were upset that there is not now, and may never be, a sequel. Personally, Robin could expand on her different worlds at any time, and I would only ever be more in love with her writing! However, as a dedicated fan for many years now, I have come to the understanding that it just ain't gonna happen! Yes, this book leaves some things more open than I'd like, however, I'd still read it again! Robin's writing is grabbing, real, idk what word to use... She creates real characters in other worlds, and makes them real too! If you've enjoyed other McKinley books this one is another to add to your TBR pile!
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A little confusing. But good!
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I read a *lot* of vampire books and in my opinion this is the best of the lot.
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I was very disappointed with this book. I found it slow from the beginning, and finally just gave up on it toward the middle. Nope I didn't finish it. It seemed like a good story but I just found myself bored to tears.
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This is a wonderful quirky (think "Odd Thomas" becomes "Buffy") type book. Everyone I've recommended it to loves the book, but no one can quite identify "why" they like it so much. It's not a warm, fuzzy novel, but you end up feeling that way about the characters. Enjoy!
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Interesting view on vampire life ~
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All the bakery talk made me hungry! It's a little slow in places, but definitely a fun, entertaining read.
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This book is a little edgy and adult. I have read all of Robin McKinley's young adult books so I was surprised she would add sexuality into this book.
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Loved this book, leaves you hanging though, with no sequel in sight
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I rarely give a book five stars, but this is about the best "vampire" book written (and I've read a lot). The writing is excellent and the story is gripping and (dare I say it?) unique, with a dream-like quality that draws in the reader. Of the books I've read, only Steven Brust's "Agyar" compares in quality.
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Great book, but slow in parts. I really enjoyed and am hoping for a sequel.
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This was a lovely book! The main character was very endearing and charming, one of those rare ones that instantly won me over because of her tendency to go on tangents that are somewhat odd, but adorable. The descriptions are so life-like that it's almost as if you're watching a movie, rather than reading a book. The plot line is occasionally hard to follow, and there were a few times when the book seemed to drag, but get through it! It's one of those books that is definitely worth reading!
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Well, this is a tough one the review. At first I was entranced, then it got slow, then the author would drop something enticing to keep me reading. I decided to persevere even tho the long stream-of-consciousness dragged the story down, because the promise of a meaningful ending was there. Unfortunately, it was a flop. I was very disappointed, feeling that I'd invested trust in the author and story. Whoever compared it to Buffy has not seen the TV show. But I read Sunshine on its own merits, not because of any comparisons. The way it ended was simply inexplicable and left me as frustrated as a baker who labored over cinnamon rolls only to find out the end product was inedible.
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I really liked this book, although I would have liked it more if more of the questions raised in the book would have been answered. The author spends so much time explaining this world, but leaves out great big gaps on the characters. With the telling of the story through Rae's POV, it was hard to feel like the other characters were really fleshed out...she didn't know much about anyone, and I wanted to hear them tell there stories too. I wanted more Constantine--by far the most interesting character but we only get glimpses of him. This book felt like part one of a series but apparently is the only one. Interstesting, a fun read but frustrating because it had so much potential to go from a good read to a fabulous one.
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A very good read! I was so disappointed when I found out McKinley was not going to write a follow up. This book just screamed for a sequel.
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great book, definitely one i will read again.
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Sunshine is fun and manages to never sound overly dramatic -- a real accomplishment in a genre that generally thrives on blood and melodrama. Very enjoyable, although the ending is abrupt, as many of McKinley's tend to be. It's a great read if you don't mind filling in a lot of blanks yourself.
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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.
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Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine for her love of daylight, is just your average young woman, with maybe a slightly greater-than-normal interest in the Others: paranormal creatures such as vampires, Weres, and demons. She's a master baker (her cinnamon rolls are to die for) at her stepdad Charlie's coffeehouse, and has a good relationship with her boyfriend Mel. Sunshine's life was going on fine, until the night she decides to drive out to the lake to be alone with her thoughts for a bit, and finds herself smack dab in the middle of an epic ongoing fight between two vampires, Con and Bo.

Once you're in the hands of vampires you're pretty much dead, which is why Sunshine is absolutely terrified of herself when she not only escapes, but manages to save Con from Bo's gang as well. Now she and Con are inexplicably and dangerously linked, and Sunshine is only beginning to realize her magic heritage and the extent of her powers--powers that are wanted by SOF, the "police force" that deals with the Others. Sunshine and Con must form the strangest alliance ever--between humans and vampires--in order to defeat Bo and save each other from sure destruction.

SUNSHINE is quite different from previous Robin McKinley's books I've read and loved. First of all, this IS an adult book, and so some of the themes and content may be uncomfortable for younger readers (although, knowing McKinley readers, most are pretty mature already). Sunshine is also an unusual narrator; I think of her as almost the Jessica Darling of the vampire genre, with her snarky, diary-like commentary, which I enjoyed most of the time except when it got dragged out a bit in the middle and you just wanted to get to what happens next, to the action!

I'm not sure how Twilight fans will respond to this one because vampires are not glorified in SUNSHINE, although Con is attractive in his looming, expressionless way. However, if you are looking for a paranormal book with an extremely strong female protagonist's voice, be sure to check this one out.
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This is one of my favorite books and it was so great to revisit it in audio format. Shes an average person, a baker, who finds herself in the middle of vampire turf war. Messy. Yeah, that really sums up a lot of it. But there is a lot more going on in this world that McKinley created. The SOF suits are a complicated bunch. Magic users are suppose to be registered, and if they arent the SOFs can arrest them, or more depending on what the magic users are up to. But the SOFs that keep an eye on Rae have known her for years, and they are far more interested in taking out the dangerous elements of the paranormal community, like vamps. The SOFs also have several interesting secrets of their own.

Then there is Mel, Raes boyfriend. He also works at the bakery. His hobby is working on bikes and riding bikes and making love to Rae. Hes a calm character with lots of tatts. His tatts are the complicated kind that are really wards to keep his skin intact. I so wish to know more about this man, his history, and why he needed such powerful wards at one time in his life. Perhaps from the Voodoo Wars?

And of course we have to talk about the vampires. Theres the rude and crude ones, lead by Beau, that planned to sacrifice Rae to their enemy (Constantine), who they had shackled in an abandoned mansion on the lake. But things dont go as planned and together, Rae and Constantine find a way out of this trap. Their relationship, if it can be called that, becomes the underlying plot line to all the other stuff going on in Raes life.

Just a side note: There is one of the hottest not-a-sex-scene in all of literature in this book. Yeah. You need to read this book.

The world itself is lush with charms that have a mind of their own, weres (werehound, wererabbit, werebears), and remnants of destroyed cities from the Voodoo wars. Rae has been able to wall out this world by and large for years by living simply and working at the bakery. But it comes crashing in as she has to confront the heritage from her fathers side.

Deeply rich in environment, excellent characters, and wonderful plot makes this book one of my favorites and earns it a permanent place on my shelf. Dont particularly care for vampire stories? Yeah, me neither. But I love this book. Its not about vampires; its about Rae and her world and her struggle to keep that world and those people precious to her. Definitely worth the read.

Oh, and Ms. McKinley, if you ever do have a need to write another book in this magnificent world, I would be ever so tickled pink to add it to my permanent bookshelf. Just saying.Oh, and perhaps a companion cookbook as I need to try Raes Death by Bitter Chocolate.

The Narration: Merlington does a fantastic job with Rays voice, perfect fit. She also did a good job with the other female voices. Her male voices sometimes felt like a bit of a stretch in masculinity, but each was distinct and that matters more to me. Overall, a very good performance.
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A great read! A different vampire story.
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Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.com

After years of peace with the vampires, Rae "Sunshine" Seddon makes a big mistake and wanders by the lake to get some peace and quiet. She is captured by vampires and imprisoned next to one who implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane.

Using her long-forgotten power that her grandmother tried to cultivate in her when she was young, she turns her pocket knife into a key and frees herself and the vampire. When the vampires' true plans to decimate and take over the human world within 100 years are uncovered, Rae, a descendant of Onyx Blaise, is recruited by SOF (Special Other Forces) to stop the madness.

The only problem is that her powers were never fully trained and tapped into. With the help of her vampire friend and with enemies at their heels, these two must face the odds to save themselves and all of humanity. Will they succeed? Will Rae be able to control her magic in time to save everyone?

A gripping, high-thrill adventure with lots at stake. The plot and characters are well-developed, and the story is fairly unique and holds the reader's attention. Those who like vampire tales, adventure, fantasy, and apocalyptic books will enjoy reading SUNSHINE.
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Often listed on top-10 Vampire books.
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Great vampire book. I hope there's a sequel.
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It started off well, but after a while it got too confusing. The attempt at worldbuilding came too late. After a while, I no longer cared what happened to these people.
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Loved it.
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Great read!
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I love Robin McKinley, but this book really surprised me. Her venture into the vampire genre is truly fascinating. She writers her own legends . . . as always.
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Unsatisfying. A LOT of characters were left undeveloped and unexplained. I felt like Robin McKinley could have done so much better, since the other books I've read by her WERE so much better. Her more risque scenes felt out of place with her writing style, and Sunshine's morals were... questionable (you'll understand by the end of the book).
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I was highly disappointed by Sunshine. I had heard this was another take on the story of Beauty and the Beast, but if your looking for a romance, this isn't it. Yes there is some flirting/interaction between Sunshine and Con, but not exactly what I would call a love story, even in the general sense, especially considering the fact that Sunshine has a boyfriend throughout the entire book.

The writing was really slow in parts and I don't think that Con's character was developed enough. It was almost a chore to get through the middle of the book. Also, the ending of the story left me unsatisfied as I still had so many questions. I just could't get into this book.
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Good read.
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This book was great! I've read it 3 times. I wish the author would write more about this world.
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I liked this book a lot. I was never a Buffy fan, so it must have some other qualities.
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Kind of slow. Not scary.
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Robin McKinley does not disappoint with this book of a world where vampires and other Others are just another part of life (and death). Sunshine discovers that she is both a magic handler, possibly a part-blood, and has a special affinity for sunlight all in one fell swoop when she is captured by a gang of vampires and left as someone's meal.

Great stand-alone alternate style vampire story.
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Loved this book.
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There are places in the world where darkness rules, where its unwise to walk. But there hadnt been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her...
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I liked it. It was one of those books I was happy to be finished reading, but I did like it while reading it too. The characterization was amazing.
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There are places in a world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her...
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Semi-enjoyable. I had so much more hope for this book. I found so much of it long and drawn out and it was a chore to get it finished. That being said, I did enjoy the premise. I thoroughly agree with whoever said that just because it's a vampire story and there is a female protagonist it shouldn't be compared to Buffy. Totally different vibes.
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An excellent read. "Pretty much perfect" according to Neil Gaiman, from the cover, and I agree.
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A great book! Highly recommended for all Anita Blake fans!
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Liked it!
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I enjoyed the first two thirds or so, the plot seemed solid with some original ideas. The last third was much too "wordy" and I thought the battle at the end was too easy and quick for the buildup the plot had given it.
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I was not at all interested in vampire novels, or urban fantasy novels, or paranormal-romantic novels, etc. I was taking a class on the topic of classic monsters (vampires, werewolves, etc) and had to read one of these types of novels. I checked out a bunch of them from the library and one by one was either bored or disgusted by page 3. I checked out more. Same thing. Repeat. And repeat again. I was so frustrated, and then I got this book in my hands. I was captivated immediately, from page 1. I liked the way the main female human character talked, I liked how she thought, I liked the way she spoke about her job and the customers and her co-workers. When things begin to happen with the vampires, there's such suspense! It was so easy to feel her fear and her shock. It was so easy to visualize everything. It was delightful to learn that some of the things she spoke of as matter-of-fact in the beginning weren't actually true. The main vampire himself was so compelling. I liked him so much! I can't put my finger on it, on why I was so attracted to him, but he is written beautifully and subtly. There is so much emotion there but he's always described as monotone and stony-faced. It's magical to realize that there is so much under the surface. He is afraid, worried, surprised, nervous, and unsettled just as the main female human character. While she expresses it in action and words, he expresses it ... in some sort of feeling that comes across not in action or words. I have never run into any character like him. I fell in love with this book. It nearly broke my heart several times. It was beautiful, utterly beautiful, and I never wanted it to end. When it did end, it was painful. There's so much more there to be written, but perhaps the ending is perfect - it wasn't a cop out, no unrealistic dramatic shift in storyline, no sap, no surprise ... it was just like the rest of the novel, subtle and beautiful with so much emotion packed into one tiny sentence, one tiny gesture. This is an extremely romantic book in all meanings of the word "romantic." It's written with class, yet it's not ponderous or bogged down with extraneous details. It's not cheapened with gratuitous sex or endless dwelling on lust. I can't praise this book enough. I can't recommend it enough. I shudder to think that it took me this long to discover such a jewel. What if I had never found it? I can't imagine, in hindsight, now living without it in my life. Yes, it was that good.
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I was not at all interested in vampire novels, or urban fantasy novels, or paranormal-romantic novels, etc. I was taking a class on the topic of classic monsters (vampires, werewolves, etc) and had to read one of these types of novels. I checked out a bunch of them from the library and one by one was either bored or disgusted by page 3. I checked out more. Same thing. Repeat. And repeat again. I was so frustrated, and then I got this book in my hands. I was captivated immediately, from page 1. I liked the way the main female human character talked, I liked how she thought, I liked the way she spoke about her job and the customers and her co-workers. When things begin to happen with the vampires, there's such suspense! It was so easy to feel her fear and her shock. It was so easy to visualize everything. It was delightful to learn that some of the things she spoke of as matter-of-fact in the beginning weren't actually true. The main vampire himself was so compelling. I liked him so much! I can't put my finger on it, on why I was so attracted to him, but he is written beautifully and subtly. There is so much emotion there but he's always described as monotone and stony-faced. It's magical to realize that there is so much under the surface. He is afraid, worried, surprised, nervous, and unsettled just as the main female human character. While she expresses it in action and words, he expresses it ... in some sort of feeling that comes across not in action or words. I have never run into any character like him. I fell in love with this book. It nearly broke my heart several times. It was beautiful, utterly beautiful, and I never wanted it to end. When it did end, it was painful. There's so much more there to be written, but perhaps the ending is perfect - it wasn't a cop out, no unrealistic dramatic shift in storyline, no sap, no surprise ... it was just like the rest of the novel, subtle and beautiful with so much emotion packed into one tiny sentence, one tiny gesture. This is an extremely romantic book in all meanings of the word "romantic." It's written with class, yet it's not ponderous or bogged down with extraneous details. It's not cheapened with gratuitous sex or endless dwelling on lust. I can't praise this book enough. I can't recommend it enough. I shudder to think that it took me this long to discover such a jewel. What if I had never found it? I can't imagine, in hindsight, now living without it in my life. Yes, it was that good.
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This would have gotten five stars from me if not for an unfortunate two paragraphs in the middle of the book that really were pornographic and totally out of place in the book. Excise those, and it was a great story.
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Really liked this book. Like the main character, I too, find the necessity to bake & feed people. Unlike the main character, I would definitely ask more questions! Humorous with suspense and a bit of romance. Not your average vampire novel.
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I sometimes enjoy books about vampires...this one was no exception. I liked it....I'll be looking for more of her work.
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An amazing and beautifully written book! This is one of the best vampire novels I have read in many years.
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Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her...
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Grrrr. That was several days well wasted! I read so much in this genre I was excited to read something that was in the area I love but, had a different spin. I so so wanted to like this book it is so different and the first person narrative allows you to get inside the character so deeply (or it should) but,I truely struggled to even finish this book.
I read reviews that "loved Con" but I don't know enough about Con to love him. I wanted to want Sunshine together with him but, again his character gave me nothing to root for. So I wanted to root for Mel but, again I know nothing about Mel. Mel who was Sunshine's long time boyfriend but, they didn't even seem to have a relationship at all during this story.
I would be reading along and finally something would be happening just to have Sunshine's "wheels" fall off. Then she would be wondering off on some tangent and when she finally would come back to the point she was making or the action of the scene, I would totally forget what was going on have to remind myself. By that point the momentum is completely lost.
I frequently felt as if there was something I had missed, a page got skipped somewhere, I would read some new term, slang or some random description and be totally lost on it's meaning. The world was inadequately explained as much as many of the supporting characters. For a book so wordy there was very poor use of all that dialog for set-up and depth.
For a story told in the first person I felt as if I knew nothing about Sunshine. Nothing of her heart except her love of baking and the bakery. You never know how she feels about anyone in her life. All you get is whining and fears. Even during the time she was captured you really get no real emotion from her. She seemed very cold and sterile.
All in All I felt like I was on one of those roller costers that are in the dark. I never knew what was coming and it was never as cool/scary as I thought it would be. The vast majority of the time I was confused and just reading to get done.
So I feel as if I must say somthing positive. I did somewhat enjoy the first person narative. It gave me an interesting perpective and I could see glimmers of how cool it may have been differently written. I liked the bakery references and hearing about her recipes and customers it provided some badly needed color to this story. I don't even mind that there isn't and probably will never be a sequel, I didn't like the first one so I will make up what happens in my own mind. I have been kind-of looking for a stand alone in this genre. I don't mind the loose ends.
Sorry my star rating should have been lower but, my love of books and reading could not bear a lower rating. This book will be swapped out immedeately hopefully to that hands of someone who will appreciate it. Usually my books make a very large loop through hands of friends before coming back to PBS. This one I will not be recommending.
reviewed Sunshine on + 264 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Sunshine on + 59 more book reviews
Just now finished this book and I enjoyed the read very much. It was a completely different read on vampires and such and the story line was quite original. I would definitely recommend reading this book....I don't think you will be disappointed.
reviewed Sunshine on
Busty bimbo, aka Sunshine "who is also a wizard", struggles with her feelings for a vampire who refuses to eat her.
This is not a vampire slayer book. Although the protagonist is very addept at killing vampires, she finaly kills one about half way through, then 3/4th of the way through she still has not killed anything else... in fact she worries for pages about killing that stinkin sucker...
Overall, this book is BOORING! Too many confused feelings that have to be mulled over!
Unfortunatly, I have this book. PLZ! SOME ONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME TAKE IT!
reviewed Sunshine on + 982 more book reviews
There are places in a world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her...