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Sunshine
Sunshine
Author: Robin McKinley
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lived a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. One night, she went out to the lake for some peace and quiet. There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just ne...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780515138818
ISBN-10: 0515138819
Publication Date: 11/30/2004
Pages: 405
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 414

3.9 stars, based on 414 ratings
Publisher: Jove
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

VeganFreak avatar 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: 16
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.
Erinyes avatar 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! :)
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tiffwitch69 avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 62 more book reviews
A very unusual read. The main character Sunshine was a bit of a spaz and it hurt the potential success of the plot. While I did finish the book it was more as a hope that it would get better and it has typical growing pains since this isn't a series.
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 7145 more book reviews
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.
janisbeth avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 34 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Sunshine on + 50 more book reviews
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.
sarabeth4 avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 9 more book reviews
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.
skywriter319 avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 962 more book reviews
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.
nrlymrtl avatar reviewed Sunshine on + 297 more book reviews
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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