Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Rae Seddon, commonly known as Sunshine, quite happy to make cinnamon rolls and have all her life around the bakery, decides to go to the lake which proves to be trouble. In her words, "it was a dumb thing to do, but not that dumb".

Because there are dark things about, and the darkest of the Others are vampires, and of course, Sunshine is kidnapped by them. And no-one escapes vampires.

Wait, don't run. I know I said vampires, and with a character named Sunshine and this description you are thinking "oh no, not another vampire urban fantasy". I also groan at the thought of yet another vampire book (even though I've read very few of those). Yep, this is urban fantasy. Yep, there are vampires. But this is what urban fantasy should be like.

Sunshine is told in a kind of different way - and it takes some getting used to. It is told in the first person by Sunshine, but more like she is thinking. Do you know when you are remembering something, and rehearsing how you are going to tell it to someone, and the thoughts seem to ramble and deviate and then get back on track? (hmmm..maybe it's just me) That's how this book is. And I loved it. It resonates with my thoughts and makes you actually pay attention to reading because a missed paragraph can make you stare at the page thinking "how the hell did we get here!?". This, together with the plot, means that it is a complex book, but in no way is it complicated.

As a character, Sunshine is great. She is flawed, she gets angry, she can do great things and actually be astonished that she can do them. She is human, and so believable that is like she is there. This is her story, and as such we get to see so much of her.

And then there are the vampires. I would say to forget all the romantic notions of vampires, but that wouldn't be quite right. There is a kind of gothic feel to it, and wooden stakes are still your best friend (as well as day-time and sunshine). But they are different than most vampires seen in fiction, there's an otherliness to them that suits them.

Another thing that I loved was the fact that until the very ending I was still learning about this world, which is so alike and so different from our own. The information comes in bits and pieces as Sunshine mentions them, the mental picture forms slowly and a bit haphazardly, but there is a sense that there are still parts of the town unknown to me, and that they exist with a life of their own, not just as backdrop.

Sunshine is a different book for sure, and is hard to talk about it without people jumping to clichés. This is vampire urban fantasy by the mere fact that it is set in a city and there are vampires. Everything else is new and fresh.

All that is left for me is to say is to tell you to go read it and thank Ana Nunes and Jen7waters for recommending this one to me.

Rating: 4.5 out 5

Other Reviews: Bookworming in the 21st Century | Cuidado com o Dálmata | Dreams & Speculation | Floresta de Livros | Paperback Dolls | Starmetal Oak Book Blog 

This Book on: LibraryThing | GoodReads | BookDepository UK | Book Depository US | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Gam.co


  1. So glad you liked it. :D
    And I agree with everythign you said. It's like we're inside someone's head, and it's a chaotic head at that. :)

    P.S.: You got the gorgeous cover too. Isn't it lovely?

  2. I LOVED this book. As a matter of fact I'm going to go order one at the BD to replace the one I foolishly mailed away when I was a Bookmoocher. :P

  3. Ahah! I got credit for it too! *jumps up and down* (I was very jealous of you Ana, because quigui didn't quite listen to me when I recommended it to her ages ago, but I know it was the word "vampire" that scared her xD)

    And yes, this book is like a big rant - from crazy-angry-sarcastic Rae.

  4. @Ana
    A very chaotic head indeed, but I'm glad to know my head isn't the only one like that.

    And the cover is really lovely. It has spirals! And Sparkles!

    Go buy it! Right Now! Ok, you don't need to buy it right know because you've already read it. And there is a fellow Bookmoocher who was able to read this book because of your foolishness - so it was a good deed on your part :P

    After you nagging me so much this past week of course I would have to credit you. I don't think it was the vampire that scared me off, it was your comparison to Buffy. Vampires I can take. Vampires and Buffy? not so sure.

    Oh, but I love crazy-angry-sarcastic rants! I try to keep my rants tame because not everyone can take it, but I do love them so much (unless they are directed at me, that is).

  5. Oh...it was Buffy...sorry, it is a bit like Buffy, and at the same time it isn't. xD

  6. Don't worry, it's not just you. I ramble a lot in my head. Sadly, that rambling is not enough to properly explain myself sometimes. xD

    3 good reviews from 3 portuguese bloggers is enough to water my mouth. I must read Beauty by this author, which I already have, and then order this one. ;)