“Sunshine” by Robin McKinley

“Sunshine” by Robin McKinleySunshine by Robin McKinley
Published: 2004 by Jove
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 405
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Normally I’m not a fan of vampire novels, largely because I’ve met far too many Twilight fans.  However, Robin McKinley was one of my favorite authors as a teenager, and so when I saw that she had written a novel for grown-ups, I decided to give it a chance.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where vampires are a genuine threat to humanity, and are thoroughly evil.  The protagonist, Rae, is a young waitress who is a bit less careful than normal after a fight with her mother and accidentally gets captured by vampires.  She is chained to a wall and left next to Constantine, a vampire who is being held prisoner in sort of a vampire equivalent of gang rivalry.  Instead of eating her, Constantine asks Rae to tell him stories.  Rae eventually remembers her childhood lessons in magic, and she and Constantine work to escape.

Overall, this isn’t a traditional vampire novel.  Vampires aren’t hot or sparkly, but instead are viewed as abhorrent to all.  Rae’s biggest challenge in the novel is whether or not it is morally acceptable to help Constantine.  I’m glad I decided to give this book a chance.  I don’t think that there is much that sets Sunshine apart from McKinley’s YA books, but then, I always thought that her YA books were spectacularly written and were only considered YA because they didn’t talk about sex.

Note:  Just realized that at first glance, this seems kind of like the movie Black Snake Moan, but with vampires.  McKinley wrote Sunshine first, any similarities are coincidental.

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5 comments

  1. Meg Rosoff writes fantastic novels that are marketed as YA novels because she writes about young people. It’s a bit sad as what she writes is too difficult for children or teens but many grown-ups don’t want to read YA novels. After I reviewed her she commented on my blog and said she was happy I reviewed her pointing out that she shouldn’t be labelled YA. To me it sounds as if McKinley was somewhat similar. I will have to have a look at her YA novels and this one doesn’t sound bad at all either.

  2. I would recommend “The Hero and the Crown” and “The Blue Sword.” Both are fantastic books; they have young protagonists, but McKinley does an awesome job of world building.

  3. I don’t mean to spam your blog, but the cover of this one caught my eye–and I just have to chime in and say that this is one of my favorite books of all time. I absolutely adore Robin McKinley. If you don’t read her blog–http://robinmckinleysblog.com/–you should. It’s hysterically funny and incredibly revealing of who she is. Makes me love the books even more!