Sunshine by: Robin McKinley

Published: 2003

# of pages: 416

I read this in 2007 and it became one of my all time favorite books. I put it on my Christmas list this past year and someone gave it to me. I decided it was about time to re-read it!

Unfortunately, I was disappointed the second time around. I remember the first time I read it it took me awhile to get into it. I was a little confused about the world it was set in since it differs so much from the other books I read by McKinley. But I loved it by the time it was over. The second time I read it it seemed to drag so much. Like Chalice, there was so much rambling and little dialogue. I can’t think why I didn’t notice that the first time I read it. To be fair, I don’t read so much these days and when I do read it’s in bits and pieces. I read while I nurse Evan, during commercials, in the bathroom, and maybe (just maybe) I will sit and actually give my attention to a book for awhile in the evenings. So it’s really hard to “get into” a novel and I think that Sunshine is one of those that you have to read all at once to really appreciate the characters and story.

What’s good about this book??? There’s a lot of great stuff! I can still see why I loved this book so much the first time I read it. It’s a great story that has flavoring from one of my favorite fairy tales (and, I suspect, one of McKinley’s favorites as well), “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s about a human (well, we think she’s human anyway) who meets a vampire, the most feared creature of the Others.

The world is an alternate Earth which has been transformed by the Voodoo Wars and in which magic and “Others” (vampires, weres, demons, etc) exist. Sunshine is the main character and she works at a coffee shop that is owned by her stepfather. She is abducted by vampires at the beginning of the novel and ends up meeting Constantine (Con), a different kind of vampire. The two form an alliance, one that forms a lasting bond between them. Sunshine spends the novel trying to balance her life as a low key baker with her family and boyfriend, Mel, and as a friend to a vampire and a magic handler.

Con and Sunshine form a plan to strike back at the vampire who abducted Sunshine and although she is scared, she makes preparations and strengthens her relationship with Con before they take action. The last part of the novel is my favorite part. Even after not enjoying the book the second time around, I still loved this last part! Con is one of my favorite characters, I just love him! He actually reminds me a lot of the master in Chalice and from what I can remember, the beast in Beauty. I guess I just all around love McKinley’s male characters!

Anyway, I definitely recommend this to lovers of fantasy and fans of McKinley! I wish I could say I loved this book just as much as I did before, but that wouldn’t be the truth. However, I hope it’s because of my bad reading habits these days. There’s some bad language and sexual content, but it doesn’t overwhelm the novel. However, I wouldn’t say it’s appropriate for young adults.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.


One thought on “Sunshine

  1. I'm sorry to hear this wasn't as good the second time around! It makes me so sad when that happens. I've yet to read it, but as I like McKinley I probably will at some point.


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