Mass Market Paperback ↠ Sunshine PDF ✓

Sunshine Here is a useful tip should you ever find yourself face to face with a vampire they are living corpses that eat people They are not sun sparkling abstinent forever teens Staying inside all day and being forced to personally kill all of your food doesn't bode well for your mental health not to mention the fact that you have been alive so long you've had to re buy all your Beatles albums in like five different formatsRobin McKinley gets this the way Stephanie Meyer or even sometimes Buffy the Vampire Slayer don't generally it is safe to say vampires aren't creatures whose pictures you want to pin up in your locker Yes authors can rewrite the rules of vampirism all they want to make them easy to romanticize I have a soul Oh yeah We'll I'm vegetarian but it all still comes down to A creatures of the night B part of a race that by and large views humans as walking ketchup dispensers C unflattering complexions In Sunshine the vampires are gross They look like what they are which is if you will remember dead They are also rightly feared by the populace but that might have to do with the role they played in the vaguely defined Voodoo Wars that ravaged society some years before to the point where what seems like a pretty nondescript small city is now the eighth largest remaining population in the US In short vampires not very niceAnd yet there's always the special one But if Sunshine not her real name thankfully can be the Buffy who befriends a vampire at least she is a total screw up in every other way and I mean of a screw up than just that she pretends to trip on things and makes too many boys fall in love with her She gives her mom hell She barely graduated from high school She dates a guy with too many tattoos She's kind of a bitch She's flawed and fun to read about which is important because she's our narrator But she is special with an unknown magical heritage that saves her ass when she's kidnapped by bloodsuckers and chained up in a room with one of them This turns out to be Constantine who is that Special Vampire who doesn't eat people but at least he's still pretty disgusting as romantic heroes go The no heartbeat thing would get pretty weird Also the bathing in his blood but that comes laterIn many ways this is a Twilight y book and you can see why the publisher decided to repackage it in a sparkly teen edition even though it is about adult characters who actually screw instead of lying in fields and gazing longingly at one another There's a special girl There's a vampire There is a little bit of romance though Sunshine has the good sense to be freaked out about it and at least never describes anyone's beautiful chest Also in both books nothing happens for long stretches of time only to rush through an action packed climax in just a few pages Oh I forgot both also involve scenes of googling and message board reading which still isn't all that interesting The difference is that Robin McKinley can write and instead of filling her pages with repetition and day to day mundanities new word she creates a fun cast of supporting characters at the bakery where Sunshine works I could almost write an entire separate review about the role baking plays in this book but I didn't want to make anyone hungry and puts real thought into the way you might react to a traumatic experience like almost being eaten Like you might throw yourself back into your work mmm cinnamon rolls even as you struggled to cope with the fallout alienating your friends and loved ones in the bargain This is a really entertaining book that slowed down just a little too much in the middle for me but it is much much better than a phrase like vampire romance might imply In a parallel dimension this book is the famous one and Stephanie Meyer bless her heart is selling her books to Kindle owners on because writing is a nice little hobby but why do it full time when you are so bad at itMan I really didn't mean to rag on Twilight so much Sorry about thatOh ps to Karen sorry for failing at that whole tandem review thing We can just pretend I wrote this a week ago This was a very welcome surprise coming out of my dire expectations I mean a vampire romance Seriously AnotherWell stop scratching your head and stop moving on to another title This happens to be one of the good ones There are lots of elements that you've seen before I'm sure but it's all in how its written McKinley has been writing all kinds of fantasy for over thirty years She knows how to accomplish a lot in relatively no time at allGorgeous world building and a populace that will soon be overrun by vampires Part demons and sorcerers waging wars against them The elemental mastery of the magic is amazing Sunshine This isn't just a nickname When these little bits and pieces started unfolding out of the normal bakery life and a nasty kidnapping I kept thinking to myself well isn't this just another setup for a romanceYes BUT McKinley never stints on complicated and interesting plots that kept me going all the way through It kind of stunned me just how deep and complex this novel became out of my initial observation And it's not just the characters either The kinds of races the kinds of magic the twists and the turns all of them were added like spice to the novel and it kind of blew me awayI've read a lot of mediocre vamp novels I've read a few excellent ones This one fooled me on it's premise and it's opening It turned into an excellent one So what about shelves that call it YA Why didn't I also do the same Because she's apparently a uarter of a century old Long out of HS and working happily in a bakery That might be called a tiny tiny sliver of the new adult market but there's a LOT of dark stuff going on here with complicated emotions and reactions It's definitely not simple and its often beautifully adult I completely recommend for fans of better vampire novels Even ones that feature romanceEdit 12616It has been brought to my attention that I should clarify what kind of romance this is It's not Eros It's Philia That's the greek term for ppl you'd trust your life for in battle Deep friendships Ultimate trust These two share a lot than just that Psychic bonds the ability to pull one another from the brink even out of outright battle and he even gives her a wondrous magical item that allows her access to his sanctum of sanctums That's a level of trust unheard of in a world where all vampires know that they can't trust each other let alone any other kind of person So I call it romance in the traditional sense A huge step up from a buddy novel too Sunshine is definitely worthwhile if you like vampire lit though this is a bit of an odd one This urban fantasy novel starts with a bang one of my favorite beginnings in a fantasy novel Rae Sunshine Seddon is kidnapped by a gang of vampires chained to the wall in an abandoned isolated mansion and left as a victim for another vampire Constantine who is also chained up nearby the gang even cuts Sunshine so the blood will make her harder for Constantine to resist But resist he does even as daylight comes though it’s a near thing and they know the vampire gang will be returning when night falls Then Sunshine begins to remember some near forgotten magical skills taught her many years ago by her grandmother It’s a game changer but her odd and very secret alliance with Constantine may also bring Sunshine into situations where she’s faced with dangers she’s never known before I knew nothing about this book when I bought it this was back in the day when I was auto buying everything Robin McKinley wrote a time that has now sadly ended for me as her stuff's gotten progressively weirder over the years But this one is only semi weird and definitely worth reading if you're interested in vampires and urban fantasy except without the smokin' hot sexy vampire Okay there is a rather sexy scene and Constantine the vampire is a very cool character but also undeniably vampirish in a not really sexy kind of wayI loved what McKinley did with the main character and her magically gifted family and with vampire lore in this novel; I just wished she'd dug a little deeper into the world building and the family history And there is as typical with McKinley one of those murky bizarre nightmarish scenes where you're not sure exactly what's going on except that it's highly strange The story doesn't wrap up with a nice bow either which left many fans hoping in vain for McKinley to write a seuel or at least another book in this world But there are at least parts of this story that are truly fantastic the first few chapters are AMAZING and shouldn't be missed At least if you're interested in vampire lit I've seen Robin McKinley accused of having only one plot variations on Beauty and the Beast This kind of reductionism of course can be extended to just about any story Some of us over a certain age even used to have test uestions on this in Tenth Grade Literature What is the plot of this book A Man vs Man B Man vs Nature C Man vsUniverse Perhaps this one can be further reduced to Woman Gains Choice and we first encounter it in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice written in the early 1800s wherein a female makes the choice concerning her future life and doesn't have to pay the price for such temerity by promptly dying of consumption What it means is that woman gains power over her own life and it's a trope women and men have been exploring in various story forms such as Beauty and the BeastMcKinley looks at this story form from several angles Anyone who thinks her stories cookie cutter have not paid attention The Blue Sword is probably the most conventional; Deerskin is not at all conventional This story has to do with vampiresI've heard people talking about how sick they are of vampire stories that they are stale nothing new to be said and of course vampires like elves and dragons and horses have been tamed down by many writers into being very pretty forms of humans pretty powerful but with very human usually mapping heavily onto middle teen adolescence emotionsWell McKinley teases apart the threads of this familiar tapestry and reweaves them into a very strange formThe story begins with our first person protagonist describing her pleasant but claustrophobic life as the baker for a roadside diner that is very popular in her small town We gain the impression of ordinary folk of the type we recognize in our own lives an ordinary diner an ordinary small town Exactly when the reader feels as closed in by all these cheery well intentioned ordinariness as does the protagonist she takes off to be by herself to the lakeside which we are told is not popular any since the Voodoo WarsThe Voodoo Wars We've had so far exactly one other hint that things are not uite as ordinary as they appear when the protagonist mentions that one of her very normal brothers wants to go into Other law Well 'other' is easily assumed to be on the side of the downtrodden and on goes the story Voodoo Wars catches the eye but the story still marches on a few paragraphs and then abruptly while she's at the lakeside the vampires come This is page 12I had to look back at that beginning to really appreciate the mastery of McKinley's story telling skills Twelve pages of ordinariness and a cliff hanger after which she pauses to tell us that the worst of the Others are vampires Okay then this is our world but with vampires No wait there's just this tiny mention of demons But the story flashes on and the protagonist is taken by vampires to a disintegrating ballroom forced to dress in an extravagant crimson gown and shackled to the wall within reach of another vampire Who is also shackled to the wall Then they leave gigglingThe story takes off like a rocket from there we find out the protagonist's name after we find out about the power of names we find out about vampires and the Voodoo Wars and the protagonist's background Boundaries are broken over and over and the reader along with the characters has to struggle to redefine them The ordinary roadside inn with its ordinary characters turns out to be an anchor of relative safety in an increasingly strange and dangerous world This is not our world It's even threatening perilous but there are ways to fight it Each ones exacts its cost there are no wish fulfillment mega powers gained just by suffering winsomely enough Power has to be fought for inwardly and outwardly it rips apart lives and reuires dispassionate remapping of one's universal landscape And using power is painful just as a real punch bruises the attacker as well as the victimAlong the way McKinley examines families love romance sexual attraction morality ethics deception the social contract eschatology the perils of responsibility Absolutely nothing is easy except perhaps the sharing of foodMcKinley's vampire is not pretty does not react with adolescent emotion; he is compelling and a fascinating study in how human can become alien yet retain a conflicted nexus of human traits The ending is not neatly tied off but is breathtaking with possibility I sure hope she returns to this world There is so much to explore and to say and I really want to know about the spinster landlady who was my favorite character of all There are places in the 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 mindUntil they found her since joel is being a slowpoke i am going to write this review before i forget everything i wasam thinking about it and it gets lost in too many books pastyeah so i had no idea this book was about vampiresbut karen you have voted for both elizabeth and mariel's review of this book surely you read reviews before you vote surely you don't just insta vote and RUIN goodreadscom for the rest of usyeah yeah yeahto be fair i did read elizabeth's review but it was ages ago when i had no intention of ever reading this book so i just enjoyed her writing without absorbing the details and the book itself went whhhooosshh outta my brain and mariel well mariel is a very special brand of reviewer and i think she only said vampire one time in her very convoluted but awesome reviewi mixed this up in my head with the other fantasy books i have been commanded to read and i thought this was another beauty and the beast retelling imagine my confusion when the vampires showed up to crash the partyand i liked it but i did not get out of it what everyone else seems to have gotten from it this is like a seminal work to the fantasy lovers and they swoon when it is mentionedso what am i missingthis is intended as a genuine uestion because i have never readseen any of it but is this what true blood is like this is the sense i get southern location accepted and casual reactions to the supernatural mingling with humankind central woman straddling two worlds and looking good doing it is this a fair assessment i am just curious if this book was an inspiration to a younger charlaine harris or if this is just a common theme in fantasy novelsso i am going to talk about genre fiction briefly as someone who does not read much genre fiction because i just have some uestionsobservationsand you will correct me if i am totally off basefantasy novels including this one seem to revolve around a strong central female character and several helper male characters who don't have much power but work to protect or nurture the female in this book she does have a boyfriend but he is symbolic like something for her to rub her sexuality againsthe can physically protect her with his might but he is really only there to give her what she needs and not ask unpleasant uestions fading into the background so she can view spoilerhave guilt free near relations with supernatural beings hide spoiler I didn't know much about this book going in vampires and cinnamon rolls that was about it Therefore I of course was uite surprised to learn Sunshine was a hardcore urban fantasy novel uite a departure for Robin McKinley known for her fairy tale retellings This book was nothing like she ever wrote before that's for sure I didn't know she had it in her to write something so tech heavy at times sexy and in such a perky voiceNow I love to complain about new urban fantasy that lacks originality proper world building and just plain satisfactory writing McKinley didn't disappoint in this regard I thought the plot was brilliant especially the beginning and the ending I am amazed nobody had used the whole chaining to the walls and using a human as a vamp bait scenario before The mythology was completely new and very inventive I loved how creepy nasty and otherwordly the vamps were One gets tired of sparkly and sexy creatures that have nothing to distinguish them from humans except wondrous stamina and sexual prowess Try writing about a girl falling for someone who looks and acts like Constantine in a convincing manner That's a challenge in itself I am sure And the writing well McKinley has a remarkable command of the languageBut all these things that I loved about Sunshine were at the same time its negatives I pretty much thought the book was way overwritten Sometimes the mythology got so complicated I thought I was on some kind of drug induced hallucinogenic trip And Sunshine herself Good lord the woman talked SO much to herself By about page 200 she started to grate on my nerves so bad I needed a break from her voice This book badly needed some editing out of Sunshine's rambling internal monologue and some dialog Often reading Sunshine's thoughts was like reading McKinley's own blog sometimes interesting sometimes boring with never ending parenthesis notes s and PS's Weeding out about 100 pages of Sunshine's irrelevant musings would have made this book a much enjoyable readSurprisingly many things that annoyed readers of this book didn't bother me The cinnamon rolls the bakery business was interesting to me I thought it added a nice dimension to Sunshine's personalityview spoilerAnd sex or rather lack thereof I agree when you read about one person licking another person in the dark naked while lying under him some schmexing at some point is expected But I personally wasn't upset it never happened I wasn't even sure I really wanted it to happen The way McKinley wrote Constantine he was in fact an otherworldly alien dead creature I did however have a uestion why did McKinley bring up the whole issue at all if she wasn't planning to explore it What was the point of writing that scene in the middle of the book with dcks and cnts and engorged lbias BTW I am channeling Sunshine here how did a book with this kind of vocabulary make it on the ALA's 2005 List of Best Books for Young Adults hide spoiler Extremely enjoyable I liked this book much than Twilight It was a while ago I read it but I kept the hardback around which says a lot since I am forced to be ruthless with what I keep after I read due to space I have mixed feelings about this book It took me multiple attempts to finish it but I'm glad I did Someone compared this to Buffy and Angel as far as the romance aspects Do not believe that This book has some romantic aspects but it's of a coming of age story although Sunshine is an adult when it starts She's coming into her powers that she never really understood The writing is very intricate and uite stream of consciousness If you made it through The Sound and the Fury this book shouldn't be a problem But for genre fiction I think you have to work too hard to get the enjoyment factor out of it I'm no literary snob In fact I prefer genre fiction I want to enjoy reading a story and get a message This one makes it difficult I am a foodie so I was salivating at the descriptions of the baked goods that Sunshine makes she's a talented baker However I wanted of the supernatural aspects and certainly of the intriguing Constantine I could have done with about fifty pages of him I think that a reader who enjoys seeing strong women come into their own in a fantasy novel setting would enjoy this so than a fan of vampire romance There were some geninuely scary moments that gave me a thrill as well There are also a few gory moments not too bad but I feel the need to warn I'd give Sunshine three stars because it was a good book but I don't feel the need to reread it Now if she writes a seuel with Constantine sign me up Adult vampire urban fantasy Sunshine lives in an alternate post apocalyptic world in which Others vampires weres demons and angels are accepted and everywhere We don't see any angels mind you This one's all about the horror Sunshine herself lives an ordinary life working in her step dad's cafe until she does something stupid and gets herself captured by the 'darkest' of the Others vampires Seriously messed up psychopathic supervillains Sunshine finds out a few things about herself and forges an alliance with somebody she shouldn't even be able to look at let alone develop feelings forI wanted to love this It's a classic of the genre It's an intricately thought out world and a lot of the ideas especially about magic are rather cool But it is for me flawed in ways I can't get over Principally I had trouble with the POV It's first person and the style is fairly collouial we don't ever forget that it's Sunshine herself telling the story but it's the most distant first person narrative I've ever read Even after three hundred pages of first person story I don't feel that I have a handle on Sunshine as a character Her voice distances us from the action by diverging into random info dumps about the world which yes very complex and layered and about her own backstory At one point she grabs a steak knife and lunges out the door after a vampire and then gives us a page and a half of information about the proper way to kill a vampire and basically how a steak knife won't cut it before we finally get to the end of her lunge And OK I accept that that info was relevant to the action but it should have gone oh any time before the lungeShe's also a somewhat unreliable narrator which further distances us from the story She doesn't lie but she keeps secrets from the reader She'll obsess about something for weeks and even though we're with her for those weeks we won't find out until weeks later when she suddenly brings it up I think this is a deliberate stylistic decision and is supposed to reflect Sunshine's own mindset and the way she's trying to hide her own thoughts from herself and pretend amnesia that she doesn't feel Still it works against my involvement in the story Case in point I was actually musing about these things while reading the life or death climax which shouldn't have been possible But the truth is I didn't care very much whether Sunshine and Con came out of the climax OKTwo things uicklyOne is the villain Bo He's supposed to be a looming menace over the entire book but we not only don't meet him until the last couple of scenes The Lord of the Rings has a successful villain the heroes never meet so that's not a deal breaker but we don't get any clear sense of his personality or presence before then either He doesn't work as an antagonist The Goddess of Pain is a better one but she's not central to the plot and is also introduced fairly lateThe other is the romance Or rather the sex There's this completely random very graphic not uite sex scene in the middle of the book that just made me tilt my head to the side and stare There's growing feeling between the two central characters which could be read as sexual tension but then this sex scene which is over in about a paragraph and a half comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere and is never followed up on and I just kind of wonder if McKinley's editor asked her to make it sexier and this was what she came up with It didn't add anything for me It's too short to be hot and too random to be powerfulAll that said this book made me think a lot and that's the sign of an interesting book And she does a mean aftermath and a nice final scene which I can appreciate

About the Author: Robin McKinley

Peter Dickinson also a writer and with whom she co wrote Water Tales of Elemental Spirits in 2001 and two lurchers crossbred sighthoundsOver the years she has worked as an editor and transcriber 1972 73 research assistant 1976 77 bookstore clerk 1978 teacher and counselor 1978 79 editorial assistant 1979 81 barn manager 1981 82 free lance editor 1982 85 and full time writer Other than writing and reading books she divides her time mainly between walking her hellhounds gardening cooking playing the piano homeopathy change ringing and keeping her blog

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