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From Publishers Weekly
Buffyesque baker Rae "Sunshine" Seddon meets Count Dracula's hunky Byronic cousin in Newbery-Award-winner McKinley's first adult-and-then-some romp through the darkling streets of a spooky post-Voodoo Wars world. Now that human cities have been decimated, the vampiric elite holds one-fifth of the world's capital, threatening to control all the earth in less than 100 years, unless human SOFs (Special Other Forces) can hold them at bay by recruiting Sunshine, daughter of legendary sorcerer Onyx Blaise. As breathlessly narrated by Sunshine herself, the Cinnamon Roll Queen of Charlie's Coffeehouse, in the inchoate idiom of Britney, J. Lo and the Spice Girls, Sunshine's coming-of-magical-age launches when she is swarmed by noiseless vampires one night and chained in a decrepit ballroom as an entre for mysterious, magnetic, half-starved Constantine, a powerful vampire whose mortal enemy Bo (short for Beauregard) shackled him there to perish slowly from daylight and deprivation. Most of the charm of this long venture into magic maturation derives from McKinley's keen ear and sensitive atmospherics, deft characterizations and clever juxtapositions of reality and the supernatural that might, just might, be lurking out there in "bad spots" right around a creepy urban corner or next to a deserted lake cabin. McKinley knows very well-and makes her readers believe-that "the insides of our own minds are the scariest things there are."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. One night, she goes out to the lake for some peace and quiet. Big mistake. She is set upon by vampires, who take her to an old mansion. They chain her to the wall and leave her with another vampire, who is also chained. But the vampire, Constantine, doesn't try to eat her. Instead, he implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane. Realizing she will have to save herself, Sunshine calls on the long-forgotten powers her grandmother began to cultivate in her when she was a child. She transforms her pocketknife into a key and unchains herself--and Constantine. Surprised, he agrees to flee with her when she offers to protect him from the sun with magic. They escape back to town, but Constantine knows his enemies won't be far behind, which means that he and Sunshine will have to face them together. A luminous, entrancing novel with an enthralling pair of characters at its heart. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Absolutely LOVED Sunshine from first page to last. Set in a slightly dystopian future in a slightly parallel world to our own (yes - that does sound familiar, but this is no "Damar"), our navel-gazing heroine is suddenly swept off into a surreally violent situation.
Read this as an antidote to the Stephanie Meyer vampire-dreck that's out there. McKinley's vampires don't "sparkle" - they explode into showers of fast-decaying gore. Except Constantine, of course, protected by the unrealized charms (in every sense of the word) of our heroine.
Blood and chocolate and a tiny bit of reasonably graphic sex - this is a young adult/adult read for the non-squeamish who enjoy a creatively-realized alternate universe.
While I've always greatly enjoy McKinley's YA stories, namely her Damarian novels and short stories, Sunshine takes us to a whole new level. From reading the description on the jacket, I hesitated to take it home; vampires are not really my thing, I thought. Never really imagined I'd like it, but I gave it a try just because it was Robin McK. So glad I took the chance. Good stuff!
It's about a girl named Rae ('Sunshine' is a nickname) that is a baker in a futuristic world of wars between vampires and humans.. She doesn't seem to have a very happy life, or, at least, a very interesting one. But that all changes when she decides to take a little nighttime excursion to the lake in her town.
While she's there, meditating about her life, a group of vampires appears behind her, gets her into a red dress, and deposits her, for the most part unharmed, in a mansion ball room with another vampire. This vampire is different, though- he's a prisoner, for one thing, and it doesn't seem like he's going to kill her.
She, of course, eventually falls in love with this vampire, and it gets a little bit repetitive until the end, where it semi-breaks out in a 'Hey- we aren't gonna die, and we killed the bad guy. Life is good, but, man does it still have problems.' kind of way.
My opinion? I kind of liked it, though it takes a while to grow on you and there are these infuriating little bursts in the book where you wonder 'Okay, where did that come from, and why did you take so long to tell me about it?' Other that that, it was pretty darn good and really imaginative, in a certain kind of way.
I do have to say this, though- Robin McKinley fans, beware. This is totally unlike Beauty and Spindle's End. It's really kind of dark and depressing, and you wonder why some of the characters do the things they do- or, more importantly, why they don't do the things you want them to do.
And kids and parents, beware- this is Rated R in about everything that's possible to be Rated R in. Kids that aren't in high school and mature enough to handle it shouldn't even consider this book.
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.
Reviewed by: Kira M
Most recent customer reviews
So, this is not your average vampire novel. No siree!
Not the usually angsty, full of attraction, forbidden romance between the human and the vampire. Read more
I've read this book easily ten times. This is my Favorite comfortable go to book. At least once per year. ;)Published 5 months ago by Melany Hrad
The CD's were scratched and did not play at parts. A wast of money. Do not make the same mistake I didPublished 24 months ago by kat
I was so excited for this book. There were so many great reviews, along with my friend telling me how amazing it is. I went right out to get it, and started it right away. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2010 by Michelle
I don't usually enjoy books with a lot of dialogue or inner monologue, but unlike other reviewers, the journal-like quality of this story was why I liked this book. Read morePublished on July 17 2010 by CajunQueen
I really loved this story. Although, I wish it was more about Sunshine & Constantine. I pretty much skimmed through all the parts without the two of them together. Read morePublished on June 7 2009 by Deanne Buss
A suttle lead into a great read, you will want to own this one so you can read it again! Sure wish she would write a follow up book to this one!Published on May 2 2009 by Information Junkie
I was really looking forward to this book because it had been recommended so highly and because I usually love vampire books with an interesting female protagonist. Read morePublished on March 23 2008 by Bronwyn