Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley has very quickly won her way into a spot among my favorite authors. I love the fantasy/fairy tale stories that I've read by her so far, and I was fascinated by her branching out and writing a book about dragons in a modern society similar to ours (Dragonhaven). When I first picked up "Sunshine" I had no idea what to expect. For one, the name and the cover seemed extremely at odds. "Sunshine" would normally imply things that are full of light right? Well, the book cover is dark, done in dark reds and blacks, and has a gothic feel.

Then I noticed that there was a quote from Neil Gaiman on the back. "Sunshine is a gripping, funny, page turning, pretty much perfect work of magical literature that exists more or less at the unlikely crossroads of Chocolat, Interview with a Vampire, Misery, and the tale of Beauty and the Beast."

This intrigued me on many levels. First of all because Neil Gaiman is famous for his dark and haunting fiction, which is nothing like any of McKinley's books that I had read thus far. I was also fascinated by the different references he'd made. I've never read Chocolat, but I love the movie, I've read Interview with a Vampire, never heard of Misery, and of course I'm familiar with Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't figure out how the three I knew could possibly work together to fuse into a new and exciting tale!

Then I started reading.

"Sunshine" is the tale of a young woman in a modern world where magic and monsters that go bump in the night are very real. The world has been decimated by Magic Wars, but she's mostly managed to stay unaffected by that. She lives a busy but quiet life working as a baker in her families Cafe and Bakery. She has a passion for all things made with flour, and believe me, you'll be drooling through out the entire book!

One day Sunshine (that's her nick-name) heads out to her families old cabin by the lake. A place no one really went to any more, but that should of been safe. It wasn't. Instead she finds herself kidnapped by vampires, and chained to a wall as a meal for their "guest" vampire. One thing is very strange though. The vampire seems to have no desire to eat her!

Sunshine and her fellow captive form an unlikely alliance that extends far beyond their escape. Her entire world has been turned upside down, and there's nothing she can do about it, and she's not always sure she wants too. Her friends do what they can to help, but there's only so much can do when Sunshine can't possibly tell them about her new vampire friend.

I love vampire books, and I especially love vampire books that don't fit the usual models. This one definitely breaks the molds and was a great, page turning, read! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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