May 21, 2008

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

This is not a new book, but it is one of my absolute favorites, and I'm not alone in that opinion. Despite being published five years ago I had no problem finding a copy on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble.

Sunshine (Berkley, 2003 ISBN: 0425191788 pap. $7.79) by Robin McKinley is a standout novel with an intelligent, down to earth protagonist whose name reflects the title of the book. One night Sunshine makes a spur of the moment visit to a nearby lake where the ravages of the Voodoo Wars cause most humans to avoid it. As she notes there has been no activity by Others in the area for many years. This night, however, would prove the exception. Moving more swiftly than any human senses could follow, vampires surround her and take her prisoner. Although most Others (weres, demons, fairies, sprites, etc) move more or less openly in society, not so the vampires which are loathed by all. Sunshine, now captive, is shackled to a wall very close to another prisoner, a vampire being deliberately starved of blood, and driven almost mad. A terrified Sunshine is certain this undead will kill her. But what eventually becomes clear to her is that this vampire, Constantine, has a conscience and scruples, traits which enrage the malevolent creature who holds them both prisoner. Now a mortal and a vampire form a bond, something unheard of in Sunshine’s world. Together they work to outmaneuver and outwit the nosferatu who is their common foe. As the story progresses their reliance on each other and their feelings for one another increase as they are forced to confront the evil that neither can destroy alone.

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