Susan's Reviews > Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
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If you hunt and peck around the Internet, you'll see Robin McKinley's Sunshine described as Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Anita Blake. This description irks me because I couldn't disagree more. It irritates me when someone says, "Oh, hey - you like books about vampires right? Well, you'll like this too." Not necessarily so - I didn't really care for this one.

Rae (nickname Sunshine) Seddon is as outwardly normal as can be - she bakes cinnamon rolls for a living at her step-father's cafe, and doesn't have much of a life outside of her work. While out for some alone time by the lake one night, she is taken by a gang of vampires and chained to a wall in an abandoned house. Sunshine soon learns that she is to be a meal for a vampire who is also being held captive at the house. When she discovers that the vampire in question does not want to kill her, she decides to help him escape.

Constantine (Con or Connie for short) is being held against his will by a rival master vampire. He is surprised when the gang brings him Sunshine, oblivious to the fact that she is a powerful magic-holder, capable of great things. Sunshine comes into her power and is able to save them both, but in doing so, puts them both in even more danger. The rival vampire will not suffer their escape without consequences, and they must work together to defeat him.

The concept of Sunshine was great. McKinley created a world where vampires, demons, and part-bloods live alongside humans, and magic-handlers and wardskeepers help to create a safe society. The problem lies with our heroine - blah! I really didn't like her. First of all she is incredibly whiny. All of you people who didn't enjoy Twilight because you thought Bella was too whiny - DON'T READ SUNSHINE! "Oh, I'm not strong enough," "I don't think I can do this," "Poor me, I wish I didn't have this power." Give me a break.

The most interesting character in Sunshine is Constantine. Unfortunately, there's just not enough of him. Instead, we get to spend several boring pages inside Sunshine's head, getting to know how she came to invent different baked goods, and watching her get up a 4:30 a.m. to make her cinnamon rolls. Her never ending monologuing had me wishing that I could skip entire pages of the book. There was just too much superfluous detail that did absolutely nothing for the story.

McKinley also used ridiculous abbreviations that I could not understand for several pages. An example of this is "'fo" - what the hell is 'fo?! I feel that I am a reasonably intelligent adult, and it still took me several pages to realize that 'fo is short for information. Is is really that difficult to use the word information? I'd even settle for info, but 'fo? Has it really come to this? Are we really that lazy? And McKinley uses 'fo throughout the book, many times. How 'ting - oh sorry, I mean aggravating! Ugh.

The first hundred or so pages were really good, and the last hundred or so pages were really good, too - it's just the middle 200 that I could have done without. I can't really say that I recommend Sunshine to anyone. I'll probably give McKinley another shot, but next time you can be sure that I'll check her out at the library, rather than spend money on her and risk being disappointed.
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02/28/2009 page 160
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