D's Reviews > Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
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Jan 05, 15

bookshelves: ya-lit, fantasy, romance, drama, sci-fi, favorite
Read from September 01, 2009 to December 29, 2014, read count: 2

*** ORIGINAL REVIEW 9/2009 ***

robin mckinley and maggie steifvater remind me of one another, occasionally, as they populate their books with heroines of gumption and spine who aren't unrealistically abled but whose stubbornness and drive accidentally instruct me on how to confront adversity.

in most of her books, mckinley does a fantastic job of slightly tweaking our surroundings with a fantasy torque, such that it reads as relatable and familiar, with juuuuust an edge of the sparkling unknown.

in this book particularly she is admirably restrained and follows the story where it ought to go, not where we want it to. this is the kind of frustrating plotting that makes me rabid for a story, coming back to it again and again.

and her crowning achievement is infusing this dark, heart-thumping tale with the scent of cinnamon. mmmmmmmmm, baked goods.

(merci', herfica, for throwing this paperback at my head. i know i wouldn't have found it otherwise.)

*** REREAD 12/29/14 ***

this time through, i noticed the considerable pacing problems. the first third is such a fantastic introduction of characters, and the peril is visceral. but the denouement is long, slow, and sometimes repetitive in the thereafter. it's still cast with some fantastic characters and splitting loyalties, but in the end i wasn't QUITE there with mckinley. also, the big bad was much more of a tell than a show, which removed much of the sense of peril in the end.

of note, mckinley doesn't tend to give exhaustive explanations for her fabulously interesting side characters, which both serves to create a very full, realistic, lived-in-feeling universe AND can be quite frustrating to the rabid fan who wants to devour it all.

all in all, though, a fun book in a fantastically compelling world. it remains in my To-Be-Reread-Every-Coupla-Years pile.

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