Author: Robin McKinley
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind.
Until they found her...
Sunshine is the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature and it deserves every accolade it has received. My own copy of the book is heavily creased with loose pages and smeared text because I've read it so many times. Of all the books I've ever read--and I've read a lot--this is probably my absolute favorite and is my go-to when I need a hug.
At its heart, Sunshine is about a young woman named Sunshine who is trying to figure out who she really is in the midst of a world gone to hell around her. There are vampires preying on innocent humans and other humans with demon blood being ostracized and experimented on by the government. Sunshine herself doesn't know what is in her blood or what her magical powers are. All she remembers is some time spent with her grandmother at a small cabin by the lake, learning something that might have been magic, but was more fun and games to a young child. One day she can't help driving to the cabin in the halfhearted hope of figuring herself out. Instead, she is kidnapped by vampires and inadvertently thrust into the larger, and very dangerous magical world.
This book requires that I think when I read it. McKinley doesn't spoon feed explanations to her readers. I had to work for every bit of understanding I have about how the magic works in the world, how the vampire society is structured, and where Sunshine herself comes from. Every time I reread this book I learn something new, which makes each rereading a fantastic experience.
My only disappointment with the book is the fact that McKinley shows no interest in writing a sequel. There are a few unanswered questions and there is so much potential for what can and will happen next, yet McKinley has made the decision to leave the book as a stand alone. All the pouting and begging of all her readers has not changed her mind, so I have learned to live with the disappointment and happily daydream of possible future plots.
Sunshine deserves every award it has received. McKinley doesn't spoon feed anything to her readers, instead relying on us to think and to learn from every page. This is one of the best books I've ever read and I highly, highly recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.