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Friday, November 14, 2008

cover of Sunshine

I re-read this book over a weekend when I wasn't feeling well, and it was perfect timing to forget how miserable I was and lose myself for a while in Sunshine's fascinating world of vampires and magic and baked goods. I guess that means that it must be "escapist" literature, although I don't really think of it that way. There is so much worth thinking about here, and parts of this book stay with me. Sunshine discovered more of herself and who she is-- and she struggles with it, because she thinks it means that she is some kind of monster. She has this dark "affinity" for vampires, even helped save one, which she's sure no one around her could understand (although it is her very generosity towards the unthinkably Dark Other that saves her). She thinks this makes her a dark creature herself, but those around her have to help her see that it is because of her brightness, because of who she is and the source of her power, that she can face such darkness.

The fascinating character of Con, Sunshine's unlikely vampire ally, gives McKinley the chance to dig into the workings of vampires in this world she's created. Vampires are completely other and scary to humans on an instinctive level, as hunter to prey. The normal path for a vampire who survives to any kind of age is to become a wealthy master vampire with teams of younger vampires working for him-- in part, because the old vampire can't go out in any kind of light, even moonlight. We see this with Con's enemy Bo-- he has become so corrupt and evil through satisfying every dark appetite he could imagine for many centuries that he is no longer even fully corporeal.

A great book that I could (will) re-read again. I see that McKinley has published a few other books lately, which is exciting, but I hope that sometime she gets inspired to give us another glimpse of Sunshine and her world.

Author:Robin McKinley
Date published:2003
Genre:Horror / Fantasy
Number of pages:405
Notes:repeat reading


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