Book Review: Sunshine

I know that Sunshine, by Robin McKinley came out a while ago. I believe I read that it originally came out in 2003 and then they re-released it in 2008. Obviously, it’s taken me a while to get around to reading it. I’ve seen it around, on Goodreads and Amazon. I also have some family members that told me I had to read it. And of course, since I love reading about vampires, I was easily convinced to pick this up.

General synopsis: A girl is taken captive by  a gang of vampires and used as bait for another vampire that the gang hates. From there, McKinley takes the main characters on a roller coaster of emotions and thrills.

Target Audience: I got the impression that the target audience for this book is adults, but it was not very explicit and had only a little swearing, so I feel that it could cross over into YA. (Hey that sounds like this other book I know! Dissension kind of does the same thing. ;))

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Some of you may not agree with my rating, as most of what I’ve seen on Goodreads and Amazon are between 4 and 5 stars. But I do have a reason for the 3 stars.

The plot is well thought out, and I think the author does an amazing job of world building. McKinley has created a semi-dystopian novel since all this takes place after wars between the humans and Others. Others can include zombies and vampires. Wizards can be for either side. I love how she touches on political issues and how society functions in this foreign world while still keeping it close enough to our own world that the readers can easily picture it.

I think her characters were original, three-dimensional, and realistic (well, as realistic as you can get in a fantasy setting like this!).

The two main problems I had with this book were the narrative voice and pacing. It’s written in first person past-tense. The narrator has a very unique voice – usually a good thing. The problem I had was that it felt like I was really in her head, which means that her thoughts were all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, the narrative had direction, but it just took some detours to get there. I’m the kind of reader that just likes a great plot with fantastic characters and I don’t really care to linger beyond that in a book. What can I say? I’m a busy person with little time for reading, so I don’t want to waste my time.

There were also a lot of slower moments with the plot. It did take at least 25 pages of me pushing myself to read before I finally got interested. Once some action finally started to take place, I was sucked in. But then there was another, drawn out lull. Then finally some more tense moments… and then back to the slow parts that almost made me want to fall asleep.

So there you have it. If you’re the kind of reader who loves little details and paragraphs about side characters and backstory, you will love this book! If you like something more fast-paced that you can finish in a couple of days, I’d recommend trying something else.