Sunshine by Robin McKinley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a very welcome surprise coming out of my dire expectations. :)
I mean, a vampire romance. Seriously? Another?
Well stop scratching your head and stop moving on to another title. This happens to be one of the *good* ones. There are lots of elements that you've seen before, I'm sure, but it's all in how its written. McKinley has been writing all kinds of fantasy for over thirty years. She knows how to accomplish a lot in relatively no time at all.
Gorgeous world-building and a populace that will soon be overrun by vampires. Part-demons and sorcerers waging wars against them. The elemental mastery of the magic is amazing. Sunshine? This isn't just a nickname. :) When these little bits and pieces started unfolding out of the normal bakery life and a nasty kidnapping, I kept thinking to myself: well, isn't this just another setup for a romance?
Yes. BUT. McKinley never stints on complicated and interesting plots that kept me going all the way through. It kind of stunned me just how deep and complex this novel became out of my initial observation. And it's not just the characters, either. The kinds of races, the kinds of magic, the twists and the turns, all of them were added like spice to the novel and it kind of blew me away.
I've read a lot of mediocre vamp novels. I've read a few excellent ones. This one fooled me on it's premise and it's opening. It turned into an excellent one. :)
So what about shelves that call it YA? Why didn't I also do the same? Because she's apparently a quarter of a century old. Long out of HS and working happily in a bakery. That *might* be called a tiny tiny sliver of the new-adult market, but there's a LOT of dark stuff going on here with complicated emotions and reactions. It's definitely not simple and its often beautifully adult. :)
I completely recommend for fans of better vampire novels. (Even ones that feature romance!)
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