From part one,
I sat on the sagging porch, swinging my legs and feeling the troubles of the day draining out of me like water. The lake was beautiful: almost flat calm, the gentlest lapping against the shore, and silver with moonlight. I'd had many good times here: first with my parents, when they were still happy together, and later on with my gran. As I sat there I began to feel that if I sat there long enough I could get to the bottom of what was making me so cranky lately, find out if it was anything worse than poor quality flour and a somewhat errant little brother.
I never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires.
I wanted something besides mindless drivel, so while at the library I just wandered up and down the aisles looking at the spines of the books. For some reason, I thought about Anne McCaffrey and her Dragon Riders of Pern series. I thought I would see if the library had any books by her that I might want to read. While I was in that section, my eye caught this book for some reason. I pulled it down and looked at it. Now, normally I would not read a book about vampires unless someone else I knew had read it and promised me that it was NOT scary and creepy. I have nightmares and I like am afraid of the dark and I read a lot at night. Reading scary books is not a good thing to do in this situation. So I checked out a book about vampires. But the reviews on the book said it was funny. Can you have a funny book about vampires? So I started my reading in the full noon day sun. I will be reading more books by Robin McKinley Remember that sense of humor that I posted about when I talked about Robert Farrell Smith? Ms. McKinley writes a bit like that as well.
Rae, or Sunshine as she is known, works in her stepfather's diner/bakery. She is the baker. A quite good baker at that. People come from all over for her cinnamon rolls. And it is a good thing that this book sucked me in and kept me mezmerized or else I would have had to go make cinnamon rolls several times and would have gained instead of losing weight. I could smell the cinnamon rolls as I read and kept craving them. Anyway, back to the story. It is after the WARS and the world is rebuilding. Sunshine and her family have the coffee house in one of the lesser parts of town, but not near any of the "bad spots" that are inhabitied by bad things. This world has were people (did you know there could be wererabbits, weremice, were whatever besides werewolves? I didn't) There are all kinds of demons and part bloods. Most people tolerate these but not the Others, vampires, also called suckers. They are just not tolerated.
Well, as you can guess, Sunshine is abducted by vampires. But she is not bled dry. No, she is taken captive as a meal for Con- a captive master vampire that is in a feud with Bo, another master vampire. But Con does not do Sunshine in. As he explains it to her, "There are many ways of being what we are". They form an alliance, escape and have to help each other survive- he the daylight and she the darkness. Then the fun begins because Sunshine was gone for 2 days. She can't tell anyone what really happened because Humans don't escape from vampires. They just don't. If she explains how she did, and who/what helped her, she would be locked up in the place where they lock partbloods and anomolies and magic handlers (which she is part) No, she can't tell them the real truth.
Then Con comes to her again and she finds out that they are bound to each other because of the aid they gave each other. In order to stay alive, they have to destroy Bo, together. Then Sunshine starts doing some remarkable things, things that even she doesn't want to admit to or think about but it draws the attention of the SOF (the equivelant of FBI ghostbuster division). Plus her mother keeps giving her charms to ward off bad things and they are just annoying. Then to make things even more complicated, Sunshine keeps finding out that the people she has known all of her life are not neccessarily who she thought they were. And in her mind, she keeps jumping to consclusions making things even more complicated. And exactly who or what is the SFO head honcho and why does she have it in for everyone, especially Sunshine?
I really really liked this book. It was not scary, well maybe a bit, but Sunshine's humor always made it so that slept with no nightmares. In fact, this was one of those books that you are sad to see end. I want to still be with those people and friends I met in the covers. What is going on with them, where are they, what are they doing, is there a sequel, when is it coming out, that type of thing.
Now, there were a couple of things I didn't like, but obviously they didn't stop me from enjoying this book. At times I felt as if I was reading the second of a series and should already know what the author was talking about- like turning on the t.v. half way through a mystery movie. She used words that I had no idea what they meant in the context that she used them (some were supposed to be swear words-you could tell them by context). I am not sure if this is a functon of the author living in England or the fact that it is a fantasy book and so the words were "another language", but it didn't distract too much.
There were a couple of times that I thought she was going to a place that I would be embarrassed to read. Everytime I came to one of those passages I thought that I would not be able to finish the book, because I won't read that. But she always faded to black and left it to our imagination or took the scene a totally different way than you would expect. However, there is one paragraph in part three that goes a bit further than I would have liked and because of this, I would not let my teenagers read it.
I liked this book so much that I am having a hard time letting go of the characters and being able to get into the next book. If you want a fantasy book that is not too scary to read late at night in the dark, this could be it. I will be reading more by this author.