Reprint-Sunshine (2008) by Robin McKinley

Sunshine (2008) by Robin McKinley. reprint—art by Tony Mauro

Sunshine (Robin McKinley novel) cover

Sunshine (2003)—original cover

Sunshine by Robin McKinley — a Stand Alone novel. 

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Fiction / Alternate Universe

Book Description or Overview Edit

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. ~ Goodreads | Sunshine

The story is set in an alternate universe, taking place after the “Voodoo Wars”, a conflict between humans and the “Others”. The Others mainly consist of vampires, werewolves, and demons, though the main conflict occurs between humans and vampires. As a result of this war, “bad spots”, or places where black magic thrives, have appeared more frequently. Rae "Sunshine" Seddon, the pastry-making heroine of the novel, has the misfortune of being caught off-guard at her family's old lake side cabin and is abducted by a gang of vampires. She is confined to the ballroom of an abandoned mansion with Constantine, a vampire shackled there by vampires of a rival gang, led by Constantine’s enemy Bo. Bo’s intention is to allow Constantine to slowly die of hunger and exposure to sunlight. Rae is brought as bait for him, and the vampires cut her upper chest as temptation. However, Rae not only manages to defy the supposed power that any vampire has over a human, but also uses her all-but-forgotten magical powers of transmutation, taught to her by her grandmother, to effect an escape. Rae realizes that the magical lineage she has ignored allows her to draw power from the sunlight, ergo transferring her ability through touch to Constantine and allowing him to be under the light of day, so long as contact is maintained. Through this symbiotic relationship, the two of them make an escape. Despite her best efforts, all does not return to normalcy once Rae is back home. Her friends and family are shocked by her survival of an encounter with vampires, and over time she both starts to become more affected by the trauma and refuses to tell anyone the circumstances leading to her alliance with a vampire. As it becomes clear that the conflict with Bo and his gang is only beginning, Sunshine begins to embrace her magical ability, is coerced into working with the "Special Other Forces", wonders what kind of tentative partnership can exist between two individuals whose races are bitter enemies, and, finally, works with Constantine to overthrow Bo for good. ~ Wikipedia

Excerpt Edit

Lead's Species Edit

  • human

Primary Supe Edit

  • vampire

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • shelved in Fiction, not Fantasy

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by Sunshine

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

  • New Arcadia: Sunshine's home town

The story is set in an alternate universe, taking place after the “Voodoo Wars”, a conflict between humans and the “Others”

Places: Edit

  • No Town
  • Charlie's Coffeehouse: where Sunshine works
  • The Lake: A mostly abandoned part of town.

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Vampires, werewolves, demons, magic handlers, voodoo, elemental magic, powers of transmutation, alternate universe, vampire gang, magic tattoos, supe drug, , ,

Glossary: Edit

  • Voodoo Wars: conflict between humans and the “Others”
  • The Others: vampires, werewolves, demons
  • “Bad Spots”: places where black magic thrives—left by the war

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • SOF—"Special Other Forces": ("Sucker Cops")

World Edit

✥ Elemental Powers: Magic-users are described as usually having a particular elemental affinity which gives them resistance to things that element opposes or neutralizes. The most common ones are (of course) fire, air, water, and earth, but metal and wood are also known possibilities. The title character's is, appropriately, sunlight, which is an unusual affinity falling somewhere between air and fire. ~ Topes

✥ Vampires are much less human in Sunshine than in most works, and they get progressively less human as they age. This process apparently is much slower for Friendly Neighborhood Vampires than for the other kind: Constantine can deal with twilight and moonlight, and most vampires his age can't.

Our Werebeasts Are Different: Were-chickens, were-rats, were-skunks and others. Werewolves exist but are relatively rare. Drugs exist to suppress the Change, though they are illegal. ~ Topes

Protagonist Edit

Rae "Sunshine" Seddon: A young woman who works as the baker at a coffee shop call✥ ed Charlie's Coffeehouse. Born Raven Blaise. Her father, whom her mother left when Sunshine was small, was part of a powerful magic-wielding family. ~ Wikipedia

Sunshine's birth name is Raven Blaise, but her mother made a dedicated effort to bury that name after the disappearance of Sunshine's father and her remarriage to Charlie Seddon. Raven Blaise therefore became Rae Seddon, and by the time the book starts everyone knows her as "Sunshine." ~ Topes

Constantine: A vampire held in captivity by the same vampires that captured Sunshine. He is somehow different than the other vampires (exactly how is never revealed in the book, although it is clear it has something to do with his eating habits, as the setup with Sunshine is clearly meant to make him drink from and kill her), but he is able to go out in moonlight which most vampires his age cannot.~ Wikipedia

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
"Sunshine", Rae Seddon pastry-makwr, human woman trapped by a gang of vampires;
Mel chef at Charlie's Sunshine's boyfriend; mysterious past; heavily tattooed with wards; used to be part of a motorcycle gang;
Constantine vampire shackled in a mansion and starved by rival gang of vampires; they plan for him to use Sunshine as food, killing her; instead, they help each other escape;
"Bo", Beauregard vampire Constantine’s enemy; Sunshine and Constantine's mutual enemy. He is a vampire and Constantine's contemporary, and runs a large gang, which is how he captured Sunshine.
Miss Yolande landlady/ Sunshine's landlady who turns out to be a talented wardkeeper
Pat Special Other Forces agent to whom Sunshine is closest (several of them are regulars at the coffeehouse). He's 1/4 demon, but keeps this a secret, as it would cost him his job - but the SOF, it's revealed, is riddled with partbloods.
Aimil librarian, partblood long-time friend of Sunshine's. It is revealed that she's been part-time with the SOF for 20 months;
220px-Robin McKinley photo

Robin McKinley

Author Edit

Robin McKinley

Bio: Robin McKinley is an American writer who has won many awards in the US, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown, a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword, and the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine. She lives in Hampshire, England with her husband, author Peter Dickinson, two hellhounds nicknamed Chaos and Darkness, an 1897 Steinway upright named Rhodanthe, and increasing numbers of rose bushes wedged into three [sic] tiny gardens. The view out her office window is her change-ringing bell tower and in the next village over is a paragon among horses whom Robin is so fortunate as to have permission to ride. ~ Robin McKinley: Biography

Cover ArtistEdit

Sunshine TM

Sunshine — original art by Tony Mauro

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Jove, Berkley Trade
  • Author Page:
  • Book Page:
  • Bk-first print: Mass Market Paperback, 405 pages, Pub. Nov 30-2004, ISBN-0515138819
  • Bk-re-print: Paperback, 475 pages, Pub. Oct 7-2008, ISBN-0515138819

Editions of Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don’t, when they’re vampires… They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion – within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight. She knows that he’s a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her help to survive the day ~ Sunshine ~ I Love Vampires Review

First Sentence Edit

  • It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb.

Quotes Edit

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

— If you like these, you may like this:

Notes Edit

I had to get help at Barnes & Noble customer service to find this book. It was nto in Fantasy or Horror. They led me to the Fiction section where the author's books are shelved. 

See Also Edit

External References Edit




World, Charactesr, etc



Community, Fan Sites:

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.