Sunshine Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sunshine

When Sunshine is kidnapped by vampires, she is positive she won't live to see the dawn. Vampires are hunted down and destroyed, and as such, they don't take kindly to humans in their midst. After being knocked unconsious she awakens chained in an abandoned mansion across from an unfed vampire named Constantine. Constantine has been imprisoned by a rival vampire and is fighting his instincts to kill Sunshine. Of course, Sunshine is not just some naive girl off the streets. In addition to running one of the best bakery kitchens in the city, she also can transmute objects and do other small things. After escaping and freeing Con, who helps her return to her home, they agree it would be best never to see each other again. Of course, good intentions always fail, and after being poisoned, Sunshine needs Con to help her heal.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Discovering that she may not be the person her mother raised her to be, Sunshine plans with Con to destroy his rival, who now hunts them both. Finding out that her friends are not what they appear gives Sunshine much to deal with and investigate.

The review of this Book prepared by Manda

Sunshine just needed some time alone. She knew that she should stay at her family's movie night and snuggle with her boyfriend, but she knew that she couldn't play nice for that long. So she headed out to the lake to sit and think. Sunshine hadn't gone to the lake in a long while, but she used to go out there with her grandmother when she was little. Everyone knew that the lake wasn't safe, that dark things and bad spots were out there, but there hadn't been any reports of someone getting attacked in a while so Sunshine felt safe. Until the vampires came. She never even heard them coming, but then, you never do.

Sure that she would never last the night, Sunshine was stunned to discover that the vampires were giving her to another vampire as a kind of meal. This vampire was imprisoned and so he couldn't hunt for himself. But what was it about the imprisoned vampire that made the other pack fear him so? After Sunshine got over her fear of being chained in a room with a vampire, she discovered that his name was Constantine and there was something different about him. When Sunshine realizes that Constantine cannot go another night without feeding off of her, she determines to rescue both Con and herself from the vampire pack. Surprisingly enough, Sunshine succeeds, and ends up in ever more trouble than she was in when she was chained to the wall...

This was a difficult book for me to get into. I didn't really identify with the heroine and found that I didn't really like her very much or understand her choices. It is also written in a kind of stream of consciousness style that can be disorienting. I did enjoy Sunshine's descriptions of her life and her job as the best cinnamon roll baker in the area, but the world that she lived in is still kind of hazy to me. I don't really understand it and cannot really describe how the rules have changed in their world versus our world. This sense of mystery isn't all bad, after all, Patricia McKillip does it beautifully, but it made the story difficult to understand. There really isn't an end, either and I hope for a sequel, but am pretty sure that we won't get one as McKinley rarely revisits the same world, The Hero & the Crown & The Blue Sword notwithstanding. Sunshine reminded me a lot of Spindle's End, but in a different setting, actually. There is a lot of normal life that goes on in between the big events and you never really get the chance to warm up to the characters. Is it worth reading? I would say yes. But I am not saying that it is worth buying, per se. I think anything that Robin McKinley writes is worth reading, but this is not one of my treasures.

The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Sunshine, who works in a bakery with her mother and stepfather, and whose father (a fact unknown to her at first) was a powerful mage, is captured by a gang of vampires. Finding that she is intended as food for a captive vampire, she uses her latent magical powers to enable them both to escape. She then becomes a target of "her" vampire's enemy, as well as an object of interest to the government agency that deals with supernatural creatures in this alternate near-future Earth society.
The review of this Book prepared by Margaret L. Carter

Berkley, Oct 2003, 23.95, 400 pp.
ISBN 0425191788

Less than a decade ago, the human and vampire population went to war with the result that millions of humans died and the geo-political structure of the world changed. Rae “Sunshine” Seddon loves living a mundane life baking delicious confections for her family's café in New Arcadia.

She pretends that vampires only in exist in the pages of a book until she goes out one night to her grandmother's deserted cabin. When she wakes up, she is surrounded by a group of vampires. They take her to a deserted mansion where a vampire is manacled to the wall. The vampires chain her to a wall close to Con and offer her up to him as a meal. He refuses to take her blood and Sunshine draws upon the powers she inherited from her father to escape before the vampires come back. Sunshine has suppressed memories of working spells and transmuting for years.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Sunshine

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 32.5%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 37.5%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Romance    -   Yes Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   vampires Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   blue collar worker Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   can cast many different spells


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century)    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Sunshine

Robin McKinley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian