#3 – Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
Sunshine is the only novel by Robin McKinley that I’ve actually found the time to read (although I hear she has a Beauty and the Beast retelling that I would absolutely adore) but this single story was enough to cement her name in my mind. Her writing is absolutely fearless, her story fresh and new, and for that reason, Sunshine has found its way onto this list.
These days, there is a veritable slush pile of vampire books. Sunshine, though, is not one of them. McKinley has created a whole new universe, one that resembles ours but has its own history, its own set of wars. And it’s not just vampires. Without missing a beat, McKinley throws in werewolves, demons , and even a bit of delicately written witchcraft, as we learn that Rae is much more than a human tool to her vampire companion.
Although Constantine and Bo make great impressions in their roles as vampire rivals, written classically with super strength, murderous bloodlust, and a serious sun allergy, they weren’t the creatures in this novel that interested me the most. The one I really wanted to know more about was Rae – and I’m not even sure what to call her. Something resembling a witch, she changes the world around her, drawing in sunshine like a power source, so powerful that she can use her magic to allow vampires to walk under the sun. Her history and lineage are shrouded in shadows, the origins of her magic-wielding family a closely guarded secret. McKinley gives away just enough of her beautiful new world to leave me panting for more – and for that reason, Sunshine found a solid place at #3 on this list.