Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

The Book that Bit Me

Normally, I don't particularly care for vampire books, despite a brief foray into the Anita Blake stuff. Really, most 'dark fantasy' seems to be written too much to be all about 'the erotic and seductive nature of darkness' than anything else, and so I don't much care for it.

Sunshine, by Robin McKinley, is a vampire book.

A vampire book I sat down on the couch and read straight through, losing track of time and ending up cramped from being half-laying-down on the couch, and didn't even care because I was so absorbed in the book.

Jen and I spotted it at the bookstore, and one of the reviews on it was that Neil Gaiman said it was as close to a perfect novel as he'd ever read. I love Gaiman's work, especially the dark-fantasy nature of his stuff like Neverwhere. Other reviews (including, amusingly, one by Amber Benson of the Buffy cast) were icing on the cake -- a surprisingly appropriate metaphor, given the book -- but it was really the strength of Gaiman's review, and a fondness for McKinley's usually-excellent writing (though I've not read her in years) which made the book stand out.

I've had a run of good books lately. Lord of Snow and Shadows was enjoyable, and I read most of it in a day. And this book...it wasn't an epic story, or a change-the-world tale. In fact, the heroine even reflects on the fact that it's not something important in the grand scheme of things...it only feels important because it's happening to her. It's not some grand new tale which will revolutionize everything. But the plot hung together well, and the character-driven nature of it, as well as the symbolism wrapped up in it, kept me reading almost involuntarily. There are some loose ends I wish had been answered, but they feel like they weren't answered for a reason. If they had been answered, it would've been too trite, too pat. And it does feel like there might be more stories in this world.

We also picked up the new Discworld book, which Jen read through in its entirety tonight. Tomorrow, we swap; I take the Discworld book, and she reads Sunshine. I hope she'll enjoy it as much as I have.
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