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This book was, in a way, my friend's apology for sending me Twilight. After a certain amount of "I WANT THOSE HOURS OF MY LIFE BACK!" this appeared. So, I got it free, but amazon will send you it for £5.99. So what do we have? This is vampire fiction, but it's no Twilight. For a start, it's a teenage girl free zone -- the protagonist is an adult woman living in a world where vampires and 'Others' are an acknowledged fact. One night she gets snatched by them and ends up chained in a room with a vampire -- also captive -- who is MEANT to drain her of blood. I'm not going to give too much plotline away here, because this is one I reccomend you read yourself. However, I liked it. I liked that the plot was further than VAMPIRES ARE SEXY, I liked that the woman was more than a victim, and I liked that she didn't sit about waiting to be rescued but rescued herself. Sadly, there's no sequels. Despite demand for one, the writer has said she's written the story she had to tell in that world. I might wish it were otherwise, but I do appreciate not being used as a cashcow.
I've read a number of Robin McKinley's books and since I have a fascination with vampire fiction I though this could be a meeting of perfection, a great author who write in detail and with a building atmosphere throughout a novel, treating each genre and story in her own unique way and writing fluidly, in a way which lulls the reader into some sense that they are experiencing rather than merely observing through words. The information on the jacket had me somewhat enthralled, a short description of a female, at this stage of no particular age, named Sunshine, who believes herself to be safe in an area with an old reputation of trouble. She is captured by vampires who dress her in a strange choice of clothing, and chain her to a wall of an abandoned mansion with a shadowed figure in easy reach, a vampire. She is meant to be drained of blood by the vampire, but come day break she is still alive and in possession of every drop of the red temptation within her. But as the sun rises, she must help her companion survive the day. It sounds so relaxed, the way it is described on the jacket, my own short description sounds more threatening and that's part of the intrigue once reading the book, it is never fraught with threat and danger, you never find your hands tense whilst turning the pages, the concern is for the welfare of the characters but not in the expected manner. Having indulged in her usual trick of turning what we know upside down, Robin McKinley then explores this new truth by means of detailed and emotive characters and circumstances in which a story can flourish and develop. There's an element of Robin McKinleys perhaps best known works, her retelling of fairy tales. There's an allusion to Beauty and The Beast and the similarity is there again, young attractive female becomes prey for monsterous beast but eventually she saves him from himself, it sums up both stories, the variation is what happens after that. Beauty and the beast go on to live happily ever after, in financial security and comfort. Sunshine and Constantine go on...... but I won't spoil it for you. The layout of the book doesn't suit everyone, there are no distinct chapters you could finish in the time it takes to travel to work or have a bath, there are parts, much longer than a chapter. It's a Marmite book in my opinion, you'll either love it or hate it.