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Sun-kissed by Kashii

The time is now and the world is ours, but not quite as we know it. 

Sun-kissed is a story about vampires, those hunted by vampires and those who hunt vampires.

Note: Sun-kissed is unfinished, and will likely remain so.  It contains some graphic sexual content, graphic violence, and harsh language.

An abandoned novel

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Listed: Dec 13, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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Light supernatural detective story

By Linda Schoales, editor

Mar 9, 2009: “Sun-Kissed” is a well-written story about a dhampir living in modern Helsinki. Dhampir are the children of a vampire and a mortal, and they’re very rare. Interestingly, they usually become vampire hunters. Anastasia has hunted vampires in the past but she’s been living a quiet life for the past few decades. However, when a beautiful, blond escort with a vampire for a client hires her as a bodyguard, her life gets interesting again.

Anastasia was born in Russia in the early 1800’s but she has now has homes and friends all over Europe. Her father was a vampire and she inherited some of his abilities and limitations. She can go out during the daylight hours, but not on bright, sunny days. She’s very strong, she can sense other non-mortals, and she is aging very slowly. As a short and attractive woman, people tend to underestimate her, which she uses to her advantage. Anastasia’s an interesting character, with a wry wit, a very nice lifestyle, and a very anti-social cat. She’s also a romantic who swings both ways.

Keilo, the escort, is beautiful, sexy and well-dressed. She’s trouble, of course, but that’s what she’s paying Anastasia for. Her helplessness brings out Anastasia’s strong side and our poor heroine finds herself falling badly. Can you imagine Bogart admitting to walking around with a silly grin on his face? The other characters in the first part are mostly toughs and informants, although Alby is fun. He’s a randy informant who likes the nightlife.

The novel is written in first person, with a slow and easy pace. The writing is solid, with a nice balance between dialog, action and description. Anastasia gives enough of her background to explain who and what she is, without generally resorting to infodump. She’s observant, so we get good descriptions of people and places, but it feels like part of her personality or part of her skill-set as a vampire hunter. The action scenes are short but generate enough tension to keep things interesting. What starts as a simple bodyguard job gets complicated as Anastasia begins to sense that things aren’t what they seem. I would almost call this noir, but the pace is a bit slow, and the tone is a bit soft and romantic for the genre. Anastasia’s more of a soft-boiled detective. However, I enjoyed the style and the twists, and was surprised at how the first part ended.

All in all, “Sun-Kissed” is a light, supernatural detective story. The writing is good, the characters are engaging, and the pace is balanced, if a bit leisurely. Unfortunately, the story is currently on hiatus, but the first part is complete and the second part is off to a good start. If you like vampires, detective stories or urban fantasy, you should definitely check it out.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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The anti-Buffy the Vampire Slayer

By G.S. Williams, author of No Man An Island

Dec 29, 2008: "Sun-kissed" features Anastasia, born in 1827, the half-vampire daughter of a Russian witch. Her vampire blood gives her strength and other powers, but she can walk during the day.

The story, narrated in first-person perspective, reads a bit like a gritty detective story from the pulps. She mentions this herself, in a nice use of irony, as she takes on a "case"—a pretty blonde asks her to be her bodyguard, after encountering a real vampire.

Having hunted them in the past, Anastasia is willing. Primarily because she’s attracted to Kielo, the blonde escort. They face vampires and flirt, and I’ll leave the rest of the spicy details for readers to discover themselves.

All in all, its a good, solid story with action, a little dash of spice, the detective-motif, and vampires. It’s a nice blend of different genres, used to good effect. The site has very nice illustrations, though the text is small on the page. All in all, a decent story, worth checking out.

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