Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kickbutt Heroines

If there are two types of protagonists that I love the most, they are tortured heroes and kickbutt heroines. I have posted previously on the first. Now let's discuss the second. First of all, what defines a kickbutt heroine?

Cool under pressure
Intelligent and strong-minded
A real problem solver
A survivor

Does she have to be able to actually fight? Not necessarily. It's certainly helps. However, buttkicking is a state of mind. Some of my favorites save the day without ever actually putting fist to face, shooting off a gun, or picking up a sword.

In the tv/movie world, I would list the following:
  • Sydney Bristow from Alias
  • Ellen Ripley from Aliens
  • Elektra Natchios
  • Storm
  • Lara Croft (the comic book version, anyway)
  • Jane Smith from Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • La Femme Nikita
  • Selene from Underworld
  • Alexa Woods from Alien Versus Predator
  • Sarah Connor
  • Buffy Summers
  • Marguerite Creux from The Lost World
  • Xena Warrior Princess
  • Callisto from Xena Warrior Princess
  • Milla Jovovich's roles in The Fifth Element (Leelo), Resident Evil Trilogy (Alice), and Ultraviolet (Violet)
  • Trinity from The Matrix Movies
  • Max from Dark Angel
  • Michelle Yeoh in numerous roles
  • Have you ever seen So Close or Naked Weapon? Enough said.
These women embody the traits that a kickbutt heroine has. How about in books?

  • Anita Blake from Laurell K. Hamilton books (pre-male harem)
  • Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison novels
  • Tinker by Wen Spencer
  • Caledonia MacNeely from Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor
  • Jessica Trent from Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
  • Lydia Grenville from The Last Hellion
  • Katra from Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Tabitha Deveraux from Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Elena from Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
  • Joanne Walker from Urban Shaman by CE Murphy
  • Joanne Baldwin from Weather Warden series
  • Damali Richards from the LA Banks Huntress Series
  • Sookie Stackhouse from the Dead Series by Charlaine Harris
  • Christabel Gaines from Lawless by Diana Palmer
  • Mary Potter from Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard
  • Tallie Robinson from Tallie's Knight by Anne Gracie
  • Brenna Carmahan from Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey
  • Kristen Hardraad from Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey
  • Callie Green from The Soldier and the Baby by Anne Stuart
  • Ghislaine de Lorgny from A Rose at Midnight by Anne Stuart
  • Anne Wilder in All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
  • Lady Alys from Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart
  • Mary Fairchild from A Well-Pleasured Lady by Christina Dodd
  • Bailee McKoy from The Texan's Wager by Jodi Thomas
  • Honorable mention to Silhouette Bombshell heroines who only got a short time to shine. I subscribed to the line until it was discontinued.
  • Lets not forget about the many intelligent strong women who inhabit the fairy tales and folklore that we have been nurtured on
Why is the world threatened by powerful women? Apparently action/sci-fi movies with strong female leads don't do well. Is it because the men stay away? Or is it that women don't want to see these kinds of movies? I'm willing to suggest that it is because they don't get the same marketing and support as their traditional, male-lead counterparts. Well I can't change the world, but I can do my part by supporting those movies and books that do show women in a strong and positive light. I fully expect that this list will continue to grow.

2007 Reading Survey

2007 Reading Survey
Well, another year is over, and I feel it was a great year in a number of ways. We are entering the ninth year of the new millennium! I started keeping up with what I read a few years back (starting in 2003 and so these are my results).

1. How many books did you read this year?
I read 206 books in 2007! An all time high I believe. Up 39 books from 2005.

2. What were the different genres of books and how many of each did you read?
Medieval: 11
Medieval Scotland: 9
Paranormal historical: 10
Viking: 1
Regency: 61
Georgian: 6
Americana (late 19th century American but not westerns): 1
Antebellum: 1
Frontier: 1
Regency Anthology: 1
Paranormal Anthology: 1
General Anthology: 2
Series: 49
Romantic Suspense: 1
Paranormal: 20
Urban fantasy: 3
Young Adult Fantasy: 1
Fantasy/Sci- Fi: 1
Horror Anthology: 1

3. What were the top ten books that you read this year?
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Nightlife by Rob Thurman
Tinker by Wen Spencer
Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor

If You Deceive by Kresley Cole
Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell
Lover Awakened by JR Ward'

Aargh! That was terribly difficult.

4. Were there any books you did not like? Why?
There were none that I hated. I was annoyed a few because of stupid actions of characters. None of the books got less than a B+. I guess I don't finish books I don't like or don't read them if the story doesn't get my attention. Life is too short.

5. What is your top favorite book and why?
Ooh, hard. Nightlife was pretty darn awesome so I might go with that one. I love the Immortals After Dark series to death, no pun intended. Tinker was great also.

6. What are your reading goals for next year?
Reed more young adult fantasy and fantasy in general. Continue reading the heck out of urban fantasy and paranormals. I also want to read more contemporaries and non-romance.

7. Did you read any books out of your normal routine?
I read Artemis Fowl, a young adult fantasy and loved it. I am reading more and more paranormal. I love it.

8. Any new genres that you got into this year? What books got you into this type of reading?
I continue to be enamored with paranormal as I said above, and also urban fantasy. I also got into young adult fantasy.

Well I am glad that I was fortunate to read so many books and to find new authors that I love and like. Here's to more reading this year.

Happy New Year to all and sundry!