Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UF with a Strong Female Protagonist

I love books with strong female leads. That doesn't mean the female can't be flawed, or have major issues. She just has to be tough, not to the point that she's unable to love. I just don't love doormats. I can't stand seeing women cow to a man. It pisses me off.

So, with that in mind, here's my list of favorite Urban Fantasy series with a strong female protagonist.

Ilona Andrews - Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds.
Kate Daniels is a kick ass mercenary. Her interactions with Curran, the Beast Lord will make you laugh and sometimes make you cry. Yes, she'll compromise - but she won't just accept. This is one of my favorite series.

Rachel Caine - Weather Warden series - Ill Wind, Heat Stroke, Chill Factor, Windfall, Firestorm, Thin Air, Gale Force, Cape Storm, Total Eclipse (8/3 release)
Joanne is a weather warden. In her world, wardens control the the elements keeping the world safe. She goes thru a lot of shit to be with David. Their desire to be together is the catalyst for a number of disastrous moments. I like her because she does what needs to be done even at the risk of losing that relationship.

Jennifer Estep - Elemental Assassin series - Spider's Bite, Web of Lies, Venom (9/28 release)
Gin, the main character in this series is a sociopathic assassin. Her point of view is absolutely fascinating. Despite her ability to kill without remorse, and the emotional damage she suffered at the deaths of her family, she somehow is able to love those who love her - her mentor, Finn her sort-of-brother - and she still cares about making things right. Another favorite.

Lori Handeland - Phoenix Chronicles - Any Given Doomsday, Doomsday Can Wait, Apocalypse Happens, Chaos Bites

M.L.N. Hanover - Black Son's Daughter series - Unclean Spirits, Darker Angels, Vicious Grace (11/30 release)

Kim Harrison - Rachel Morgan series - Dead Witch Walking, The Good The Bad and The Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction
This book has several strong females - Rachel, a witch, Ivy, a vampire, and Ceri, an elf. Rachel has some serious issues, but she's bad ass and reckless. She has several relationships as the series progresses, but her strongest relationship is with Ivy (who is damn scary). Rachel and Kisten's love story is absolutely heartbreaking. Another favorite.

Faith Hunter - Jane Yellowrock series - Skinwalker, Blood Cross, Mercy Blade (1/4/11 release)
Jane is a unique shapeshifter created through black magic and a bounty hunter. She is so bad ass she's scary good.

Julie Kenner - Blood Lily Chronicles - Tainted, Torn, Turned
Lily isn't exactly a nice person. She did what she had to after her mother's death to survive and provide for her sister. Only despite her best efforts, a madman did awful things to her sister. Lily wakes up in someone else's body after trying to kill the monster. Now she has to save the world. I thought this would be a light read when I picked them up - wrong! It was dark and wonderful.

Richelle Mead - Georgina Kinkaid series - Succubus Blues, Succubus on Top, Succubus Dreams, Succubus Heat, Succubus Shadows, Succubus Revealed (9/2011 release)
Georgina is a succubus - reluctantly. She's good at her job, but she doesn't really like it. And she's in love with Seth, a human, a writer (a total dick as far as I'm concerned). Georgina is a great female character. She loves so deeply and wants so badly to do the right thing. She doesn't always manage it. This is an awesome series and maybe my #1 favorite of all.

Karen Marie Moning - Darkfever, Bloodfever, Feyfever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever (1/2011 release)
Mac is a bit of a pretty little fluff girl in the beginning of this series. Don't let that fool you. Her transformation is brilliantly written. And her relationship with Barrons (who is he?!?) is enjoyable. You'll hate him right along with her at the same time you love him. Its a great story.

Devon Monk - Magic to the Bone, Magic in the Blood, Magic in the Shadows, Magic on the Storm
Allie Beckstrom is a Hound - she tracks magic. The problem - when she uses magic, she gets migraines that mess her up. Oh, and she has a real bad ass father. Her relationship with Zayvion, a very mysterious man, is thoroughly enjoyable.

C.E. Murphy - Joanne Walker series - Urban Shaman, Thunderbird Falls, Coyote Dreams, Walking Dead, Demon Hunts
I love this series. Joanne is a reluctant shaman. Her mother was Irish, her father American Indian. Her real name? Siobhan Walkingstick. She likes Joanne. She deals with celtic Gods, native american creatures and more even tho in the beginning she'd rather not.

Chloe Neill - Chicagoland Vampires series - Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten
One of my favorite newer authors. Merit is a vampire. She didn't choose to be - no, she was attacked late one night. In order to save her, Ethan, the head of Cadogan House, turns her. She's not exactly thrilled and challenges him at every turn, all while trying to ignore her attraction toward him. I love their interactions. Its just the right amount of humor and a great story to boot.

Adrian Phoenix - Maker's series - A Rush of Wings, In The Blood, Beneath the Skin, Etched in Bone (? release)
I love this series for so many reasons. Its dark, its beautiful, it is brilliantly written, and the characters are phenomenal. Heather is an FBI agent on the hunt for a serial killer. Along the way, she meets Dante, a serious damaged amazing man (child of a vampire & a fallen angel). If you don't read any other series listed here - read this one.

Jennifer Rardin - Jaz Parks series - Once Bitten Twice Shy, Another One Bites the Dust, Biting the Bullet, Bitten to Death, One More Bite, Bite Marks, Bitten in Two (11/8 release)
Jaz is a deadly assassin in love with her partner, Vayle, a vampire. This series is fast paced, full of crazy adventure, and funny. I love Jaz's alter ego Lucille.

Kat Richardson - Greywalker series - Greywalker, Poltergeist, Underground, Vanished, Labyrinth (8/3 release)

Linda Robertson - Persephone Alchemides series - Vicious Circle, Hallowed Circle, (two more coming)

Margaret Ronald - Spiral Hunt, Wild Hunt

Lilith Saintcrow - Jill Kismet series - Night Shift, Hunter's Prayer, Redemption Alley, Flesh Circus, Heaven's Spite (10/27 release)

Lilith Saintcrow - Dante Valentine series - Working for the Devil, Dead Man Rising, The Devil's Right Hand, Saint City Sinners, To Hell and Back
Dante is a psi/bounty hunter/necromance with a lot of anger and a horrific past. She falls in love with Japhrimel, assigned to help her by Lucifer. This is not a happy series. Its dark, at times depressing, and Dante is a damaged person. But I loved it even as it broke my heart.

Jeanne C. Stein - Anna Strong series - The Becoming, Blood Drive, The Watcher, Legacy, Retribution, Chosen (8/28 release), Crossroads (2011 release)
Anna is a bounty hunter turned vampire against her will (she's attacked). She's tough. And she's dealing with a whole lot of personal issues (clinging to her humanity, absentee asshole boyfriend, etc.) while she does her job. A great series.

Phaedra Weldon - Zoe Martinique series - Wraith, Spectre, Phantasm, Revenant

Jaye Wells - Red Headed Stepchild, The Mage in Black, The Green Eyed Mage (2011 release)

To be fair, there are a number of series that I haven't even gotten to yet - and they're fairly big names. They're on my TBR list (and I actually have some of them) but I keep getting bogged down by more books coming out

Still, as far as I'm concerned, these I've listed - which I have read (some repeatedly with each new release) are the best of the best.

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