This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

« Previous | Main | Next »

Girls Who Kick Ass

August 8, 2014 | Alice | Comments (11) Facebook Twitter More...

Warrior_girl by bugball on DeviantArtGirls. Sugar and spice, and everything nice? Not always. Lately, we've seen more and more girls more into a white-knuckle ride than a white knight, and I am loving it. Maybe it's a trend. Maybe it is backlash against all the chicklit and swoonier heroines that were around for a while. Maybe it's that the popularity of dystopian settings allow you to throw out the expectations of contemporary lit. Whatever the case, I love seeing girls come to the fore as serious action heroes in their own right, so I'm sharing some good ones in case you want to get in on all the ass-kicking goodness, too.

There's the obvious dystopian candidates, of course, the ones you would think of first. Hunger Games's Katniss. Tris, from Divergent, who didn't start out as much of a fighter, but learned quickly. You've seen these girls wielding weapons and showing their inner strength onscreen as well as on the page, and they have quickly become the models of tough girl material.

Killer of Enemies - In a destroyed, postapocalyptic landscape, warlords have established strongholds that they keep as fortified villages to keep out other enemies and the monstrous genetically altered animals that threaten anyone they find wandering. Lozen is retained by one village for her fighting skills, her family held hostage to keep her in line. As her missions become increasingly dangerous, so does her desperation, until she figures out how to get her family out and make her stand against her enemies - her former bosses. Written by Joseph Bruchac, this book has some themes of native wisdom that have been handed down to Lozen by her people, and memories of a peceful way of life that was disrupted with her kidnapping. This gives it a different and quite interesting context that sets it apart.

ACID, by Emma Pass - The Agency for Crime Investigation and Defence maintain tight control on all citizens through monitoring and swift, no-questions-asked punishment of those who question or act out. Jenna Strong is surviving in prison until she is mysteriously broken out and given a new identity. It doesn't last long before she is on the run again, then captured by an anarchist group... Yep, you get the picture. It's action all the way in this book about resistance and figuring out who you are and what you stand for. Also available as an ebook.

Blood red roadBlood Red Road / The Dustlands Trilogy, by Moira Young - A few years ago, I got a review copy of a book bound in red cover stock, not even a real fake cover, but it sounded interesting. I waded in, and once the scene was set, I fell in all at once and could barely put it down through a wild ride of one adventure after another with a fierce young girl named Saba who is more determined than anyone I've met in fiction or in real life. This girl lives in a hostile world that only sharpens her take-no-prisoners approach as she frees herself and others again and again, winning the devotion of those who see her in action. That this was a trilogy meant being on tenterhooks waiting for the second and then the third, but they were well worth it, and it's one of my very favourites among the many trilogies of the last while. (And this is also available as an ebook!)

Even better? I got to ask the author, Moira Young, a few questions, and she sent some very thoughtful, interesting answers for you all to read! I'll post those this afternoon - stay tuned!

And of course, tough, amazing women aren't just in fiction, either. Do you have a favourite fictional heroine or real-life inspiration?