Welcome to Under the Covers countdown of our Top Ten Kickass Heroines; whiny bitches need not apply! These are women we have nominated whom we feel not only kick ass, but do it with style and basically eat all the Bella Swans out there for breakfast.
Here they are from number 10 to number 1:
10. Annwyl the Bloody from Dragon Kin series by G A Aiken
To be honest…we were a bit scared to NOT put her in our Top Ten, when a heroine has the moniker “the Bloody” you know she has got to be able to kick some serious bottom. Which she does with relish and a little bit too much enjoyment.
It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear – a lot – or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe – a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger. She’s wrong…
9. Justine Jones from Disillusionist Trilogy by Carolyn Crane
She isn’t your typical kick ass female, but we felt she deserved a place in our Top Ten anyway. She may no be able to dance about with a sword or wear a leather jacket and a sneer effectively but, she can zap you with the force of her own neurosis…which is pretty damn awesome.
JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.
8. Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen…the Girl on Fire, even if you haven’t read the books (tsk tsk do so IMMEDIATELY) than you have probably watched the film and there is no denying that Katniss knows how to kick ass. A skilled hunter, she plays the bad guys games (literally) and then screws ’em with it…you go girl!
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.
If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
7. Kit Colbana from the Colbana Files by J C Daniels
Kit Colbana is the kind of heroine I love, and who I love to make fun of. She is tough, she likes to poke people with swords and she always has a sarcastic quip. What’s not to love?
Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.
So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.
Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.
If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…
6. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
My favourite VW mechanic. I always love an underdog and as a coyote shifter in a pack of wolves, you don’t get much more under than that. But with her brains and a little brawn, not to mention a speedy set of paws, Mercy always gets her bad guy in the end.
Mercy Thompson’s life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn’t exactly normal herself.
5. Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb
Sprung out of a hellish past, fiercely dedicated NYPSD cop Eve Dallas knows what it means to be a survivor. She has lived it. She doesn’t need special powers to kick some major booty. Though she’s got the hottest (and richest) special weapon in her arsenal, Eve doesn’t rely on Roarke’s connections to get what she wants, instead opting to use her sarcasm, tough love and plain ole’- but effective – boot to the ass takedown.
It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.
When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society.
Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation.
4. Chess Putnam from the Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane
Ah Chess JUST SAY NO! Unfortunately she didn’t get that memo, but despite being a druggie, Chess is still a kick ass heroine; brave and clever with a dash of a death wish and some nifty magic, she has managed to take down some pretty pesky maniacs.
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased.
Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls.
Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.
3. Dory Basarab from the Dorina Basarab series by Karen Chance
Dorina Basarab, my favourite dhampir, with a chip on her shoulder big enough to supply Macdonalds for the foreseeable future and a tendency to get in a rage and kill everything in sight at any given time Dory certainly qualifies as kick ass.
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir-half human, half vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.
Now Dory’s vampire father has come back into her life. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), infamous even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.
Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on Earth that truly scares her, so when Dory has to go up against him, she’ll take all the help she can get …
2. Cat Crawford from the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Half vampire, half human Cat Crawford makes our list, but not for the reason you may expect. Yes she has mad skills at killing naughty vampires. But, after Chapter 32, it is the mad hordes of women she must have to keep away from Bones that give her our number 2 spot.
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father–the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner–are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.
1. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Kate Daniels, we bow down to your amazing ass kickery. Armed with a scowl, a butter knife and a few words of power, I reckon Kate could take down most things. Of course, she could just throw her love bunny Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, at them. Either way things are gonna get bloody and Kate is going to emerge a little beat up but victorious.
When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…
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So these are our Top Ten, have we missed anyone out,
or put anyone we shouldn’t? Let us know!
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The top three is the same as mine. I would’ve included Gin Blanco. But I haven’t read all the series.
I haven’t read the that series, it’s the Jennifer Estep one right? I am sure it is on The List though 🙂 I will have to bump it up, I love me a kick ass heroine!
I know I’m going to catch a lot of shot for this, but Anita Blake. No matter what you think of where the series is now, you have to admit, she kicks ass.
I too, haven’t read all the series. Of the series that I’ve read, there isn’t one person on the list I would remove.
You are right Melanie, Anita Blake, no way LOL! I am a little bias about her been as I couldn’t get past the fourth book, but you are right she definitely did kick butt 🙂
That’s awesome, glad you liked our list!
As I was scrolling down the list, I was getting ready to bitch about Kate Daniels missing from the list, but then I saw that she was number 1, a place she really deserves .
The top 3 is the same as mine and all in all this a great list.
Keri Arthur’s “Riley Jensen” series. Great series and a great heroine.
Fantastic list! Gave me great ideas for my next read. I do agree with Gin Blanco and Riley Jensen missing but you could only pick 10, your hands were tied. There are so many kick ass heroines out there that you could actually do a Part Deux list!!!
Merit from Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil is pretty kickass. And Gin Blanco from Elemental Assasin series. These two chicks are probably two of my favorite heroines that didn’t make your list.
Great article. I have a few new books to add to my TBR pile. Best part for me was the actress casting you did for each heroine. Excellent choices, many were the same as the ones in my mind. Half the fun of reading a good series is casting the characters.
I’d add Elena from the Guild Hunter series and Nix from Immortals after dark. though she’s kind of crazy and maybe should be left alone LOL
My list would go like this:
10. Mercy Thompson
9. Sabina Kane
8. Chess Putman
7. Katniss Everdeen
6. Mac (2.0) Lane
5. Secret McQueen
4. Cat Crawford
3. Jane Yellowrock
2. Kate Daniels
1. Gin Blanco
Here grows my tbr pile again…thanks ladies!
Great list! I’m actually giddy about the fact that you mentioned Eve Dallas from the In Death series. Not many do, and you would think that after 30 something books, someone would have! There’s another character not too many people know about and that’s Annja Creed of the Rogue Angel series. She carries Joan of Arc’s broadsword and can pull it out of the otherwhere in a moment’s notice and has kicked some major ass and survived.
Janet Begay of the Stormwalker series
Jessica McClain (Amanda Carlson)
Darian from Shade Assassin
We could literally go all day long!
Great list, but my list would be:
10. Jane Argo (former pirate captain) from Eddie LaCrosse series
9. Ismae from His Fair Assassin Trilogy
8. Verity Price from InCryptid Novel series
7. Victory Vaughn from Deadtown series
6. Deuce from Enclave
5. Gin Blanco
4. Cat Crawford
3. Sabina Kane
2. Kate Daniels
1. Elena Deveraux from Guild Hunter series
(with a special shout out to Charlie Madigan, Anna Strong, and Cerise Mar)
Great list. Kate Daniels can not be topped, and love that Eve Dallas, the only non-fantasy heroine (yes, I know it is set in 2058+ but is still basically a straight forward police procedural). Definitely going to try the six that I’ve not read yet. Only addition for me would be Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. She would rank right behind Kate Daniels for me.
I came to this list looking for kick ass heroines and I got more than I bargained for! Since Kate Daniels was on the top of the list, I went on a book bender and read all her books including the novellas! This list was amazing, thank you very much!
You should check out the Throne of Glass series, Celaena Sardothien is definitely kick ass. But love the suggestions, extremely accurate!
I hope that you ladies won’t object to a gentleman posting to your list, but I love kick ass heroines. There’s one in particular that I like, but she probably won’t qualify for your lists since she plays a secondary role in the books. The primary character is Jack Gregory in Richard Phillips “The Rho Agenda Inception” series who is extremely kick ass himself. The heroine is Janet Price. She’s as kick ass as any female that I have read about. I’d love for Richard to write a series in which he gave her the starring role. There’s David Weber’s… Read more »
I almost forgot Jet. Russell Blake’s Jet series has one of the most kick ass heroines of any thriller genre that I’ve read. Jet will take on anyone, man or woman and will generally will any physical match up. She is smart, strong, and tough. There is a lot of violence in this series, but what do you expect with a real kick ass heroine.