Stop Giving Me ‘Strong’ Female Characters

I’ve been seeing more female characters lately, which one would think is a good thing. Unfortunately, female characters don’t mean much when they’re barely characters. Instead, they’re often one-dimensional props. You know the type I’m thinking of. Extremely sexy clothing & figure, sarcastic, literally kick ass aaaaaaaand . . . not much else. Deep background? Nuanced characterization? Complexities? Almost nonexistent.

In my experience, this doesn’t pertain as much to books, but then again I tend to mostly read books by female authors who aren’t as guilty of this (because women are *gasp* people!) That’s not to say this isn’t an issue, though. Because it certainly is.

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Damn it, Tifa. You better be glad I love Final Fantasy so much.

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It doesn’t help that Abrams straight-up admitted this scene was solely for the male viewership.

I don’t mind sexy, slim women. Truly I don’t. Physically fit and empowered women are by far my favorite characters to write, and are even inspiring in a way, but women are more than that. They are their backstories, their emotions, their inner conflicts. Instead of saying “okay, we have a walking pair of boobs that throws punches; diversity, check” and stopping there (please, please do not stop there–don’t even go there to begin with), instead give me more Furiosas, more Dana Scullys, more Marthas, and more Eowyns. (Also pls give me more PoC and LGBT+ characters thx.)

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I want women who are developed, fully dimensional characters, with flaws, backstories, and who’s importance isn’t relegated solely to her beauty or sexual prowess.

In short, don’t give me a female character who can throw punches, is therefore considered progressive, and stop there. Don’t give me a physically strong female character, give me a female who has strong characterization. That’s what makes all the difference.

Who are your favorite female characters? What do you like best about them?

THE FINAL ADVENT Release!

After years of drafting, editing, rewriting, and (of course) more editing, THE FINAL ADVENT has officially been published! Go pick up your copy today of the final installment in the NO ANGELS trilogy, where action, adventure, and intrigue abound. (Only available in eBook format for the time being. It should be available in paperback soon!)

Also, for those of you on Goodreads, add it to your list here!

Getting to this point has been such an incredibly long, toiling, and rewarding journey. Without the support of all those I know and love, never in my wildest dreams would this have been possible. Each and every one of you–yes, YOU reading this right now–have been invaluable to me, whether you’re aware of it or not. I’ll cut the sentiments short for now (that’s for a whole different post), but be warned: they’re coming for you!

Thank you so much for following me on my adventures thus far. With the No Angels trilogy wrapped up, it’s time that we take the next steps out into an even bigger, if mysterious, world.

Until next time!

Book Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

20613470Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Date Released: 2014

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary: “Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?” – Goodreads

I stood in line for nearly 2 hours to purchase this book, and I’m glad to say that it was well worth it!

The characters, most of them new ones, are to die for. Between the new cast in Rifthold, the new world and characters and creatures in Wendelyn, and the covens in the Ferian Gap, there’s a rich selection to choose from, all with backbones and stories and secrets of their own. Speaking of the covens, initially I wasn’t a huge fan of the Manon storyline. I had difficulty understanding its relevance and direction, but it eventually won me over in a big way once the relationship with Abraxos entered. This book has no lack of strong women, that’s for sure.

Celaena is great as always, powerful and regaining her spark that for so long has threatened to go out. I really like her dynamic with Rowan, and her potential dynamic with Aedion once they’re reunited. (BE STILL, MY HEART).

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Once you finally get to the action in this book, it goes hard. It never leaves you wanting, but never annoyingly overwhelms either. I can only think of one fight in the entire 600 pages that was too long for my liking, which, for a book with a lot of fights, is great. This book strikes just the right balance.

The writing is wonderful as always, powerful and clear while still retaining a poetic flow. I do feel though that things in the first couple hundred pages took a bit long to get moving, but once they did, the book stopped for no one. And that’s not even to mention the innumerable well-crafted plot twists! I will say that I quite literally screaming once or twice while reading.

All in all, Heir of Fire earns itself a solid 4.5 out of 5 for rich characters, quality writing and pace, and surprises of intrigue you’ll never see coming. And after all, how much more could you want?

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Find Heir of Fire on here Amazon or Barnes and Noble.