Badass Best of Non-Alpha Heroines

Briggs Week2

Badass Best of Non-Alpha Heroines

Keeping with this weeks special topic, in honor of the March release of Patricia Briggs’ newest Alpha & Omega novel, Dead Heat, the Badass Ladies have put together a list of some of our favorite heroines. The catch is that we have chosen to focus on heroines that wouldn’t be classified as warriors.  Check out our favorites and let us know if who you think should be on this list!


Hunting GroundAnna, the Omega wolf from Alpha & Omega

by Patricia Briggs

Originally we intended to call this post ‘Beta Heroines’, but we had to rethink that because our intention, as said above, was to honor Anna and she isn’t actually Beta.  Anna is Omega, and in this world it means that she is gentle but she is not submissive.  Anna is soothing and calm, in a world where being a werewolf usually means having to control your wolf’s aggression.  Anna  serves as a sedative for the wolves, relaxing the beasts inside them.  That doesn’t mean that her own history hasn’t given her strength, it just means that her strength manifests in ways that aren’t physical unless she has to be.

As she held him the scent of wilderness, of sickness, faded. He stared at her, the whites of his eyes showing brightly while his irises narrowed to small bands around his black pupil.
“Omega,” he whispered, his breath coming harshly.”
― Patricia Briggs, Cry Wolf

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Written in RedMeg Corbyn, from The Others

by Anne Bishop

In Anne Bishops Urban Fantasy series, The Others, Meg Corbyn is known as a Blood Prophet.  As a whole, in this world, Blood Prophets are known  for having a childlike demeanor and having a naturally soothing effect to the supernatural creatures around them.  They also can become overwhelmed easily and tend to need to be protected.  Meg stands out from the other Blood Prophets because despite everything she forged out on her own and uses her unique skills to help keep The Others around her safe.  Meg is fragile, and she’s just discovering life outside of the compound where she was born and raised which leads to interesting changes in her physical appearance, such as having strange orange hair.  Even though you know that Meg has many obstacles in her path, you never doubt the type of strength she has.

“Simon didn’t think Meg really wanted to know how to eviscerate a rabbit. He could be wrong about that, but he just couldn’t picture Meg pouncing on a bunny and ripping it open with her teeth.
Maybe if he tried harder to picture it?”
― Anne Bishop, Written in Red

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BloodlinesSydney Sage, from Bloodlines

by Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is probably one of our favorites for a character that someone may call a ‘Beta’ woman.  We first met her in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, and she was definitely hard to like back then.  She can be a know-it-all, and hard to understand, but over the course of that series and particularly the spin-off, Bloodlines of which she’s the MC, you really start to get a feel for who she is.  Sydney Sage appreciates intelligence over everything.  Being organized and following guidelines and schedules is what helps Sydney stay in control, and coming from a history of Alchemist’s being in control is important.  Sydney doesn’t handle her problems with her fists, or in the case of her world, a silver stake.  She primarily uses her brain, and magic she’s secretly learning.  She stands out in a genre that is heavy on warrior women.

“Can you come over to Amberwood? I need you to help me break curfew and escape my dorm.”
There were a few moments of silence. “Sage, I’ve been waiting two months to hear you say those words. You want me to bring a ladder?”
― Richelle Mead, The Indigo Spell

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Sarah Zellaby, from InCryptidmidnight blue-light special

by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series has some of the most interesting characters around, but none compare to the wonderful Sarah Zellaby.  Sarah is a cuckoo, a telepathic cryptid that looks like a human but trust us — it isn’t.  Cuckoo’s are not known for being warm and cuddly, but Sarah was raised in a human family so she’s unique even amongst her own kind.  She has a fierce loyalty to the Healey/Price clan, especially her cousin Verity, and will put herself in harm’s way just to protect them.  Sarah is best described as smart, nerdy, quiet, and a little mousy but she’ll put her substantial brain powers to work when necessary.  She’s not the charge in head first type like Verity, but Sarah’s always down for playing backup where she can use her smarts and telepathy to help win the day.

“Sarah turned her narrow-eyed gaze on him, making me glad once more that Antimony’s comic books got it wrong, and telepaths can’t actually kill you with their brains. Give you a whopping headache and earworm you with annoying jingles, yes; kill you, no.”
― Seanan McGuire, Discount Armageddon

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Night ShiftDali, from Kate Daniels

by Illona Andrews

We first met Dali in Magic Strikes, but she has gone on to be one of our favorite recurring characters in the Kate Daniels series.  Dali is brilliant in matters of magic, mythology, and culture but she is a more than a little wary when things get physical.  As a white tiger shifter, you would think she would be a badass taking names left and right but nope.  Being clumsy, self-conscious, and somewhat sight-impaired, Dali prefers to keep things cerebral instead (aside from her pesky habit of wrecking really fast race cars!).  That’s not to say she can’t handle things, just that she prefers to look at the problem from every angle before acting… instead of, you know, rushing in and chopping everything to pieces with her magical sword.  Dali is very educated and she even has some magical training but her preferred place is behind the tough-as-nails warriors where she has the time and safety to work her mojo.  She’s also loyal to a fault and when a friend or loved one is in trouble, there is nothing that she won’t do to help them.

“Butterflies were small and light, and very magic sensitive. For some reason I made them feel safe and they gravitated to me like iron shavings to a magnet. They ruined my ferocious badass image, but you’d have to be a complete beast to swat butterflies.”
― Ilona Andrews, Magic Dreams

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Zuze and Karou, from Daughter of Smoke & Daughter of Smoke & BoneBone

by Laini Taylor

Zuze and Karou are just best friends living in Prague, except for the tiny hiccup that Karou’s family is a group of Chimera who collect teeth.  If you subtract that little attribute, and Karou’s involvement with it, they’re just regular friends who enjoy goofing off and watching Zuzanna’s street dancing.  They joke and tease and daydream and dodge ex-boyfriends.  At first.  Over the course of the book that changes for Karou, but it never feels like she’s in control of her destiny.  Her unknown history is forcing her forward and she’s learning how to react quickly, and build her skills as she goes.

“We’re playing Three Wishes,” she told her friend. “Cake, hot bath, soft bed. How about you?”
“World peace,” said Karou.
Zuzana rolled her eyes. “Yes, Saint Karou.”
“Cure for cancer,” Karou went on. “And unicorns for all.”
“Bluh. Nothing ruins Three Wishes like altruism.”
― Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monster

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Black DogNatividad, from Black Dog

by Rachel Neumeier

Black Dog is a stand-alone book about a sibling group of shifters. The book centers around the sister Natividad who is not a shifter like her brother or the pack they desire to enter into, but she has magic power on her own. Natividad’s presence in the book is powerful, but she is not “badass”.  Natividad is powerful in terms of her magic and she is valuable because of her power. We really enjoyed Black Dog because the writing is just pure joy and the subject matter was different than most urban fantasy books. But it is Natividad’s character that makes this book so intriguing.

“Miguel and even Alejandro had looked back across the river, toward the home they were leaving behind. She had not. She wanted to leave everything behind: all the grief and the terrible memories – let the dead past drown in that river; she would walk into another country and another life and never look back.”
― Rachel Neumeier, Black Dog

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Perry, From Experiment in The BensonTerror

by Karina Halle

Perry is one half of the Webcast television show, Experiment in Terror.  What she really is is the face in front of the camera, and a ghost magnet.  This really stinks for Ms Perry Palomino, best name ever, because she’s actually a pretty big wussy, and worse, she’s always felt awkward and inadequate compared to her sister, her mother, and pretty much anyone she’s ever come into contact with.  Now she gets to feel all of these negative thoughts about herself in front of the camera for anyone with an internet connection to view.  We as the readers easily see just how exceptional Perry really is though.  Perry is funny, and talented.  She puts herself out there, mostly, even when she’s afraid that she’ll be let down.  What we especially love about Perry is that she’s a female character that has human flaws and strengths, and that’s why we count her as one of our Badass favorites.

“She’s smart, she’s funny and she’s not afraid to take risks. Not to mention that she’s beautiful, sexy and charming. You know it, I know it, and soon everyone else will know it. The only person who doesn’t know it is her because of archaic f*ckheads like yourself telling her otherwise.”
― Karina Halle, Darkhouse

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Succubus RevealedGeorgina, From Georgina Kincaid

by Richelle Mead

Georgina is an unlikely heroine. She is not a virgin and doesn’t pretend to be one. She loves sex, loves male attention. Georgina is a succubus. Georgina’s past is not pretty and most of the ugliness is due to her own behavior. The pain and consequences of her choices are real and the root of Georgina’s problems – the initial cause of her current existence is Georgina’s insecurities and her need for male attention. Richelle Mead plays all of this out on the pages of the Georgina Kincaid series. If you like your urban fantasy characters to have flaws, make mistakes and be tortured – then Georgina fits the description.

“We all have moments of weakness. It’s how we recover from them that really counts.”
“Love is rarely flawless,” Carter pointed out. “Humans delude themselves by thinking it has to be. It is the imperfection that makes love perfect.”
― Richelle Mead, Succubus Blues

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Justine, from The DisillusionistsHead Rush

by Carolyn Crane

Like many urban fantasy books, this trilogy involves a love triangle, but that may be where the similarity to to her urban fantasy books ends. The main character, Justine, is unlike most characters.  She is not kick ass, she is terrified. She believes she is threatened at every corner by average and not so average diseases – she is a hypochondriac. Over the course of the series, Justine harnesses her fear and turns it into a power (so unlikely right?). There is a true villain in these stories, a conflicted heroine (who at times does not understand she is conflicted, but her confusion results from the best reasons), and a dashing hero. These books are pure enjoyment and mainly because of the heroine Justine. The books will make you feel good and they will take you outside of the current confined box that most urban fantasy authors are writing

“You’re right. I’m not the kind of woman to do something foolish out of defiance. I am, however, the kind of woman who would do something just to prove that you can’t tell me what kind of woman I am.”
“Sometimes you have to be a bad person to save yourself, and it takes a little chunk out of your soul, but you do it anyway.”
― Carolyn Crane, Mind Games


Now’s your chance! Who did we miss?  Give us your reasons why they should be considered Badass!  We love hearing from you!


Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs Giveaway (Courtesy of Penguin/ACE books)

Ready to read? Want to dive in? Enter to win below and Badass, courtesy of Penguin, will ship one of these three fabulous prizes! Yes, there will be three winners! Note that we can only ship to an address in the USA or Canada. So what are we giving away? First, a hardcover copy of Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs.  Second, the first three books in the Alpha & Omega series. Have you missed out and want to start this series? No problem, we got you covered.  Third, again — we want to make sure you don’t miss out on Ms. Brigg’s writing, so we will be giving away a second set of the first three books in the Alpha & Omega series.  Thank you Penguin!  Enter here.

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