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General Discussion => Books 'n Readin' => Topic started by: Fuzzy Necromancer on November 12, 2010, 09:11:35 AM

Title: Feminist Paranormal Romance
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on November 12, 2010, 09:11:35 AM
Or at least, feminist-friendly paranormal romances.

The romance genre has some pretty entrenched gender roles and traditionalist values.  There's almost always a sexually experienced, dark, dangerous male stranger, and the chaste pure virgin girl to heal his wounded heart. The concept of consent often strays into questionable territory, and as works old and new have demonstrated, romance authors do not always distinguish between "suitor" and "stalker."

What I want to know is, has anyone found some paranormal romance out there that is compatable with, or even advances, feminist values? I know they must be out there, things that reverse gender roles, subvert sexist cliches, and present actual strong female characters, rather than merely giving them independence as an informed ability and paying lipservice to updated gender norms.

Nora Roberts, despite some traditionalist streaks, at least manages to be not actively squicky or reactionary in her Key trilogy and Circle Trilogy. .-. I think Laurel K. Hamilton has had some feminist quality, but her messy plotting and series decay undermine it, and there's some incidents that bring a serious wince.
Title: Re: Feminist Paranormal Romance
Post by: Kzinistzerg on July 14, 2012, 05:00:23 PM
I know this is thread necromancy, but:

There are a few books which I read which are better than standard fare. They are paranormal in subject, and do include some romance novel-type bits, but have plot and good characterization. First off would be Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, which while not always great in the innocent woman falls for dark mysterious man department, is still fairly good. I would recommend reading the whole series, but books in particular which are good would be: "Dime Store Magic", "Industrial Magic", "Frostbitten" (a little iffy on the whole lovers part, but overall a good story), "waking the witch" and "spell bound". I listed them in order of plotline progress, and you could read these in this order and not need to worry about missing too many important plot points, since the books are fairly stand-alone in that respect.

Another author would be Patricia Briggs, her Mercy Thompson series. I like this series because though the love interests of the main female character all posess more force/power/special crap than she does, she's constantly trying to hold her own, and never falls for the "oh woe is me i must be protected by this man and stuff" though she does have a realistic view of her abilities.

Neither of these series is a perfect feminist combination of romance and paranormal or supernatural stuff, but they are both pretty good as far as having realistic mental attitudes and female main characters who are flawed but struggling against themselves or other problems... they're (fairly) well written. Still not perfect, but decent.
Title: Re: Feminist Paranormal Romance
Post by: Mrs. Dick Courier on July 16, 2012, 03:47:19 PM
I agree, I enjoy Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson.  She's a mechanic by trade and her own woman.

In the YA catergory there is also the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Meade.  Her lead Rose Hathaway is tough as nails, at least she pretends to be.  She is a Dhampir, half vampire and half human, and is in training to be a Moroi protector.  The Moroi are the vampire royalty of the world, and they must be protected from the evil vampires, the Strigori.

In fact anything by Richelle Meade is good if you're looking for strong female leads.  Her Georgina Kinkaid and Dark Swan Novels also feature strong female leads.

Ms Mead can also right a downright sexy love scene.  Tons better that you'll get in 50 shades of Gray.
Title: Re: Feminist Paranormal Romance
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on October 03, 2012, 01:38:24 AM
Thank you kind people. I'd dabbled in Kelly Armstrong after reading the Summoning trilogy, but found the works I explored frustrating (Gathering is getting old and I didn't feel great about Counterfeit Magic). I'll look into Dime Store and Industrial. Frostbitten did sound a bit appealing.

Moon Called is in my local library system, so I'll definitely  Czech that out. I'm wary of Vampire Academy though, as I've heard bad reports on its quality level.