It’s been awhile since I last took on a book tag and this was definitely one of the more intriguing options I had lying around in my notes. I like to think that I am fairly inclusive and open-minded in my readings, so, to the extent possible, I am limiting my selections to books I’ve reviewed here.
Your favorite female author
I had to think about this one for a bit, but I eventually decided that I am going with Colleen McCollough on this one. I absolutely love her Masters of Rome series and consider it the absolute standard against which I will forever judge all works of historical fiction. I know she has written other things that are bit different from these books (and with which I am entirely unfamiliar), but it was hard to pick against her after so thoroughly enjoying seven books and nearly 6,500 pages of her work.
Your favorite heroine
Ugh, another favorite question! I’m calling this one a toss-up because I couldn’t decide. It’s either Darwi Odrade from Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune or Vin from the first era Mistborn trilogy.
A novel with a feminist message
After spending a pretty good amount of time thinking about this what would make a novel feminist, I decided upon Everfair, by Nisi Shawl. I did so because it features two prominent female characters who challenge conventions with their political activism, academic/scientific interests, and sexuality. A quick read of the author’s bio reveals that these are all topics near and dear to her own heart, as her academic and literary focus is on Sci-Fi and Fantasy works that look at, among other things, issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
A novel with a girl on the cover
Not sure that cover art is necessarily a sign of feminism, but Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer, one of my favorite books from this year, has a rather striking depiction of Jasnah Kholin on the cover.
A novel featuring a group of girls
While I certainly wouldn’t call them “girls,” I’ll pick the all-woman cast of The Stars are Legion, by Kameron Hurley – a female author who strongly identifies as a feminist. Digging a bit deeper here, I read an interesting review after finishing this book that touched upon the issue of gender in this universe where men simply do not exist even as a concept (at least in the scope of the story thus far).
A novel with a LGBTQIAP+ female character
It just so happens that I’ve read two books so far this year starring main characters that fall within this category. The first was Barbary Station, by R.E. Stearns, in which engineer/programmer Adda Karpe and her girlfriend Iridian try to join a band of space pirates. The second book was the aforementioned Everfair, in which a young biracial French woman named Lisette enters into a polyamorous relationship with an Englishman only to find a more lasting love with his (former) wife Daisy.
A novel with different feminine POV
Different is a bit ambiguous here, but easily the most atypical female POV I can readily recall is Purga from Stephen Baxter’s Evolution. She is a small mammal living roughly 65 million years ago in the late Jurassic era.
A book where a girl saves the world
I’ll go with Soon I Will be Invincible, by Austin Grossman for this one though I won’t spoil which of the novel’s superheroines ultimately saves the day.
A book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC
All the books in the The Expanse series featuring Bobbie Draper. It’s no contest between her and James Holden, or any of the other Rocinante crew members for that matter. Needless to say, certain events that happen early on in Persepolis Rising made me very happy.
A book written by a male author and featuring a female character
I’m going to assume this meant to say female main character. Um, lots? Sarene from Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris is one of my favorite new (to me) characters of the year thus far and she would probably embrace being called a feminist to boot.