One of the most common complaints about romantic paranormals—regardless of target audience—is about how, inevitably, the heroine is irresistibly attractive to every straight male of her acquaintance. Due to the massive popularity of the Twilight Saga, Bella Swan catches the most flack for this: Detractors generally have a difficult time reconciling her somewhat milquetoast personality with the passion she engenders in, like, every dude she encounters. (Personally, I’d award House of Night’s Zoey Redbird the blue ribbon in this department, as love triangles are nothing to her—in the last installment I read, she was juggling four different guys, while slut-shaming herself at every opportunity. So irritating. But that’s neither here nor there.)
Kami Glass, the star of Sarah Rees Brennan’s The Lynburn Legacy series, inspires lots of longing looks, but in her case, it’s completely understandable. All of the major male characters love her—some more overtly than others—but the only thing I find surprising about that is that she doesn’t have MORE devotees. She is THAT awesome. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s curious, she’s determined, she’s a girl detective with an insanely steady moral compass, she’s empathetic and stubborn and brave and resourceful and she is the personification of Never Say Die. All of her fabulous qualities make it easy to buy the fact that almost every person she comes into contact with—minus the pro-human sacrifice faction, naturally—ends up totally devoted to her, looks to her for guidance, trusts her implicitly as well as becoming fiercely protective of her.
And, sure, she’s capable of flipping an evil police officer over a fence—not because she’s magical, but because she’s been taking self-defense lessons for, like, ever—but it’s her resiliency in the face of complete loss that makes her one of my most favorite heroines in years:
She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn’t broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost. It seemed a worthwhile thing to know.
And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s UTTERLY HILARIOUS:
“Who was it?” Jared asked. “I’ll kill them.”
“You are not inspiring me to give you a name, Captain Murderface of the good ship Unbalanced,” said Kami. “It was nothing new, just a sorcerer trying to scare me. I can handle myself.”
Like so many heroines before her, she’s in love with a Bad Boy type, but unlike most of those other ladies, it’s easy to understand the attraction and even root for things to ultimately work out for Kami and Jared. Sure, he’s a disaster and possibly a tad unhinged, but their connection is rooted not in pure physicality, but in years and years of shared experience, years and years of being one another’s emotional lifeline.
Overall, the books themselves—Unspoken and Untold—are a good match for their heroine, in that they are hilarious and smart and TOTALLY BANANAS. I can’t wait for Book Three—not just because OH MY GOD, CLIFFHANGER, though that has a lot to do with it—and I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with myself until then.
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or doing her librarian thing, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while re-watching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.