SBD: saved from the donate pile

The slow pruning of my shelves continues, but today two books were saved from the donation bin:  two of Chelsea Cain’s Archie Sheridan books.  But it wasn’t Archie who prompted the shift from cull to keep; no, it was Gretchen Lowell.  Don’t get me wrong, Archie is an interesting if predictable character in his broken-ness.   But Gretchen’s utter lack of remorse is what fascinates me about this series.  She’s crazy but she owns it — no whining about childhood abuse to explain why she kills; she kills because she wants to, she likes to, and she can.  No more and no less.

Right now I’m in the middle of reading Kelley Armstrong’s new Otherworld novella, Hidden.  The narrator there is Elena Michaels, the only known female werewolf in that world.  Elena is another intriguing character; in the first book of the series, Bitten, she came to terms with her nature — and with the fact that she had an edge of violence and was predatory in some ways long before she was bitten and became a werewolf.

I would like to read more characters like this.  Not just in urban fantasy and mysteries or thrillers; I’d love to see them everywhere.  They are like the anti-Mary Sue for me, a relief from the perfection and conservatism that populates genre romance.

Can anyone recommend books with similar characters?

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