Friday, 21 October 2011

VOTE NOW! Who's Your Favourite Female Werewolf?

Since this blog was originally intended to focus on female werewolves in popular culture, I thought it would be good to devote a whole post to our favourite she-wolves.

A little poll is in order, I think. Who is your favourite female werewolf of all time? Have a read through the nominations, and cast your vote (or nominate your own) in the comments.

1. Kelsey 'Boobs' Bornstein (in 'Boobs' by Suzy McKee Charnas)
Nominated by K.A Laity, academic, novelist and short story writer, author of Unikirja and Pelzmantel

"It's really hard to choose: I love the Ginger Snaps films and shaking my booty to Shakira's 'She Wolf' but I have to say I have a real fondness for Suzy McKee Charnas' 'Boobs' which I was lucky enough to experience the author herself reading once. 'Boobs' Bornstein is a developing teen whose developments get unwanted notice from a local bully. The trauma of her first period, despite the well-meaning kindness of her stepmother, seems poised to make adolescence a living hell - until another transformation occurs. I think what I like best about Charnas' story is the self-assurance Bornstein gains when she understands how powerful she really is - and not just because she becomes a wolf."

2. Sergeant Angua (in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series)
Nominated by Kirsty Buchanan, English student and Pratchett fan

"Delphine Angua von Uberwald, daughter of the Baron and Baroness of Uberwald and sister of Wolfgang, Elsa and Andrei, is a Captain of the Ankh Morpork City Watch. She frequently outwits both criminals and fellow watch members, and often uses her werewolf nature to solve crimes and apprehend perpetrators. Despite being entirely independent and single minded in her work she is at times conflicted about her position within the city as a whole and in particular in her relationship with the na├»ve Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (who happens to be the true heir to the throne). She frequently puts herself in danger to help others both in wolf and female human form. However she is all too aware that in human form, people only see the wolf in her and while in wolf form 'people' only see the human in her. Angua exhibits loyalty to the Watch above all, stating after she's been kidnapped and Carrot fails to make chase immediately that 'personal is not the same as important'. Pratchett plays with this example of inequality in relationships and exploits the sense of loyalty felt by her wolf side to make his point. Angua states plainly in Jingo that there’s a name for wolves who live with humans, and that name is 'dog'. Angua is a many layered female werewolf who frequently forces us to examine the extent of prejudice in society, our perceptions of others and the relative value of loyalty in relationships."

3. 'Wolfgirl' (in The Company of Wolves)
Nominated by Steve Rouse, writer, learning and development trainer and stalwart of Manchester's longstanding creative writing workshop, the Monday Night Group

"A werewolf that's always stayed in my mind is the 'Wolfgirl' from Neil Jordan’s 1984 film, The Company of Wolves. I think what appeals is the tenderness with which she’s treated in the film. She emerges as a she-wolf from the underworld, is shot by a villager, then treated kindly by a priest who tends her wound; and returns to the underworld thereafter. She is a very non-aggressive werewolf, who becomes both victim and beneficiary during her brief visit to the human (male?) world. It’s a very short passage in the film (4 minutes or so) but neatly seems to summarise our nervous and contradictory relationship to the 'wild' (the Wolf Girl reminds me of so-called 'wild children' such as Kaspar Hauser) - fascinated, repelled, afraid in equal measure. And, of course, there's the whole Freudian/feminist underpinning of Company of Wolves, with its (hardly) sub-text of sexual awakening, the 'otherness' of the female, etc. The Wolf Girl was played by Danielle Dax, an experimental musician and producer."

4. Nina (in Being Human)
Nominated by Rob Shedwick, musician and songwriter with Th3 M1ss1ing and Digital Front

"My girlfriend is a big fan of Being Human (the television series, not the general state of being a human), and after explaining the premise to me of a vampire, werewolf, and ghost living together I was intrigued - soon to be marginally obsessed, insisting that we watch the first three series virtually back-to-back. My allegiance quite quickly fell on the side of George and his girlfriend Nina, mainly because of their relationship as werewolves. I can't lie, George's gnome wallpaper was also a factor. Nina initially has a fairly tough exterior, probably as a result of an abusive childhood. She hints at this when she reveals scars on her stomach, in an attempt to show George she also has secrets and to get him to open up about his own problems. Eventually she does discover what he's been hiding, unfortunately during his transformation, and he accidentally scratches her - sharing his werewolf curse. What I particularly like about Nina as a werewolf is the complication of her becoming pregnant, and the concerns and fears that brings about for her - much like any mother during her first pregnancy, she is afraid of the unknown. But, unlike most first-time parents, she has additional concerns like whether the baby will survive her transformation process each month, and whether or not the child will be a werewolf. As the foetus is developing at twice the normal rate (by the end of Series 3), I'd say there's a fairly good chance that it will be. I'm looking forward to the upcoming fourth series and the further development of Nina’s character."

5. Kitty Norville (in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville books)
Nominated by Carys Crossen, PhD candidate and werewolf scholar

"First of all, who could resist a werewolf named Kitty? (The name came first, apparently). But it takes a lot more than a gimmick to produce a truly memorable female werewolf, and Kitty delivers. Vaughn's fast-thinking, fast-talking heroine is a radio DJ with a nice line in sarcasm and a penchant for trouble. Vaughn’s series charts Kitty's development from the lowest-ranking member of a dysfunctional pack to becoming the alpha of her group of werewolves, a celebrity and expert in paranormal phenomena, providing plenty of angst, adventure and one-liners along the way. Kitty herself is a refreshing change of pace – she doesn't waste time agonising over whether lycanthropy has turned her into a monster, instead choosing to spend her time fighting the good fight and playing good music to her multitude of fans."

6. Brigitte Fitzgerald (in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed)
Nominated by Andrew Quinton, writer and creator of Werewolf News

"The Ginger Snaps films are fantastic, but they're also poorly named, and I'm not talking about the tiresome pun. Granted, each film features a protagonist named Ginger whose behaviour (poor Sam, poor Fort Bailey) could be attributed to a mental 'snap', but I don't feel the films were really about her. Despite her metamorphoses she doesn't change much throughout the series – she's not even alive in Ginger Snaps 2 – and when she does act to drive the story forward, the catalyst tends to be bestial instinct rather than the growth of her character. No, despite what their titles imply, I think the Ginger Snaps films are really about Ginger's younger sister Brigitte. Pale, meek, unsmiling, forever trapped in the shadow (or haunted by the shade) of her older sister, she's constantly forced to be the strong one, to think for them both, to make all the sacrifices and bear all the consequences. In the first film, Ginger Snaps, Brigitte watches helplessly as her sister and best friend turns into a monster. While Ginger reacts to her changes first with denial and then with petulant hostility, Brigitte doesn't have the luxury of such emotional indulgences. She's forced to act as her monster -sister's caretaker – first researching the affliction, then helping develop the cure, and eventually cleaning up the carnage left by an increasingly monstrous Ginger. When her efforts fail, Brigitte's final appeal to her sister is made not with reason but with blood, and ultimately even that sacrifice is in vain. Brigitte's connection to the life she knows is irrevocably broken, and she doesn't even have the comfort of her sister's companionship to soften the blow. Yet when we meet Brigitte at the start of the second film, it's clear that while she might mourn the life she left behind, she's determined to move forward, resolute and unflinching in the faces of her ghosts. Brigitte is easily my favourite female werewolf, not because of who or what she is but what she does. Ignore her incipient lycanthropy and she’s still the character who changes the most throughout the Ginger Snaps series, endures the worst hardships, and still manages to embody some of the very finest human qualities."



7. White Fell (in Clemence Housman's The Were-Wolf)
Nominated by Carys Crossen

"Heard of Clemence Housman? No? Unsurprising – Housman has been overshadowed for decades by her more well-known brothers, poet Alfred Edward (A. E. Housman) and suffrage campaigner Laurence. This also means, sadly, that her werewolf White Fell, who is one of the central characters of her novella The Were-Wolf, has also largely fallen into undeserved obscurity. It's undeserved because White Fell is beautiful, dangerous, and deadly, and is a refreshing contrast to the rather goody-goody hero who serves as her main opponent. More than this, White Fell is arguably one of the earliest instances in which a female author has written about a female werewolf and used the figure of the werewolf to express 'the complex and antagonistic forces that constitute one soul'. Although not famous enough to be termed ground-breaking, the character of White Fell marks a significant development in the portrayal of female werewolves in literature – the moment when women authors began to utilise the figure of the female werewolf to express feminine concerns and anxieties."

8. Leah Clearwater (in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series)
Nominated by Hannah Kate, writer, blogger and editor for Hic Dragones

"Okay, this is a somewhat controversial choice. And I would like to make it clear that I am definitively NOT a Twilight fan. I really did not enjoy the books. However, I am absolutely fascinated by the character of Leah Clearwater - the only (and unexpected) female werewolf in Meyer's books. Leah gets no choice about whether or not she gets to be a werewolf. But lycanthropy is not a curse for her - it's a sacred duty. The problem is, until Leah, this sacred duty has been reserved for strictly men only. As soon as she transforms, her outsider status is secured. The other male werewolves are horrified by the prospect of this young woman sharing their 'pack mind'. What makes the presentation of Leah so compelling is the utter cruelty of her situation. She is forced to share her entire psyche with a group of young, testosterone-fuelled men, including her ex-boyfriend who has now 'imprinted' on her cousin. Her physical development is halted (Meyer has said in interviews that she imagined the werewolf state halted Leah's menstrual cycle) and she does not know whether or not she will be able to bear children. At the end of Breaking Dawn, when every single other character is paired off for a 'happy ending', Leah is left completely on her own. How does our teenage werewolf handle this cruel life she is forced into? With bitterness, anger and angst. No lying down and losing a few months like Bella... Leah complains, grumbles and torments her male 'pack'. This is what I love about her. Who says the best female werewolves have to be brave, noble, self-sacrificing and loyal? It's an angsty and aggressive, pained and petulant anti-heroine for me every time."


Voting is now closed. View the results here!

79 comments:

  1. I'm going to stand by my nominee, Brigitte, but she's in great company here. Oh, Angua, I love you, but cheer up!

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  2. How about Marsha Quist, from the movie, The Howling?
    http://horror-movies.wikia.com/wiki/Marsha_Quist
    Or Megan from Dog Soldiers?

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  3. I'd originally nominated Angua, but I'm going to vote for Kitty. Hers is my current favorite series.

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  4. I'm voting for Nina. Love that show and wanna see more!

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  5. I'm voting for Nina. Although, I would like to replace "Twilight" Leah Clearwater with Randi Wallace from the "She Wolf of London" TV series.

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  6. I would have to choose either Brigitte or Kelsey. Both struck me as complex, interesting characters. Brigitte especially had a very compelling story, and it's so sad at the end of the second movie that's she is pretty much obliterated, sad and resonant in a way that most horror movies never are. Charnas is one of my favorite authors - it would be awesome if she ever devoted a whole novel to Kelsey. Probably not, but I can dream!

    One of my favorite female werewolves is Vivien of Annette Klause's "Blood and Chocolate" (the novel, not the book, which I've never seen). Judging from reviews, a lot of people dislike her intensely, and I can see why. She starts the novel as a vain, shallow spoiled brat whose own interests and problems are the Most Important in the UNIVERSE! - in other words, a typical, believable teenager! She makes bad decisions and gets involved with a very unsuitable human boy, but Klause's skill is such that you do eventually develop sympathy for her. She's under a lot of pressure, has suffered loss, and the bad, impulsive decisions she makes and things like feeling embarrassed by her mother are very relatable. Eventually she does manage to do the right (hard) thing, put her own feelings aside and step up to protect her lycanthropic family.

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  7. Casting my vote for Nina. Really enjoy that show

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  8. Another vote here for Vivien from Blood and Chocolate! :)

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  9. How about Sylvan Mir, the wolf Were Alpha from L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series? http://goo.gl/7iiqp

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  10. Delphine Angua von Uberwald

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  11. Of the given choices, I have to give my love to Kitty. I've been following her journey since the first book and still can't wait for the next in the series.

    Aside from Kitty, Marsha Quist and Randi Wallace would be my next choices.

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  12. Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series

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  13. Well, I'd like to write in Vivian from Blood and Chocolate, but of the posted choices: Bridgitte Fitzgerald is the clear choice.

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  14. How can I choose just one?!
    I love reading about Kitty, and thought Vivian from "Blood and Chocolate" {the original novel} was a great character.
    But I'll go with 'Wolf Girl' from "The Company of Wolves" - but, what about Rosaleen, who turns into a wolf just before the end...?

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  15. Elena from the Kelley Armstrong series is a personal favorite, not many female Pack Alpha's out there these days :)

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  16. Kitty. One of the best written heroines in fiction at the momment.

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  17. Kitty is my number one choice.

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  18. Kitty, definitely! Not only is she a great example of a female werewolf character, but is simply a great character, period!

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  19. Can't pick, like too many of them.

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  20. Gotta vote for Kitty! Not only an awesome female werewolf but a well-written female character. She's strong but believable. (Well, as believable as a supernatural fictional character can be.)

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  21. Kitty is the best!

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  22. It is hard for me to choose just one. I love love love Kitty, but at the same time Elena is just so freakin' awesome. I think I will choose Kitty, just because I love the thought of a Were with a name like Kitty!

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  23. My favorite is Kitty by far! I've been following Kitty and Carrie Vaughn since the second book Kitty Goes to Washington. Every book has been amazing! All of Carrie's non Kitty books have been great too.

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  24. Angua, she was the character that introduced me to lycanthropy and werewolf lore in general. She's just so awesome.

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  25. Kitty Norville gets my vote, definitely. She's a social activist and celebrity, heroine and wife. She's a wonderful and ever-evolving character!

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  26. Kitty Norville of the Midnight Hour!

    :-D

    Fantastic list, however.

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  27. Kitty Norville!

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  28. WTF? How did I miss this blog for so long? My searching skills are clearly inferior...

    I'd say Kitty, but since Vaughn linked you from her blog, you're probably going to be geting a lot of people saying that. So, to spice things up a bit, I'll recommend Dominil, from Martin Millar's Kalix MacRiannalch books. Which have a lot of she-wolves, actually. More than he-wolves, even.

    -LupLun
    Lupines and Lunatics

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  29. Kitty Norville I have to say is one of the better ones. I haven't read discworld but the characters that develop on-screen just have handicap when compared with characters like Kitty Norville and Leah Clearwater. We're able to see many sides of them as opposed to what the actors are able to convey.

    Kitty Norville, all the way.

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  30. Much as I love Dominil from Lonely Werewolf Girl, I'm gonna have to go with Thrix MacRinnalch from that series instead.

    She's like a werewolf version of Carrie from Sex and the City, and the funniest part of the second book in Millar's series was her trying to get ready for a date with every single other cast member dropping in for something or other. Most of whom hate each other. Plus I ship her with Fire-Demon Queen, Malveria, for werewolf lesbian relationship points.

    (and an honourable mention to Markus, as the book's bishie-crossdressing werewolf prince)

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  31. It has to be Sylvan Mir from ll Rand's Midnight Hunt series. A truly magnificent creation.

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  32. I vote for Sylvan Mir, the wolf Were Alpha from L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series? http://goo.gl/7iiqp

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  33. Bryn from Raised by Wolves and Calla from Nigthshade! <3

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  34. I vote for Ginger from Ginger Snaps! Although Sylvan Mir is also brilliant, and of course there's Laura Greenacre from Maneater... Argh! I love them all!

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  35. I nominate Calla from Nightshade/Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer!! She's so kick ass ;)

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  36. Sylvan Mir from L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series.

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  37. Sylvan from L.L.Rand's Blood Hunt and sequel is so hot!

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  38. Sylvan Mir from L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series

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  39. Sylvan Mir from the Midnight Hunters series by LL Raand

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  40. Sylvan Mir from LL Rand's Midnight Hunters Series.

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  41. Mine's Riley Jenson by Keri Arthur.
    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. Sylvan Mir from L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series

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  43. Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn. An awesome character.

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  44. Definitely Sylvan Mir from Midnight Hunters by L.L. Raand!

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  45. Sylvan from LLRaand 's Midnight Hunt series!

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  46. My vote goes to Sylvan Mir from LL Raand's MIdnight Hunt series. She's the best!

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  47. Jolie Garoul from Gill McKnights ambereye. Jolie is adorable!

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  48. "Bryn from Raised by Wolves"

    *blows whistle*

    Disqualified for not being a werewolf! I agree that it's a good book, though. ~_^

    While I'm on the subject...

    *blows whistle*

    Penalty to Sylan Mir for alt-spamming! Additional penalty for doing it really obviously!

    -LupLun
    Lupines and Lunatics

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  49. My vote is for Sylvan Mir from LL Raand's Midnight Hunt which is part of The Midnight Hunters Series. She is one sexy wolf.

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  50. Sylvan Mir gets my vote - she's the sexiest alpha. No contest.

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  51. Cast my vote for Sylvan Mir also! LL Raand's Midnight Hunt novel. Sylan is the main character so that is in her favor already, Elaine in Tampa

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  52. Jolie Garoul from Gill Mcknights Ambereye

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  53. Sylvan Mir from L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series.

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  54. Sylvan Mir from LL Rand's Midnight Hunters Series.

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  55. I would have to vote for Sylvan Mir from LL Rand's Midnight Hunters Series...Love it

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  56. My vote is for Sylvan Mir and no I am not a spammer. If you read L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series you would most likely agree with me. I think everyone who has read the series would agree and vote for THE Alpha. Why is it automatically assumed I am a spammer along with the many others who voted for Sylvan, that seems unfair.

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  57. Sylvan Mir from LL Rand's Midnight Hunters Series.

    btw what is alt-spamming?

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  58. Sylvan Mir from LL Raand's MIdnight Hunt series. Absolutely!

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  59. Sylvan Mir from L.L.Raand's Midnight Hunt series. You will be hooked!

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  60. I vote for Sylvan Mir, the wolf Were Alpha from L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series.

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  61. While I do have a soft-spot for Wolf-Girl in "The Company of Wolves," my vote is for Brigitte Fitzgerald, all the way.

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  62. Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series...but from this list, Kitty Norville.

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  63. Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Barring that, Kitty Norville.

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  64. Sylvan from LLRaand 's Midnight Hunt series!

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  65. My vote's for Sylvan Mir from LL Raand's Night Hunt

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  66. Jolie Garoul from Amberye. She can growl at me any day!

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  67. Sylvan Mir,from L.L. Raand's MIDNIGHT HUNTERS series

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  68. L.L. Raand's series: MIDNIGHT HUNTERS : Sylvan Mir
    (Rad fan from Singapore)

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  69. This is a very tough choice. I enjoy writing about female werewolves because there is a masculinity associated with transformation and state of mind. Hannah has clearly defined the angst and frustration Leah Clearwater is going through on top of being drawn into a world she wanted no part of, something Kelley Armstrong's 'Elena' character also deals with in the earlier books. But where Elena gets the hero, her place as Alpha, and her 'mini-weres', Leah is left with no choice but loneliness and duty.

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  70. I'll continue the write in campaign for Vivian from "Blood and Chocolate."

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  71. Megan from Dog Soldiers is my pick (though if we take from novels, Laurell K. Hamilton has a slew of noteworthy female weres!)

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  72. Its hard to choose, but I do love the Wolf Girl in The Company of Woods.

    I just found you blog, this is very cool!

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  73. Absolutely, Sylvan Mir from LL Rand's Midnight Hunt series - beyond the beyond

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  74. The Wolf Girl, Megan and Nina are all excellent but I think it has to be Kalix from Lonely Werewolf Girl.

    And what's with the Raand ballot stuffing?

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  75. jolie garoul gets my vote. she's definitely intriguing in this not-quite-alpha lone wolf kind of way. she sounds so beautiful and strong as a wolf that it makes it even more endearing that she's written as someone who's socially awkward and it makes her seem so funny. :)

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  76. I'd vote for Marie Williams from High Moor - but as that's my own novel, I should really choose someone else. Either Elena Michaels from the Otherworld series, or Laura from Thomas Emson's Maneater and Prey novels

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