Five powerhouse heroines from young adult science fiction

Sci-fi geeks everywhere (including us!) were gearing up for Jupiter Ascending, the newest film from the Wachowski siblings, only to find out that it’s been bumped from release this weekend. It might not be out until February 2015, but come on – it’s an epic space opera by the creators of The Matrix. We’d wait 10 years to see that.

The movie centers on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a lowly housekeeper who discovers she’s secretly the intergalactic heir to Earth. Soon there’s a bounty on her head, and the only one who can protect her is Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered soldier. If the movie is anywhere near as intense as the trailer, then this is going to be the biggest film of 2015:

Watching all that interplanetary ass-kicking got us thinking about other awesome female characters in sci-fi. There have been tons over the years (Princess Leia anyone?), but lately strong sci-fi heroines have been taking young adult novels by storm. We wholeheartedly approve of these tough leading ladies, which is why we’ve rounded up our top five picks for strongest heroines in young adult sci-fi novels:

Across the Universe1. Amy Martin – Across the Universe

Beth Revis’s Across the Universe series helped launched the new sci-fi trend in YA fiction, and brought us one of its strongest heroines – Amy Martin. Along with her parents, Amy is cryogenically frozen and transported to a new planet on a ship called Godspeed. She’s supposed to wake up 300 years in the future, but instead wakes up 50 years too soon, trapped on a spaceship with its own society, rules, and secrets. Amy has to adjust to her new life, even as she races to solve the mystery of who is killing frozen passengers. Throughout the series, Amy is tough and resilient and one of those heroines you can’t help rooting for.

Ruby Red2. Gwyneth Shepherd – The Gem Trilogy 

The Gem Trilogy is an international time travel series written by German author Kerstin Gier, and stars the very awesome Gwyneth Shepherd. Gwyneth never trained to be a time traveler – everyone thought her cousin Charlotte would inherit the secret family trait. So when Gwyneth starts jumping through time, she has no choice but to adjust to her new life. Gwyneth is one of those great heroines who starts out clumsy and awkward, but quickly reveals her inner courage and strength.

Cress3. Crescent Moon Darnel – Cress 

All the ladies in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles are strong sci-fi heroines, but Cress is definitely our favorite. Based on Rapunzel, she’s spent most of her life locked away in a space prison. But instead of allowing her isolation to defeat her, she becomes exceptionally good at hacking and programming. She’s definitely our kind of hero – the kind who kicks ass with more than just her fists.

Reboot4. Wren Connolly – Reboot 

Wren Connolly, Amy Tintera’s heroine in Reboot, was shot in the chest three times and died. After 178 minutes she came back, making her one of the strongest and deadliest Reboots. Not only is she already badass, but then she defies orders from the HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Cooperation) in the name of love. Tough and romantic – what more could you want?

These Broken Stars5. Lilac LaRoux – These Broken Stars

The Starbound series, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, tells the story of Lilac – a privileged girl on the spaceship Icarus who finds herself stranded on an unknown planet when the massive ship crashes. She’s one of only two survivors, trapped on a foreign planet that may be hiding secrets of its own. All she can rely on is her own strength and courage – making her one of our strongest sci-fi heroines.

Any strong sci-fi ladies we might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments!

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