It’s day three of the Top 10 of 2014 blog tour and today, we’re talking villains!
I love villains, I do. There’s something about a good villain – a pinch of vulnerability, a touch of madness, a bucketful of cleverness and a huge chip on their shoulder – that makes me shiver with excitement. A good villain means that my character is going to be even better, push themselves harder, sacrifice more to beat them; and if they don’t succeed the first time, all the better because I get more villain. Because when you get a villain done right, you end up with the person we love to hate.
My choices may not be the best, but they are my favourites! Here are my top ten villains (and antagonists) of this marvellous year, 2014!
Lillian from Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Lillian intrigued me. She was clearly not entirely evil – something had happened, something supposedly terrible, which had twisted her into the terrible person she was. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see too much of Lillian. (I can’t deny this strengthens my interest.) I like Lillian as a villain but she’s got a great mix of vulnerability and madness, and that’s always an interesting mix.
Adolf Hitler & Nazi Party from Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Because really, not many surpass him. More than this though, Hitler wasn’t a foggy picture of a man with a peculiar beard and his arm stretched before him. He was real, personable, likeable, even. To Gretchen he was an uncle, someone that she could trust with her life. When she uncovers his true nature, it’s even scarier because of how she related to him before. On a larger scale, it’s really the entire Nazi Party Gretchen goes against, and if one is scarier, an entire political party of them is heart-stoppingly formidable.
Marcus from Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard
Marcus was a great opponent for Eleanor and the Shadow-Hunters because he never let them get close to him. They might think they had him in their grasps, but he was always two steps ahead of him, calculations and preparations set. This really emphasized the seemingly futility of their battle against them. Even though we don’t see too much of him, his cunning and ruthless style makes him a true villain.
Regent Mordecai in A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus
This guy is brilliant. Oh. Wait, no, this character is brilliant. I’m actually a little scared of him, like I fear he will find a way off the page and into my hometown and then dear goodness, what would we do? He’s just… scary. My fear has paralyzed my tongue, so let me leave you with this illustrative example:
Lift her head higher that I may watch her eyes – first as the scalp is peeled from the head of this Gypsy cockroach with whom she so brazenly defiled herself, and thereafter as her life’s blood drains from the mortal wound that you shall presently inflict upon her pretty white throat.”
In case you haven’t read this book, Bea is the main character. Yep, Bea, with her obsessive compulsive disorder is her own worst enemy, and let me tell you, she is a formidable opponent. There were times when I myself was scared of Bea, simply from the intensity of her thoughts and the frighteningly understandable and legitimate logic of her mind.
d’Albret in Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
First, this series is amazing. If you’ve ever wanted to read about assassin nuns (don’t lie, I know you have), this is the book for you. This is a book for everyone!
I digress. d’Albert in Dark Triumph was a great villain not so much towards the duchy and the political affairs happening, but to Sybella. He’s all up in her way and his sheer existence is antagonist to the lovely and tortured nun. He’s cruel, vicious, and cunning, and he makes exceptions for none – not even his family.
Adelina Amouteru in The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Here’s another MC who’s the villain. Adelina is a villain towards herself, but in The Young Elites we see it more towards others. Or perhaps villain isn’t right here, because she doesn’t do too many bad things, but she’s definitely not a hero – she’s an antagonist. There’s a whirlwind of darkness in her, and her very strength comes from that blackness. In short: she’s amazing. If you’re looking for the ultimate anti-hero, Adelina is your girl.
Queen Levana in Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I just finished Cinder and I’m a little entranced by Queen Levana. I kind of like her, she’s just fascinating. She’s ruthless in her schemes and tricks, absolutely unfeeling in her considerations of others, and determined to get her own way. Perfect. She’s witty and quick, and I can tell I’m going to enjoy getting to know the Queen of the Lunars.
Warner in Shatter Me by Tahreheh Mafi
Warner is creepy. He is, really, but it’s the kind of creepy you have to watch as you eat popcorn. He rules by fear, which makes for very interesting demonstrations of power, but he’s also got that classic vulnerability. It’s not evil for the sake of being evil, but being evil as a lifestyle, thinking that that’s what is going to get you your greatest happiness. This makes Warner one of the best kinds of villains: the ones who will never stop until they’ve been wholly eradicated because it’s literally what they live for.
Maura in Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
This girl left me shaking in rage, grinding my teeth. She was an insipid, immature, horrible, bratty little girl and I wanted to twine my fingers in her curly red hair and yank. She enraged me to no end, she was such a burden to the MC, Cate, and I would have had her skin for the things she did. At the time, I phrased it as such:
I wanted to cast a spell on her that would permanently shove her butt into her mouth so she could personally taste the crap that she was spewing. I could not believe the things she had the audacity to say and do and I wanted to yank her corset strings until she dropped into a dead faint.
I still feel the same way.
Visit me again tomorrow for my Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2014 (P.S. They’re all super swoony)