Happy Top 5 Tuesday!
I’m changing it up a little this week. I haven’t read a lot of books, if any, where I liked the villain more than the hero. I just tend to be a hero fan, especially reluctant heroes. SO, instead I’m going talk about main characters who are villains! They’re so much more interesting then a true villain, or a goody-two-shoes hero.
Here are five of my favorites.
Top 5 Tuesday was started by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm!
Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.
In the Downside Ghost series the main character isn’t really the villain, though she does struggle with addiction. In this series the villain is the Chess’s love interest! He’s a mobster, enforcer, and her drug dealer. Everyone is terrified of him, for good reason, and yet for some reason Chess (and ME) adores him! You can’t help but fall madly in love with him, despite his chosen profession!
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M Campbell
Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she’s been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father’s too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he’s not a hero in any way, or else he’s stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.
To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad’s “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city–despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights–thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she’s his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.
Damian Locke, aka Renegade X, was born and raised a villain. Literally. This is a superhero series. He comes from a literal family of villains. Yet, he’s our main character and he is very interesting. It’s especially entertaining when he finds out his biological father is a HERO and he’s forced to go live with them! A professed villain, forced to live with the worlds favorite hero family. Awesome.
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse. Just dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a burst of vibrant color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that R lives in. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world…
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead and the blurry line in between.
Warm Bodies main character is a Zombie. What’s more villainous than that? And it’s a romance novel. There’s never been anything like Warm Bodies, where the romantic interest is Undead. He eats people. I love him.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Every character in Six of Crows is a villain. They’re a crew of thieves, and yet they’re also one of the most entertaining group in YA fiction. I love the mercilessness of Kaz who acts like he doesn’t love his team, but you know that deep inside he does.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
Vicious is only about villains. That’s the point. This is a story about two villains who hate each other. Yet, the main character (as evil as he is) hooks you and you find yourself wanting him to win. His morals are self imposed, but at least he follows a code. That’s exactly how you justify your love for Victor.