Hello lovelies! Today was another day of too many delicious things and cookies and spending time with 6 of my cousins and their boyfriends - Christmas, family, the works. It was fun :)
But let's shift to the topic at hand. Today is the third day of the Top Ten of 2012 event co-hosted by Rachel from Fiktshun, Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.
Day three means the participants can choose among several topics. Many of them fell flat for me because I read less than 10 books this year that would fit the description. I wavered between debuts and villains for a while, but eventually settled for villains because even though I'm very fond of a good villain, I never bothered to think about a top ten list before. Sometimes I find it even hard to identify any one villain. Maybe an antagonist or a group of them, but not a real villain. I also tend to side with the bad guys every once in a while...
Here are the top ten villains of books I read this year that I eventually came up with. It was much harder than I thought because sometimes the villain-ness is not quite clear. I think that is because I prefer books where the line between 'good' and 'evil' is not so clear cut...
- Avari from the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent
Avari is just purely evil. Not shred of good in him. He is greed personified. He wants Kaylee. And he stops at nothing to get her, no matter whose body he has to hijack or which of her loved ones he has to kill. And still I found him disturbingly intriguing at times.
- Jonathan / Sebastian from City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Clary's brother, the half-demon. This guy is sick. But again, fascinating. It's hard not to have some sort of passionate reaction to him. Plus, he's extremely intelligent and cunning, and I'm always drawn to guys with brains.
- Jake Tower from Rachel Vincent's Unbound series
I'm especially thinking of Shadow Bound here. What he has done to Kori is just unspeakably cruel. I hate his guts. What I like about him is that he is not necessarily motivated with the wish to do evil. He's more of a businessman - cunning and ruthless, going for the utmost efficiency and best way to control his bound subjects.
- Thiago from Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
I first wanted to go for the emperor's brother but couldn't remember his name for the life of me. I don't have the book with me to check. But actually Thiago, the white wolf, is the better villain because of his perfidity and manipulative wiles. I hated his guts from the beginning, hated his possessiveness of Karou and how he guilt-tripped her into working for his goals, how he kept her out of the information-loop. Terrible guy. Deserved what he got.
- Athena from Kelly Keaton's Gods and Monsters series
I thought Athena was a bit too stereotypical for a female villain in the first book and was glad to find her more complex in book two. She's the goddess of both war and wisdom, and I liked learning more about her past and where she was coming from. I still dislike her, but she's also a strong woman in a pantheon of misogynist, very patriarchal guys.
- Barron Sharpe and Zacharov from Holly Black's Curse Workers series
Depending on what book you choose, the villain sort of differs in this series. There are never any clear lines, and that's something I really enjoy about Black's novels. I actually like both Barron and Lila Zacharov's father. Zacharov is ruthless, but he's looking out for his family and subjects. I had the impression that he actually likes Cassel - doesn't mean he wouldn't kill him if he felt it necessary.
Barron is also a bad guy, especially for what he did to his own brother! But he's also somehow tragic because of all the blowback he has to deal with, the amnesia etc. I liked his wit and the wordfights between him and Cassel.
- Anna, from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
This is again a strange case. Is or isn't Anna a villain? She's killed a lot of people, but she's not really evil. I thought she was pretty damn awesome in any case.
- Cole, from Brodi Ashton's Everneath
I liked Cole. He actually had some sort of personality. Then again, I tend to go for the bad boys. Was he a villain? Not sure. He abducted Nikki though and deceived her, but again I'm not sure whether his motives qualify him for a villain. I kept thinking that Nikki should just go with him. I mean her options were pretty bleak. I'd rather go back and be Cole's queen then die miserably and painfully in the Tunnels.
- Cam, from Lauren Kate's Fallen series
I read book 1 - 3 this year and depending on the installment, Cam comes across as more or less of a villain. I liked him. At the beginning, I actually much preferred him to Daniel both in looks and personality. Then there was a period when I thought he was a really mean and evil guy, but then I was fond of him again. He never hid things from Luce the way Daniel did, and he actually has a sense of humor.
- Vivian from Kiersten White's Paranormalcy
I've only read the first book in the series so I have no idea how this develops, but I liked Vivian's spunk. She and Evie are two sides of the same coin. I don't think Viv actually got that much 'screentime' but I remember her as strong, slightly psychotic, but also intriguing and potentially vulnerable. I read the book quite a while ago and under strange circumstances though, so my memory is a bit fuzzy.
What do you guys think of my pics? Did I forget anyone obvious? Or do you disagree vehemently with one of my picks? Suggestions of books with great villains are also very welcome ;)