Today’s Top 5 Tuesday is ‘villains more interesting than the hero’. Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the super lovely Shanah over at the Bionic Bookworm. You can visit her here, and join in for Top 5 Tuesday by checking out all the amazing topics we have coming up!
Hmmmm… THIS is going to be fun!
Basically all Holly Black books tick this box. Not that I find the heroes boring, just that the seeming ‘bad guy’ (initially) is usually more fun! Although, they also mostly turn out to be the secret hero too, so maybe they don’t actually fit this prompt… Although, they’re probably more antihero than “secret hero”, and they’re all so morally grey that it’s a wonder they’re not charcoal to look at. But Roiben, Ravus, Severin and Cardan are all bad in their delightfully wicked ways. Although, the girls are kind of nothing in comparison to these guys. Kaye, Val, Hazel and Jude are all special in their own way, but the boys come with a streak of mean or cruel that’s kind of thrilling.
Now, I have to be brutally honest here. a) I haven’t read War Storm yet. King’s Cage made me want to pop my own eyes out with boredom, but I got War Storm anyway. And, b) I like Maven as a character. Cal and Mare are so boring and vanilla and all Mare does is whine that this series kind of bores me. It’s really interesting actually to go back and read my earlier reviews when I’d just come out of my reading glow and was all “ah! I hope they get together”, and now that I’ve read darker, bloodier books I’m all about the torture and what not.I mean, yes, Maven has done despicable things, but at least he’s entertaining!
I love AIDAN as a character. I loved it way more than Frobisher (she was boring), but AIDAN was really the star of the show here. Despite kind of being “good”, as opposed to “evil” (these terms have no concept or basis for it, hence the quotation marks), and I found the logic process AIDAN went through fascinating. I mean, technically it was merciful. There are certainly worse things that could have happened. The probability definitely showed that. And what better way to make humankind question everything it believes in, than by showing it probabilities and leaving the decisions in the ‘hands’ (haha) of an AI?
I’m going to get a lot of side-eye for adding these two books here, so I will explain immediately. I don’t think that Kaz and co are the heroes of this tale. I don’t necessarily believe that there are heroes in this story, which doesn’t technically mean that everyone is a villain either. There are a lot of victims in this story. Characters that have horrible things happen to them, some of which deserve them, and others that don’t. But definitely no heroes, which makes the villains very interesting (because no one is keeping them in check… except maybe Matthias).
I am actually really struggling to find more villains that are MORE interesting than the heroes. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of antihero stories, maybe it’s because I prefer morally grey characters (and let’s be totally honest, none of them are heroes in anyone’s books) but that doesn’t make them the villain of the story either. Also, the heroes these days aren’t dashing and white-steeded and all those other boring tropes. They have personality. If I was forced to choose one more, I’d probably say Harry Potter, but knowing that would get me lynched by a mob makes me hold my tongue. However, I also wouldn’t necessarily say that Voldemort alone was the villain for this story, as Snape holds those cards as well (and he’s super interesting!). Is Snape more interesting than Harry? YES! I think so anyway. Not that I’m listing this as my fifth option. At all. Ever. See? No pictures of the covers!
Happy reading 🙂