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Friday, November 3, 2017

THE BEST OF THE WORST -- My Favorite VILLAINS | Renegades Blog Tour

If you followed along with me last month for #30DayBookBinge, you'll know that I spent a good chunk of the month reading Marissa Meyer's Renegades. This take on superheroes is due out next week, and I'll be sharing my thoughts on it then, but TODAY. . . today, we're taking a look at some of my absolute faves, inspired by the Renegades.

Scratch that.


It's no secret I love a good villain, so today I'm gonna play favorites and share my top picks for love-to-hates and hate-to-loves to ever have graced the page.

Starting with  my favorites, the *technical* villains whom I actually really (not so secretly) love.

Elphaba, Maleficent and probably many, many other villains who've had a redemptive story arc, something that explains why they are they way they are. Are they misunderstood? Has their "villainous" image been manipulated by outside influences? Are they secretly good, or actually a tragic hero? I wanna know, I am always here for that.

Along those same lines, shout out to Victor Vale, the villain / anti-hero of Vicious, and all other "mad scientist" types who are doing the wrong things for the right reasons. I love me some gray area, yo!

Merricat Blackwood.
So, spoilers, I guess, but I think, if you ever pick up We Have Always Lived in the Castle (and you should), you'll catch on pretty quickly to the fact that all is not right with Ms. Mary Katherine Blackwood. Merricat is one of my favorite characters of all time, and though the things she does are certainly not okay, the way she tells them. . . well, she's a favorite for a reason.

And one last villain I just love to love, and probably the reason for all of the other sympathetic villains I've loved over the years, and that one is. . . um, Satan?
Hear me out.
Anyone familiar with Paradise Lost will know where I'm going with this; lit nerd that I am, I've always loved a good dynamic, complex character to sink my teeth into, and Byronic heroes give us that in spades. Hell, you probably could have figured out from the few I've listed so far -- I have a type. The fallen angel, the misunderstood, the cursed -- I wanna get to the bottom of their stories.

And now for a few that I just truly love to hate.

Severus Snape, Dolores Umbridge, Lucius Malfoy . . . shall I go on?
Obviously there are a lot of excellent villains in Harry Potter. But I'm not talking about the obvious Villain Who Must Not Be Named; rather the every day, attainable regular ol' people who casually inflict damage just because they can. And though there are few characters I hate more passionately than Umbridge, the rosy-colored, Alan Rickman-shaped glasses people wear in regards to Snape has made me even more critical of just what an unlikeable, mean-spirited douchecanoe he actually was.

The Bitches of the Classics. Mrs. Norris. Lady Catherine. Mrs. Reed. Hansel & Gretel's stepmom. . . All of those many, many women of the classic staples who had a chance to be welcoming and caring and motherly, and instead to every opportunity to torment and lord their power over the powerless heroines of the books.
And yes, we've talked about these "ladies" a time or ten around here.

So many Shakespeare villains, but especially Iago. This perfect specimen of fragile ego combined with a manipulative malicious streak a mile wide makes for a perfect storm of heartache. That we can see these traits in people now, in real life (in our families, our neighborhoods, our governments), and know the havoc they can wreak in a very tangible way, makes Iago all the more insidious and believable as the master villain he is.

My villains and anti-heroes list could fill a book long enough to spawn new villains and anti-heroes, but I'll stop there.
What are some of YOUR favorite villains and anti-heroes -- whether you love to hate them, or hate how much you secretly love them?  Let me know in the comments!

And keep an eye out for my review of Renegades! If you can't wait until then, perhaps amuse yourself with the Renegades website, where you can listen to the audiobook, take a quiz to determine your special power (mine's water, which is exactly what I'd expect, tbh), and pick a side.
Choose wisely. . .

RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer
576 pages; Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


  1. Oh yes! Some times the villains are the most fascinating characters in the stories.

  2. "The Bitches of the Classics" yessss! On an unrelated note I noticed that all of the actresses who stared them in the movies did make a great job! The accent helps too I guess but their acting is really gold.

  3. Iago, ugh...*shudders* Like you said, there are villains aplenty in Shakespeare, but Iago really is the lowest of the low. He's so ruthless.

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