Villains we love to hate?
No, I’m pretty sure I hate them. And the “L” word has no place in this post! I wish these villains a slow, painful death. But why? Damn good writing is your answer.
Villains make trouble for our main characters. They also kill or seriously wound side characters we almost loved, and some we didn’t give two shits about, but dammit… now we do. Because we needed another reason to hate on the villain and create pay-back and/or killing scenarios in our heads.
Getting back to my “it’s the writing” comment. There are a thousand and one different things that make up an excellent villain. For me, to make the villain believable, you need two things; unpredictability, and being able to (most of the time) out smart the main characters I love.
If those two things aren’t there, well, so you’re a dude with a grudge who is not nice. *yawn*
And therefore something else in the story is lost; Stakes. If I don’t believe that the villain is psycho and cunning enough to really, truly cause my peeps harm… then I’m bored. Worse! I nit-pick everything. Suddenly the protagonist is a total dumbass. And the hero is good for nothing more than the kissy-face scenes. And even those don’t do it for me now.
I love me a vicious, calculating, delusional villain. Here are a few of my favorites. And please, if you have a few that aren’t listed here… by all means give them a shout-out in the comments below.
Blake from the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
What a douche.
Blake is a new kid in town. California surfer, throw-back T-shirt wearing, I-don’t-care-about-my-hair-but-yeah-I-know-it’s-perfect hair, and he’s mysterious.
I liked Blake at first. I thought — Oh yeah! What is Daemon going to do with this guy who has the hots for Katy? Here we go, a delicious love triangle I get to fret over!
And what’s this? He’s… not… normal?… oh God! Ha, ha, ha! Now we are on a new and yummy level! Blake has powers! So– Blake hotness taken up a few notches, Katy’s blind trust, and one pissed off Luxen who refused to make Katy his girl. Oops.
Aside from the love-triangle drama are the “real” problems. Keeping alien secrets, making sure the government agency that controls the Luxen don’t find out Katy was changed when Daemon healed her… and oh, yeah. The enemy alien race is after them all.
Well, crap. It all sucks. To make matters worse, Katy can’t control her new powers.
Powers… that seem… just like Blake’s. And guess who swoops in to save the day? Yep, Blake.
But hold up
Daemon doesn’t trust him. My douche radar is up too…
Then it happens, betrayal on a crushing level. Death, kidnapping, secrets exposed. But Blake has a reason. He too was healed by a Luxen. And once a Luxen heals a human they are tied together. If one dies, so does the other. Blake’s other half is held captive by the agency and tortured as a way to blackmail Blake into doing what they want.
And they want Katy.
Side note: I hate Blake on so many levels that Katy & Daemon’s rationale for NOT killing Blake (his other half will die) doesn’t even fly with me anymore. In my mind, I’ve made it ok, cause maybe, I don’t know, he’s on life support or whatever. It’s possible.
Valentine from The Mortal Instruments Series
This Shadow Hunter takes delusional to a whole new level of, GTFO!! He did what!!??
We meet Valentine in City of Bones. I love what Cassandra Clare did with Valentine… he had been talked about, fretted over, and finally, FINALLY we meet him. By this point I’m so jacked up over him, that when he drops the twist of all twists on Clary and Jace…
*can’t mention his name without a pic. *
I believed Valentine. He is so sick and evil, he would totally do what HE SAID HAPPENED after Jace was born.
Many books later and my hatred is like nothing I’ve felt before while reading a book. What he did to Jace by the lake… the look on Jace’s face (VALENTINE RAISED HIM AS HIS OWN!)… Clary laying helplessly by (paralyzed) & WATCHING! She couldn’t talk! Valentine took her voice too with his demonic spells and runes! SHE COULDN’T EVEN CALL OUT TO JACE!
Oh. My. God.
WORST FRICKIN’ 20 MINUTES SPENT READING… ever. The anticipation was maddening, I was hysterical, and literally made deals with God in my head for it all to work out.
Have any of you seen the movie?? Jace on the motorcycle in leather pants!!! That is all. 🙂
Abaddon from Fallen by Laury Falter
I talked about Maggie in the Badass Chicks post.
I mentioned the Fallen that were after her. Well, meet Abaddon, their leader. Straight -up psycho of the first order!!
Here’s one thing about the fallen in the Guardian Trilogy. The clock starts ticking the second the fallen die on Earth, because they will fall… again. And find you in minutes. *chills*
And his goal for hundreds of years? Maggie. The pleasure Abaddon takes in torturing Maggie, Eran, and the rest of their angel friends is just, well, it leaves you with a feeling that you don’t know how far it will go. The creep-out factor is at a level that I am certain with every turn of the page Abaddon will show AGAIN and sever wings or string up my precious Eran and watch as demon creatures take bites.
I love Eran! I love his cabin in Heaven by the lake.
I love how nervous he was when “human Maggie” (his wife in former lives) came to the cabin for the first time.
Abaddon is a sociopath, one with powers. As I stated in the beginning of this post, we need stakes!! AND boy, do you get ’em with this trilogy!
Ryker from Shadow of Wrath (Sins of the 7) by L.W. Patricks
What a f#cking bastard!!
Shadow of Wrath is a dark dystopia, but there are some paranormal elements in it. So, I’m calling it a cross-over. 😉
In this book it is kill or be killed for the children in Ryker’s arena. Like Hunger Games meet the Gladiator. The crowds bet, Ryker sets up boys for sure death to make sure the odds are in his favor.
In this world Ryker is in charge, and his delusional, psychotic ass actually thinks he’s doing it all for the greater good of every person who works for him, he enslaves, he kills. And let’s not forget the human trafficking.
Oh God, my hate for this guy… I would like to introduce him to my Louisville Slugger!
The one boy who he controls but can never fully get under his thumb, is Dog. Death Match survivor, friend to slave girl Allegra, and one way or another… Dog decides that Ryker will pay.
We come to the villain I couldn’t wait to tear apart before I got the interview questions back. So Kristin, who does reviews for this blog, was more than happy to do Brennus for this post. Then she sent it. It’s long. She cut the word count and it’s still long. 🙂 We cut a deal, she could keep THE WHOLE Brennus-hate session in here if she finally reads Divergent.
Here it is. THANK YOU SO MUCH Kristin!
We are first introduced to Brennus in book two of the Premonition Series, ‘Intuition’. Evie feels his presence before she even sees him and not in that heart fluttering butterflies in the tummy good way. No, what she feels is a bone chilling sensation that tells her something isn’t right. When she looks around for the source of this threatening (evil) presence she spots a tall “man” with short, black hair, pale skin and green eyes who is almost angelic looking. Heart pounding, wings twitching in her back, instincts telling her he’s not human. Armed with only a letter opener and the knowledge that she’s most likely f#cked, she makes a last ditch effort to escape. But like all obsessive stalkers, Brennus has other plans; he has her harpooned in a net, slices her Achilles tendon so she can’t run off and punches her into unconsciousness so he can drag her to his underground lair.
And this, my friends, is where s#it gets real. You’re either swooning or burning with rage over what Brennus does to Evie in the name of love (obsession).
Brennus makes it clear to Evie she will never be leaving and his undead people eating minions are instructed to stop her if she tries to leave. And the added bonus, she will be by his side, as his queen, for all eternity. (How nice of him to not give her a choice.) But first she must be turned into a Gancanagh. If she doesn’t give up her soul willingly, he’ll force it out of her by any means necessary. Evie, being the badass she is, flat out refuses. This act of defiance earns her another punch in the face and a nice set of shackles and chains. (Seriously, THIS is an act of LOVE?)
Now it’s time for Evie to be shown to her cell with no windows and a dirt floor where she will rest uncomfortably, without food and water, for days. When water is finally offered to her, Evie refuses to drink it; she’s wise to what Brennus is doing. (Fist pump). Once Brennus realizes Evie would rather die than spend an eternity with him, as an immortal monster, he replenishes her fluids via an IV and lets her out of her cell. She’s allowed to bathe, which of course, Brennus must supervise. (like a creeper). Once she’s clean, she’s relocated to Brennus’ bedroom where he so graciously rips off her underwear and dresses her in skimpy lingerie.
With nothing left of her dignity, Evie is now forced to “show her skills” by fighting one of Brennus’ minions. However, she is allowed to wear a pair of boxer briefs for this. Evie begs Brennus not to make her do this. Brennus chooses Keegan to fight for team Gancanagh. They are given knives and told to square off. Keegan slices her up good and vows to cut off her wings. Brennus watches. Evie, fearing for her life, slits his throat. While everyone is distracted by Keegan bleeding out on the floor, Evie makes a run for it but she’s caught before she can get away.
Evie, shaken by the fact that she killed someone, begs Brennus to help her. Does he offer her comfort? No. He bites her and drains her until she’s unconscious. When she wakes up she learns she will lust for the blood of the Gancanagh who bit her. This hunger? Yeah, it’s really, really painful. Evie, not wanting to be turned, refuses to knock back Brennus’ blood offering, thus choosing death. Brennus, the humanitarian he is, bites her again. Although this time, he’s generous enough to leave her conscious so she really feels the pain. It’s the final push over the edge. He finally broke her.
“When I bit her, it caused her extreme pain.”
“Yeah, ya love her—ya sick freak.”
Thank you, Russell. You took the words right out of my mouth. (exploding fist bump)
And this is just the beginning of Brennus’ efforts to claim Evie. As his obsession grows, his actions intensify and he will not rest until he has made Evie is his queen.