Sunday, December 2, 2012
Best of 2012 (2): Antagonists
Everyone loves a good villain right? Well, on today's list I'm talking about the antagonists that rocked my socks this year! You see, I love characters. They may be trying to mess everything up and destroy the world (and such) but they're intriguing people in their own right. And they're have been some great ones this year!
10. Rennie Holtz
Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian (Read in 2012: Burn for Burn)
Rennie is the antagonist that pretty much everyone has had to deal with in their life. The pretty, popular mean girl who's goal in life is to make sure she's on top and everyone else is miserable. She was a vile girl and I spent the whole book hoping she got exactly what she deserved (and I'm usually not one for revenge)! She was cruel to everyone, including her supposed best friend. And what she did to her best friend was horrific. I was so livid at her. But that's what makes her a good antagonist. She made me feel so angry and upset and caused a lot of drama. She wasn't a protagonist I liked, but she was one that made me have the not-good-kind-of-feels.
9. Jonathan "Sebastian" Christopher Morgenstern
The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare (Read in 2012: City of Fallen Angels)
Every time Sebastian is on the page, my skin starts to crawl. He has this menacing air about him, something primally off and I can't help but be affected by him. Although not as calculating and intriguing as his father Valentine (who's one of my all-time favorite villains), Sebastian is villainous in his own way. He's purely evil. His soul was corrupted from day one and his purpose is to just destroy. It's a disturbing concept, and Sebastian is one twisted, messed up antagonist.
8. The Keepers
Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer (Read in 2012: Nightshade)
(Note: I have only read the first book in this series so no spoilers please!) I always love villains that think they're actually doing the right thing. It makes me feel livid much more than those that are acknowledging their devilish ways. The Keepers, the repressive, controlling governing group in Nightshade had me up in arms. They were self-righteous, corrupt, and made me want to chuck the book across the room. I'm sure I'll find out more horrors that they've done (as if the ones I already know about aren't bad enough) and be beyond angered once again. They were the type of villain that makes me excited for their downfall and ready to fight right alongside the protagonists.
7. Queen Levana
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Read in 2012: Cinder, Scarlet)
Oh, an evil Queen. One of those classic antagonists. Marissa Meyer puts a new spin on this character though, and the Lunar Queen Levana is not someone to trifle with. She's manipulative, vengeful, and ever so slightly terrifies me. She's always has a smug undertone to her words because she knows how to get what she wants. She may use her supposed beauty, her Lunar powers, or her position but she'll get what she wants and you will have a tough time stopping her. She was a terrifying force to be reckoned with and one of my favorite antagonists this year.
The Mythos Academy Series by Jennifer Estep (Read in 2012: Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost, Dark Frost Crimson Frost)
Okay, so chaos-god worshipping, distorted mask wearing, murderous zelots are basically what Reapers are. And man, do they cause the chaos they intend to. I want to name a specific Reaper because said person made me yell out loud and want to reach into the book and punch them senseless but that would be a spoiler and we all know how I hate those. Said Reaper, and pretty much all Reapers do horrific things all throughout the Mythos Academy series in the name of the chaos god, Lokki. They are no small time villains but ones that have murdered for years and affected everyone in these books. They are a crafty, disturbed bunch and a powerful antagonist.
5. The People of Heart
Incarnate Trilogy by Jodi Meadows (Read in 2012: Incarnate)
I talked about this in my Incarnate review, but I'll mention it again. In a novel about souls, and in a town that prides itself on love and generosity, the hatred and judgement harbored by those "pure souls" is staggering. They were people who inflicted abuse and pain, yet held themselves in high esteem. The people of Heart are a different kind of antagonist because they hurt with their words and their rejection as opposed to violence. They're not trying to destroy the world, but the one person that doesn't fit their mold. It was tragic and horrible to watch which is why they made my list of antagonists.
4. Mayor Prentiss
The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (Read in 2012: Monsters of Men)
Mayor Prentiss is another one of those people who think what they're doing is right, which makes them all the more terrifying. Mayor Prentiss is ruthless, egotistic, and willing to do whatever it is to gain power. And one of the most terrifying parts of him is that he uses this thoughts to destroy. He turns the weakness of his planet, the Noise, into a source of strength. And when you're thoughts aren't safe, what is? With a constant smirk, and a savage attitude, Mayor Prentiss strikes fear into the people of New World and into the hearts of the readers.
The Gone Series by Michael Grant (Read in 2012: Fear)
What if you had to fight fear itself? A primal dark force that taps into what you fear most and makes it reality. That's what the gaiaphage is, and it has been an antagonist that has scared me from the first book. I'm genuinely scared of it. The horrific things it's done have haunted my nightmares, and have destroyed all of the kids of Perdido Beach in one way or another. I'm always worried about what the Gaiaphage will do next. From the whip hand, to the coyotes to the bugs, the Gaiaphage has twisted everything good and pure into something horrible. And for that, it's one of the top antagonists of this year.
2. Avari Hellion of Greed
The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent (Read in 2012: Before I Wake)
Well, Avari is a demon so you can already tell he's going to be the worst of the worst. And he really is. The things Avari has done...terrible doesn't even being to describe it. And he never stops. Even when the crew stops his plans, he always comes back swinging with something even worse than before. He constantly causes destruction, both physical and psychological and levels an eleven on the creepy scale. His black gaping eyes, his ability to invade people's bodies and his constant greed just add to his terrifying package. I'm sure he'll scare me even more in last installment. He's a demon after all, and demons are always ready to destroy.
1. Nothing "Dark Inside"
Dark Inside Trilogy by Jeyn Roberts (Read in 2012: Dark Inside)
And for my favorite antagonist I read about this year, I chose the one that frightened me, haunted me, and made me truly look inward and think "What if?". Imagine every horrible, vengeful thought you've ever had being how you think regularly. If you had no moral compass, no sense of right and were completely dominated by those dark thoughts. It's a petrifying thought, and Nothing was a monstrous antagonist. I remember reading the first two pages of Dark Inside and gasping. I was scared to my core, and some completely intrigued. The best part about this antagonist is that it's us. It's people being controlled by their worst thoughts and it could happen to any of us. That's what was the most disturbing because it wasn't some outer evil force but our own inner thoughts. Jeyn Roberts, you scared the wits right out of me and easily won my title of Best Antagonist of 2012.
Well, there it is! Agreed? Disagree? Have a few to add? Let me know! And check out tomorrow's list for my favorite love interests!
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)