Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Feature … Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books that Feature … Characters.

The Best Villainous/Morally Grey

Everyone loves villains, there’s a whole anthology devoted to them now. When I saw this week’s open prompt the first thing that came to mind was villainous characters, or more specifically morally grey characters who could never be called heroes but are just out for themselves and make no apologies for what they need to do to achieve their goal. There are some brilliant ones in the books I’ve read, and this is my chance to feature my top ten.


Top Ten Tuesday #78

AIDAN
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

It’s hard to say where AIDAN fits into this list. As an artificial intelligence program on the Alexander AIDAN did some horrific things to the few to keep the majority safe. All it’s scenes in Illuminae were favourites of mine, and I loved the glimpses of it we got in Gemina as well.


Mia
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Mia wants revenge, and she is willing to do horrific things to achieve her end goal. She knows what she needs to do to succeeded at the Red Church and she isn’t going to let anything stand in her way. She is confident and cocky at times, determined, and powerful thanks to her Darkin abilities.


Khalid
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Although Khalid is the hero of this story it’s hard to fully side with someone who killed hundreds of his wives before Shazi came into his life. Eventually we discover the reason for the deaths, but does that make the things Khalid did better?


Kaz and the Dregs
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz and his crew are my favourite characters on this list. I don’t think they could ever be called ‘heroes’, they’re too far on the wrong side of the law and they’re all in the heist for whatever promised reward awaits them at the end, but they’re all incredibly developed characters.


Jaxon
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I was never sure where Paige stood with Jaxon. He always seems to have something up his sleeve, and never seemed to trust anyone with his plans. Of course after the ending to The Mime Order we got more information on Jaxon’s past, but still no idea where his future plans are going.


Lada
And I Darken by Kiersten White

Like Mia Lada is a character with her end goal in sight, who isn’t going to let anything or anyone stand in the way of what she wants. Her actions are dark, brutal and unapologetic, but she isn’t afraid of what she has to do to claim Wallachia once again.


Holland
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The development Holland went through throughout the whole series was incredible, he ended up being one of my favourite characters by the middle of A Conjuring of Light. Holland is not a hero, but in the end everything he did he did for White London, and to survive.


Victor
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The fact that I’m sneaking two V.E. Schwab books in this list this week just goes to show how much I love her books. Victor is the very definition of what I was going for in this list. His whole plot is about revenge and it’s only in seeing the story from his eyes we cast him in a different role.


The Woods
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Can a villain like the Woods be classed as a morally grey character? The way Novik wrote the Woods in Uprooted make them feel more like a character than simply a setting . There’s so much fear and power surrounding the Woods, it’s so easily to be corrupted by it, but how can you defeat a forest?


The Zeroes
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

I’ve seen Zeroes likened to Misfits, and in my mind it’s an accurate comparison. Scam and his friends are never going to be heroes; they have these powers and they use them for their own benefit, they study what they can do but they usually end up causing more harm than good.


So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what you picked for this week’s themed free-for-all, or who your favourite villainous/morally grey characters are.

Advertisements

84 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Feature … Characters

  1. Gosh, this is one post where there’s the most books I’d want to or have read so far! AIDAN is awesome and I’m glad to see him on it. Schwab’s books are definitely on my TBR as well. Six of Crows.. well.. ❤ ❤ ❤ Great list, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are some incredible books, honestly I almost feel like this could be a list of my top ten favourite books. 😀
      I couldn’t write this list without featuring AIDAN, and oh I really hope you love Schwab’s books Lashaan, she’s one of my all-time favourite authors. 🙂
      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes, this is a VERY good list. Aidan confused me so much. He was so wicked, but he was an AI, so it’s hard to decide whether or not to truly hate him or to just hate the way he was programmed. Also, he had so much character and charisma. I loved reading his chapters. They were so lyrical at times! And of course you know how much I love Kaz and the Dregs. They’re all my favorite criminals in a city filled with criminals LOL. Holland was a fantastically written character. It was hard to rebuke him for his actions. All he did was for his home and his people, so it was kind of hard to place him in a black and white context. He’s one of my favorite characters, though! Who doesn’t love an anti-hero? As for Lada, she’s a badass and I love her. 100% agree with your choices. Great post as usual, Beth! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia. 🙂 Yeah I get what you mean, I do think most of what AIDAN did was just the way it had been programmed, but at the same time it started to develop beyond its programming which was really interesting to read, and part of why I liked AIDAN as well. 🙂
      Ahh Six of Crows is amazing. I couldn’t do a post about morally grey characters and not include the Dregs.
      I think Holland is the best morally grey character I’ve read. He got his redemption arc at the end and it was incredibly well written and just made me fall in love with his character even more. I love the anti heroes as well, and yes Lada is 100% badass.
      Thanks so much Azia. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, when AIDAN started going haywire was when I really started enjoying his chapters. They became much more poetic.
        I was so happy for Holland’s shot at redemption. He definitely deserved it. His ending was tragic but so fitting. I wonder if Schwab would do a story about Holland someday! That’d be amazing 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly, and it seemed like there was more development to AIDAN, like it become more of a character and less of a machine you know?
        Same, 100% the same. I’m also glad that he was never redeemed through dying. Instead it was his actions that redeemed him and in the end he got to see White London again, you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, I definitely agree 😀 AIDAN was so far beyond his original programming that it was easier to understand (and at times accept) his way of thinking. To be honest, AIDAN is the most developed character in the series so far haha.
        Yup! Actions speak louder than words and Holland’s actions spoke very loudly. Great ending. Sad, but great 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. JK:EQOFIJEKFJSLDFJ MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS ARE MY FAVORITE KIND. ADIAN is my life, honestly. I can’t wait for Obsidio because I just need more AIDAN. Also Holland HÖEWFOIEJÖF LOVE. GAHD and Kaz and Mia. These are all some of my very favorites. WHYY DO I LOVE MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS SO MUCH

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re definitely more amazing than the straight up heroes and villains right? 🙂 Oh same here, I’m hoping we get more AIDAN in Obsidio than we did in Gemina, there just wasn’t enough. 🙂
      Holland, Kaz and Mia are some of my favourites (then again all ten on this list are my faves). Gotta love a flawed character right? 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love antiheros and morally grey characters, but I haven’t read many of these books yet. I’ll have to add them to my tbr. I really enjoyed Illuminae, Six of Crows and Zeroes, it is interesting to have characters who aren’t just trying to save the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh if you love antiheros and morally grey characters then I’d definitely recommend these books. These are some of my favourite characters from some of my favourite books/series. 😀
      Yeah it makes a change doesn’t it? Having characters who are out for themselves rather than risking everything for the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Must agree with Lada and Mia… beacuse they’re the only characters I read about. But I loved them both, even if during the second book of Lada’s story I start to have problema with her because of moral reasons. There’re things I cannot really digest. While with Mia I’ve a pretty serene relationship

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well even if they are the only two you’ve read they’re amazing series. I cannot wait for the next book to be released for both. 🙂
      Lada did become much more brutal in Now I Rise, I think she’ll change once again in the third book. Did you enjoy the second book at least? Even though you had problems with Lada’s character?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a fantastic list, Beth! I tend to love more and more characters that are a bit, morally grey, as you put it there. It makes things so, so interesting to read. AIDAN is just so…well, he is so cruel ahah, but having the story from his point of view was SO interesting and made Illuminae even more of a thilling read, that’s for sure 🙂 I also loved Khalid so, so much ❤
    The two characters that would fit on this list, off the top of my mind right now, would probably be the main character in The Young Elites, I can't recall her name right now haha, and Xifeng, from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 😀 Yeah it’s also a lot more fun with morally grey characters because I don’t think you ever really know what they’re going to next. Heroes and villains you can count on to do what’s right/wrong, morally grey it could be anything. 🙂
      Definitely, AIDAN was one of those characters I connected with quickly because even though it’s actions were cruel at the same time I could see where they were coming from you know?
      Ohh, I haven’t read either of those but they are both high on my to-read list. Someone else mentioned about the main character from The Young Elites (Alina or something right?) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Definitely agree with Kaz and the Dregs.They are my absolute favorites.Holland is the best character out of Schwab’s books (next to August though).AIDAN was also interesting.I didn’t get the hype at the beginning but after reading Illuminae again, I can finally see the actions of AIDAN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh same here, the Six of Crows duology is one of my all-time favourite series and that’s largely because of the characters. 🙂
      I was actually going to include either Kate or August in this list, but thought maybe three Schwab books was a little too much! 😀 AIDAN for me was one of those characters I connected with from the start, I was always looking forwards to seeing how it changed and what it would do next in Illuminae. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally I think the Shades of Magic series and the Six of Crows duology are the best books on this list, so at least you’ve read the best even if you haven’t read them all. 😀
      By the time I finished A Conjuring of Light I didn’t even hate Holland anymore. God I’m still not over how the story ended for him!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The best is still to come. ACOL was my favourite of the trilogy. 🙂
        Ohh it’s a great duology to introduce you to fantasy then. For me I think it was actually Twilight that introduced me to YA fantasy, simply because I was getting into reading around the time it was released. 🙂

        Like

  8. Victor, most definitely, should be on this list. He is neither good nor bad. Although, same could be said for Eli. But I guess Eli is more crazy than anything. Haha. AIDAN too. I loved him. Funny how he appeared in GEMINA. i thought I’d lost him forever. Then there’s also Kaz and the crew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, he was actually the very first character I thought of for this list. I guess, and this is probably just because of the fact that the story was told from Victor’s POV, that Eli was more of a villain disguised as a hero. And kind of crazy like you said! 🙂
      Same, we may have only got a short scene with AIDAN in Gemina but it was a brilliant scene. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes to Holland! I’ve only read the first book of the trilogy, but even then he’s super morally grey. Like who is he really trying to help?? Is it all his fault?? What’s he really like?? I can’t wait to read more of him in the later two books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Holland gets even better in the second two books. 🙂 Seriously he’s now my favourite character because of his development in the third book (where you’ll get a lot of answers to all the questions you have about him as well!) Gah just talking about it makes me want to binge read the whole series all over again! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sydney. 😀 AIDAN is 100% my favourite character in The Illuminae Files (and based on the comments I’ve gotten on this post so far plenty of other people’s favourite as well) 🙂 I really can’t wait to see AIDAN in the third book now. Exactly morally grey characters are so much more fun to read than straight up heroes and villains! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I feel like ever since I started TTT I’ve been waiting for a chance to talk about my favourite morally grey characters and this was my chance! 🙂 They definitely seem more real, and I’ve found they’re so much more complex and almost better developed as well. Same here, I hope we get more from Kaz and I can’t wait to see more of Mia in the third book! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of realised that while writing this post. I kept wanting to write ‘him’ but in the book AIDAN is referred to as ‘it’ because it’s essentially a computer. Kind of messed with my mind a little. 🙂 But yes I can’t wait to see what happens with AIDAN in the third book! 😀

      Like

  10. YASSSS. I love this post, Beth! My favorite types of characters are the morally grey ones because they’re so interesting and complex and SO WELL-DEVELOPED. (Or they should be.) Kaz and his crew are definitely my favorite morally grey characters, along with Holland and AIDAN!! I also love Adelina from The Young Elites. ❤ Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much May! 🙂 Yeah they’re 100% my favourite characters as well maybe because I always find them more complex and well developed like you said. 😀
      Kaz and his crew are probably my ultimate favourite morally grey characters as well. I couldn’t possibly choose just one of them to feature in this post. Ohh I haven’t read The Young Elites yet but it’s on my to-read list and now I can’t wait to get started.
      Thanks again May! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Beth!

    I love these morally grey characters – they are much more interesting than your typical good or bad bloke 🙂

    I just started listening to the Illuminae audiobook – it is my first science fiction book in a long time so I am going through it very very slowly! Still, I am liking it so far! I just read my first scene with AIDAN – I’d thought that he was just a computer program, but it sounds like there is much, much more to him! Looking forward to seeing what happens next 🙂

    I absolutely love Holland! He is one of my favourite characters in ADSOM as well 🙂 I love his passion and dedication to White London, and he is only “morally grey” because he wants his own world to prosper. How is that any different from Rhy or Kell? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really are, I normally find when reading the morally grey characters end up being my favourites overall. 🙂
      Ohh I really hope you enjoy it in that case, and yes there is definitely so much more to AIDAN still to come if you’ve just reached the first scene with him. At the moment he’s actually my favourite character in that series. 🙂 You really have the best to come with that book, and the series as well I guess.
      Same here with Holland as well. His journey throughout the series was incredible. I agree with you there. If we were told the story from Holland’s perspective, rather than Kell’s and Lila’s, he would have been the hero wouldn’t he? 🙂 Really he is no different from Kell, just born in a different world where having magic means something more dangerous and deadly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AIDAN is definitely an interesting and mysterious character so far. I am getting used to reading sci-fi again haha- is it me or do I have to *think* much more compared to reading contemporary? :’)

        That’s exactly how I feel about Holland! He would be the hero in his own story 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. OMG yes to morally gray characters! They are the absolute best characters ❤ I don't mind goody two shoes or actual villains but anti-heroes, etc. are just on a whole other level.
    Awesome list, Beth! I can't wait to read some, if not most, of these books 🙂 (I did love Holland, but I still need to finish the third book before fangirling hahaha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really are, and I always find their stories more interesting to read than that of the heroes or the actual villains. 🙂
      Thanks so much Sophie, there were so many characters I could have added to this list I struggled choosing to be honest. And oh if you think you love Holland now just wait until you finish the third book! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.