V is for (Books About) Villains #atozchallenge

For A to Z 2018, my theme is Books About ____. If you’re stopping by from your own A to Z blog, feel free to leave a link. If you need help with how to do that, you can look here.

If you’re someone looking to read a lot of great blogs, here’s the link for the A to Z challenge.

I do love a good villain, one with their own story, who you can even sort of understand and root for. So many villains are one-dimensional and boring. When they’re not, they’re often the best part of the book.

Hannibal Lecter in Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, by Thomas Harris (horror): I loved Hannibal Lecter the moment he said he liked eating the rude. I think of that often in the grocery store. He appealed to me because of how manipulative he was, like a chess master, using people as the pawns. These books would not have been as good with a lesser villain.

Gavin in Fearscape, Horrorscape, and Terrorscape, by Nenia Campbell (YA horror): Before I get to the review part, I need to be honest about these books. The first one was fantastic, but quality went downhill as they continued. I still liked them a lot by the last one, but the last two would have benefitted greatly from better editing. (I think the second two were self-published. If they were ever re-edited and re-released, I’d definitely buy them.) Okay, so anyway… Gavin is a creepy stalker who develops an interest in Valerian, despite her friends telling her to stay away. I loved these books because they didn’t make the bad boy turn good with the influence of the right girl. He is a creep and that doesn’t change.

Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey (classic): There’s nothing worse than someone who’s awful to people in their care. That’s one of the things that makes Nurse Ratched one of the evilest characters of all time. She’s a control freak, among other things, and McMurphy and his chaos are perfect foils for her. It’s a classic story.

Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain (horror): In my mind, there’s nothing better than a female villain (done well), and Gretchen is one of the perfect ones. She’s a serial killer who’s also a psychologist. She manipulates her way into working with police and then tortures the police detective in charge. Instead of killing him, she then lets him go and turns herself in, professing her love for him. But it turns out that it was all another manipulation, and she keeps manipulating him from jail, Hannibal Lecter-style. There’s a second book I haven’t gotten to, mostly because I didn’t know it existed. It’s now on my TBR.

Who are your favorite villains?