There’s characters we click with, one we see as misunderstood…and then ones we wish we could smack. But this topic shows the “unlikable” characters we love. The reasons we like these characters do differ with others, since we have different preferences. These people are ones I love for their complexity, quirks or other reasons. These are in no order like always 🙂
1. Clariel from the Old Kingdom series
I’ve seen many complaints about this title character in the fourth book in this amazing series. She’s selfish, absorbed and doesn’t care about anything happening around her. All she wants to do is live in the forest for the rest of her days with no romantic attachments. But we can’t have every character in a series be like the first character. Yes, Clariel is vastly different from Sabriel and Lirael. But I liked that she was different. She showed that someone, while selfish for one goal, can become obsessed and selfish over another thing when given the right opportunity. This is a cautionary tale worth reading 🙂
2. Vin from the Mistborn trilogy
Yep, some people just don’t like the titular heroine in this epic trilogy. She’s sometimes reckless, reserved, has conversations with someone whose not there just to name a few things. But her circumstances actually show how she is and they’re realistic. She was abused by her brother, forced to fend for herself and feels confused and lost with the unfolding story. But Sanderson gives her time to truly grow in a natural way and allows her to form someone who had no idea of the potential within her. She tries to overcome her past and the fears of what comes in this series and that’s why I love her so much.
3. Evie O’Neill from The Diviners series
She drinks, lies to people she cares about, parties recklessly and sometimes ignores important details in her daily life. But she’s hiding a few things that she doesn’t care people to know. This young flapper girl does appear stupid, annoying and simple ignorant. But the first book alone shows an incredible character arc. With a gift that she doesn’t understand, she’s dragged into a mystery revolving around deadly occult murders. As the blood flies and screames go unnoticed, this girl rises and grows into a girl who digs into history, risks danger of a serial killer and stares death in the face. If you love seeing a great character arc, even if they seem stupid at first, this is one for you.
4. Laia from An Ember in the Ashes
Oh the whining and negative comments I hear about this main character still frustrates me. Yes, she’s not a cold blood killer and gets everything she wants. This girl is terrified of the Martial Empire and the soulless killers they’re becoming. Her brother gets sent to prison and she has to infiltrate a military camp and spy on the most dangerous woman in the city. She has every right to be afraid when she has no fighting skills or knowledge to manipulate or blend in the midst of danger. Sabaa Tahir has talked about how her own personal fear of growing up as a teenager. People didn’t like that her family was from a Middle Eastern country and said mean things or gave mean looks. When she started writing this book, she put that teenage fear into a character that has somewhat similar circumstances. Laia doesn’t change overnight, but instead makes gradual steps into someone fighting for freedom and gaining courage. This character can relate to many readers, who have their own fears for different reasons and I’ve loved her from the beginning.
5. Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files
This series isn’t without its complaints about Harry. People say he’s too reckless, too horny and doesn’t change very much in the series. But I disagree. Harry is someone whose been an orphan since a child and has endured things none of us will experience. He deals with dangerous, blood thirsty and plain vicious supernatural creatures. He uses his cocky attitude and unpredictable tendencies to use magic to keep his cool. He won’t let himself be exposed to his enemy. While some of his development takes a little bit, it’s worth every page. The things that blindside him are things Harry needs to step things up. He starts to realize how human he really is. I love his character; he doesn’t let his past keep him back from helping people. Plus, some of his reckless are pretty awesome. (Riding a zombie dinosaur for instance? Attacking the winter court with little provisions?)
What “unlikable” character do you like? What do you think of these characters if you’ve read these books/series?