5 Bookish Bad Guys I Love to Hate

3:11 PM

Just realized that 50 people follow this blog. Which, to me, is an insane amount. So, all you people are awesome. Just saying.

Staying in line with our theme this month, all about characters, I'm going to present you with some of my very favorite antagonists and/or villains from the (mostly YA) book world. There are lots of fictional Dark Lord baddies, of course, but the ones I'm going to show you today have motive, personality, cleverness, and perhaps the added bonus of being funny, because who doesn't like a witty villain?

Queen Levana 
The Lunar Chronicles 

Levana is a perfect example of my favorite kind of villain. She's absolutely wicked. She tries to kill children out of jealousy and uses her powers to emotionally and physically manipulate or abuse people when she finds it necessary. Granted, she's partly insane, but her choices are totally and completely her own, driven by a need for power. She has a tragic, rough backstory (as seen in Fairest) but it doesn't try to make you feel sorry for her or excuse her actions -- rather, it makes you more disgusted with her, although now you understand her actions. 

She's nasty through-and-through, but also clever and intriguing.


Who doesn't love a good villain? Like Levana, Steelheart -- as the book is named after -- falls right into the villain category. Supervillain, in fact. He's straight-up bad. Heck, the prologue introduces him as someone who walks in, pretends to save people from another baddie, and then turns everyone to steel and destroys them. Not the greatest guy. He's here because I love a good supervillain, and this is a classic example. Steelheart has no empathy -- he's out there for the power, for the destruction, all that good stuff. He doesn't have a personal grudge against our hero; he'll kill anyone and everyone who gets in the way. 

His powers and, consequently, his weakness, fuel the plot. How do you kill an invincible supervillain? How do you find his weakness? I won't spoil it for you, even though it's an important part of Steelheart's character development and I like the way it was done a lot. Steelheart does have weaknesses, and they tie in with his powers rather nicely. Despite being basically Superman turned evil with a dash of Magneto thrown in, he's just as human as everyone else. 

And since we're talking about supervillains... 

X-Men (Marvel) 

I am using this because Michael Fassbender is a lovely Magneto and
I do what I want. 
Magneto is my favorite antagonist ever. And yes, he's more antagonist than villain. He doesn't balk at killing our X-Men heroes, but he feels a sense of regret when he has to. He does what he does because he wants to protect his species, and he'll do anything to achieve that goal, including steamroll everything in his path. He has class. He helps the X-Men when they're working toward the same goal, rather than always opposing them no matter what. He does have some vague sense of morals, and he's been known to help his friends. In the comics he's usually with the X-Men, aiding them in whatever they happen to be doing. 

Also, I think we can agree that he has both the coolest and the most useful superpower of all time ever. 'Nuff said. 

Mason Starkey 

We'll call Starkey an antagonist even though I'm pretty sure he almost falls into the category of being a villain. Suffice it to say, this kid is severely disturbed. (I'd go so far as to call him a legitimate psychopath, actually.) He has no regard for human life, even with those close to him, and he's willing to go as far as to severely injure himself in order to achieve his goals and get to others. He's egotistical, hell-bent on revenge, and will and does constantly put the people around in him in life-threatening situations to aid himself. He's also charming and manipulative without restraint. 

There's a certain charm to Starkey. A certain energy. People are attracted to his fanatic quest for his own warped sense of justice, and he knows just what to say to them to seal the deal. A childhood of feeling abandoned and unwanted in a foster family, his goal warps into wanting to kill everyone responsible for cases like his and liberate those kids. When our protagonists try to intervene, he develops a deep hatred against them, too. Needless to say, he goes a little off the deep end. 

Opal Koboi 
Artemis Fowl 

Opal, too, is most definitely a villain. This woman is crazy. She's also a brilliant scientist with a ton of cool tech at her disposal, not to mention devoted minions. So, cool-but-creepy. She eradicates everyone in her way without caring, and is obsessed with her own status, appearance, and being treated practically like a goddess. 

As fun as she is, she would not actually make a very good world leader. 
'..."Peace be inside me, tolerance all around me, forgiveness in my path. Now, Mervall, show me where the filthy human is, so that I may feed him his insides."'

Honorable Mentions 
  • Smaug - The Hobbit 
  • Cassius au Bellona - Red Rising and Golden Son 
  • Drake - Gone (as much as I dislike those books, he's an admirable villain.)
  • The Commandant - An Ember In the Ashes 
  • Ultron - Marvel universe (hey, comics count as books!) 

Who are some of your favorite fictional villains and antagonists? What kind of villain do you like best? Comment away.


  1. YAS MAGNETO. He is right up at the top of my list of favorite antagonists. He's different from others in the best way possible. It's amazing. Also Starkey was freaky. Honestly he's probably the most messed-up character I've read about in a long time, and yeah, he's a psychopath. As much as I disliked him, I have to admire him a little because I do love a good, truly evil and messed up antagonist/villain. But I also am known to love the evil characters more than the good characters a lot of the time so... :P

    1. Magneto is actually the most fabulous and classy villain of all the villains and I aspire to be him should I ever turn to the vaguely dark side. XD
      *shudders* SAME. Starkey is absolutely horrifying, but I'm oddly fascinated.

    2. Magneto is my inspiration for villainy things.

      I think another antagonist that deserves mentioning is Wilson Fisk from Daredevil, because my gosh, he's evil but... in the creepiest sense of the way. Because he wants something that isn't necessarily bad, he has a normal life, but at the same time he's terrifying and I find it amazing and admire him. XD

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  2. Magneto! Oh, yes. He's suave and definitely has a lot of depth. In the movies, it's so interesting watching him and Xavier. Because they both think their way is the right way, and they're not angry with each other for choosing a different route. They're sadden by each other. They don't seem to enjoy being on opposite sides (though it does seem Magneto revels in the challenge, as he does all challenges).

    I've only read to Scarlet in the Lunar Chronicles, but Levena is quite repulsive to me. She definitely makes a good villain. Always so manipulative and heartless. But I will have to finish the trilogy before I can have a valid opinion of her.

    Also, (okay, she's from a TV series) there's Regina from Once Upon a Time. I just don't like her. But at the same time, I can't help feel for her and hope she turns around (I haven't even finished the second season). She would be such a cool good guy! But I really, really can't stand Cora. Eh, she's so controlling and manipulative (I'm seeing a trend, manipulative villains are the ones I love to hate. . .).

    1. Agreed -- they have one of my favorite relationships ever, just because it's so twisty and feelsy and complex and ugh, I really do love it to death. Although I have to say, Magneto is my favorite of the two. :D

      I've seen some Once Upon A Time, but not a lot, so I think I agree with you? She seemed like a good villain/antagonist.

  3. The chapter where Drake from the Gone series was up in the tower with the gun...
    I will never forget that.
    Oh, and I hate Starkey, but he is so well written that I almost can't hate him. The same goes for Steelheart.
    All those other antagonists sound pretty cool, too, but I've never read them.

  4. I've got to say, Queen Levana and Opal are definitely some super awesome villains! Starkey is also a great villain, but he made me so emotionally suffered that I honestly can't enjoy him because I'm so busy stressing. STRESSING I TELL YOU.

    1. SO MUCH STRESS. The whole last three books are basically just waiting for Starkey chapters so you can figure out what he's doing, and then coming away more worried and stressed and confused than ever before. Yikes.

  5. BUT I LOVE MAGNETO. Antagonist yes. But adorable antagonist who's been abused and unloved and just needs to be fed warm crumpets and understood. *nods*
    I kind of have mixed feelings towards Levana now. I mean I HATE HER STILL. Zomg, she's so warped. But she was so pathetic in Fairest...like she wanted someone to love her and she didn't know how so she forced them. That's freaky and scary, but SHE WANTED SOMEONE TO LOVE HER. *cries for Levana* I think villains are endlessly interesting.

    1. I KNEW YOU LIKED MAGNETO. Because we are twins like that and he's just your sort of antagonist, really. *high fives*

  6. Ergh, I hate the Gone books too. But Levana! And Magneto! I applaud your choices. Fairest was so...awesomely creepy.

    I really need to read those other books. Especially Steelheart.

    1. First of all, thank you, because everyone else I've talked to has liked those books and I...I have a hard time with Michael Grant's books in general, but eh. *shrugs and throws Steelheart at you*

  7. First of all, congrats on reaching 50 followers! Second of all, I hate Levana so much, and in fact, she's probably one of the most evil villains I've ever read. I've found that for me, manipulative villains are the ones that seem most evil because the way they toy with the minds of people and leave them defensive is extremely creepy. And Levana is pretty much the master of manipulation. *shudders*

    1. Levana is the worst. In the best possible way.

  8. Oooh yes, Opal. Gosh she was super annoying and evil. And I just started Steelheart so I'm starting to understand what you mean. :D
    Cool post!

  9. I love Magneto too! He's one of my favorite villains of all time.


  10. YES OPAL WAS COOL. In a terrifyingly, insane woman kind of way.
    I haven't read Fairest, but from the ones of this series I have read, Levana sure is bad.



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