I am excited to have Scarlett Kol on the blog today talking about her favorite villains in literature. Read on for the good stuff...
Ah book villains, where would we be without them? They push our heroes to their limits, test their minds, test their mettle, and if written well, make for one great read.
My debut novel, MERCURY RISES, is a re-imagining of Robin Hood so it definitely has its share of villains, but who is a hero and who is a villain gets blurred depending on what side of the story you are on. The true villains in the story don’t even know they’re the bad guys until they are pushed to the point of no return, but I’ll let you read the story to discover their identity for yourself.
So, who are some of my favorite book villains? Unfortunately, some of my favorites are villains who stage huge betrayals and we don’t see them coming, so to stay spoiler-free they will have to stay off my list. However, if you get a chance check out Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike and Rapture by Lauren Kate you should.
The Queen of Hearts – Alice in Wonderland – I loved Alice as a kid and the Red Queen was the first villain that really got in my head. Besides, who can beat a villain with an army of playing cards and an itch for beheading.
Lestat de Lioncourt – Interview with a Vampire – I was a mad Anne Rice fan, and Lestat is still one of my fav villains. Charming, cunning, and absolutely ruthless. He was even a compelling enough character that he became the hero for the rest of the series. Poor Louis, he can’t beat Lestat at anything!
Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter – Yes, Lord Voldemort is the big bad in this series, but Dolores Umbridge is vicious. The subtle torture that she imparts on Harry and his friends all packaged up in a pink and kitty package makes her a dangerous force to reckon with. Lord Voldemort is a known evil to the Ministry of Magic, but Dolores is permitted and even encouraged to be her nasty self. The abuse of power and the fact that she believes she’s doing the right thing is terrifying.
Dante Walker – The Collector – Dante ventures on the anti-hero territory of villains. He turns around and ends up saving the world, but in the first book of this series, he’s a pretty nasty guy. To start with, he works for the Devil himself collecting souls and pressuring people into evil. If that weren’t enough, the kind of mind games he plays with Charlie are pretty awful. He’s a riot to read though with one of the best voices I’ve ever read.
Leland Gaunt – Needful Things – Stephen King has put out some notorious baddies, but the one that I thought was the best was the shop owner in this macabre tale. Leland was a genius who preyed on his customers’ needs and wants in exchange for small favors that pushed the buttons of the other residents until the whole town imploded on itself. The end of the book went a little off the rails for me, but Leland’s manipulation of the townspeople was epic.
A – Pretty Little Liars – A took the quintessential mean girl to a whole new level. The story did go to some odd places, and the television series went even weirder (that finale, really?), but the depths she pushed the Liars to go kept me turning pages.
Miranda Priestley – The Devil Wears Prada – She’s chic, fashionable, and a total tyrant, but part of me would’ve still jumped at the chance to work for her if she offered.
River Redding – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – River is an interesting villain in that you spend a lot of time wishing that he will somehow be redeemed. He’s charming, good-looking, and has a strange connection with Violet that you hope will be enough to save him, but underneath is a deep darkness that erupts in the sequel Between the Spark and the Burn. He’s creepy.
Drew Montgomery – Wicked Descent – You’ve probably never heard of this one, but he’s the deliciously evil villain in my upcoming novel coming from Evernight Teen on March 2nd. If you’re looking for a villain that you will LOVE to hate, you should check out Drew when his story drops next month. “Remorse is for those who feel regret. I don’t regret the things I do.” Oh Drew!
Thanks for having me at the blog today and I hope you will check out MERCURY RISES. But before I go, who are your favorite villains?
These are some awesome villains. Some I know, some I don't. I'm going to have to check some of these books out. Thanks Scarlett for stopping by and gratz on your book release.
Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
A girl looking for a way out.
Being the daughter of New America’s leader, Mercury Masters has everything a girl could want. A glamorous life full of beautiful people, and the power to have anything she wants, except for one thing—to escape. Because Mercury’s perfect life comes with secrets to keep. Dangerous secrets that if made public would destroy her, her family, and her father’s reign. Then she meets Hawk.
A boy looking to be a hero.
Hawk, a handsome prep school dropout turned vigilante, has his own family secrets. Deadly secrets that have haunted him since he was fifteen. But instead of fighting the ghosts of his past, Hawk has assembled a group of misfit hackers and thieves to save the future from the corrupt government of New America and the mysterious virus that is killing off its citizens. But trying to do the right thing is tough when the person you really want to save is your enemy’s daughter.
A love that could kill them both.
Powerful forces keep them apart, but coming together could be the key to saving New America from destruction—even though it may cost both their lives.
A near-future YA biopunk retelling of Robin Hood.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scarlett Kol grew up in Northern Manitoba reading books and writing stories about creatures that make you want to sleep with the lights on. As an adult, she's still a little afraid of the dark. Scarlett now lives just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband and two boys, but if you need to find her she's likely freezing at the hockey rink.