This post was harder than I thought it would be. Not because I didn’t read about any great characters but because—and this sounds weird to say—I don’t know what I should consider my “favorite” anymore. Characters who are complex and superbly well-written? Characters who are likeable people? Characters who make me feel for them? Characters I want to date or be friends with?
So I decided to stop overthinking and just make a list of some of the great, complex, well-written characters I’ve read about this year, the ones who have stuck in my mind, the ones who managed to stand out among the 150+ books I read.
There are actually more than ten here since I made the graphic before the post, and these are in no particular order, but without further ado, here are my favorite characters from books I read in 2017!
*PS – It was too much work to link to all my reviews, but if you want to see my review for any of these books, there’s a handy-dandy search bar in the sidebar or a reviews page where you can ctrl+f to your heart’s content :-)
Everyone – The Vampire Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Anne Rice
Lestat, Louis, Nicolas, Gabrielle, Armand, Marius, Daniel—they’re just all so amazingly complex and unique!
Lyre – Steel & Stone Companion Collection & The Night Realm by Annette Marie
Lyre is so interesting and skilled and intense and deadly when he needs to be, all wrapped up in the guise of a playful, harmless incubus.
Thaddeus DuPont – Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Thad, the gay Catholic vampire. He’s a mass of contradicting beliefs, and his POV is one of the most unique, emotion-filled, and interesting ones that I’ve ever read.
Kamir – The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
I related to Kamir in some ways and admired him for his strength when times were tough and he felt alone. He was such a likeable character.
Adam – Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude
When he was first introduced, I literally thought that he looked like bad news, that he was just one of those people. But as it turned out, there was good in him. He was realistic and flawed, but contrite and trying to right his wrongs.
Cal Kinsey – Wraith Hunter by Clara Coulson
Cal is so not your typical UF lead—he’s got a sarcastic sense of humor, but he’s also got emotion and is compassionate and strong and respectful and so likeable.
Matheus – Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle Series by Amy Fecteau
Matheus was relatable in the most specific and random of ways, so that endeared him to me, and he was funny, but he also grew a lot over the series. And I really felt for him in the tough moments.
Alistair – Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle Series by Amy Fecteau
My heart breaks for Alistair. Few characters elicited my sympathy this year as much as he did, though I can’t say why because spoilers. I didn’t like him at first, but his flirtiness was fun, and he turned out to be charismatic and loyal and complex.
Sir Robot IV – Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
I know a lot of people hate IV, but he’s another character I really feel for. He’s flawed and has done terrible things, but he’s remorseful and struggling and trying to redeem himself in some ways.
Meg – Nightingale Girl by M. R. Pritchard
Meg is so completely different from me, so rough around the edges, but she still managed to be relatable and entertaining, her voice was so unique, and she was a strong person for going through everything she went through but never giving up.
Captain Hook – Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
Hook has always been so fascinating to me—he has feelings, thoughts, insecurities, and fears; he’s clever and charming when he wants to be; he even likes flowers and sweet music. He’s just not what you would expect from a dastardly villainous pirate!
Mike Vale – Smoke City by Keith Rosson
Mike was an absolute, utter mess. He was always either drunk or hungover because of his alcoholism, but he was written in way that still had me rooting for him. And his POV was written in a beautiful yet gritty, almost poetic way.
Mutt – The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher
This not-quite-human deputy seemed questionable at first, but then he turned out to be sweet and protective toward Jim (a teenager who showed up), kind toward Maude, loyal in his friendship to Jon, and protective of his town in general.
Mayor Harry Pratt – The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher
I felt terrible for Harry, being gay in a time when it was completely not accepted. But what I really liked about him was how he was flawed in realistic ways but still really cared about his town, his lover, and even his wife in the best way he could.
Robert – Chester 5000 XYV Duology by Jess Fink
Despite kind of being the antagonist in the first book, Robert was my favorite character because he seemed the most real and tortured and like there was more to him, and it turned out I was right! The second book had him tugging at my heart strings for all his suffering but also making me smile upon seeing a happier side of him.
Laurent – Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat
Laurent has got to be the most cunning character I’ve ever read about. He was so ridiculously intelligent, but he was also so cold and composed and impenetrable. You never knew what he was thinking or feeling or planning. And once you found out why, it made so much sense and made me feel for him and love him more.
Marcus Vorenus – Thieves Series & Sleeper by Lexi Blake
I don’t do the “book boyfriend” thing, but if I did… This vampire has such a presence and exudes power and confidence, but he’s sweet and loyal and intelligent and caring. Alas, he is merely a side character in these books, but he will always be a main character in my heart ;-)