Heroes and Villains

Ahh, heroes and villains… What would books be like without them? As Moriarty said, Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. And, as Bonnie Tyler said, I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light.

The hero, ultimately, is who makes the story. Without one, there’d just be random people bumbling their ways through the apocalypse. The heroes are the ones who make the story what it is. Whether they be defeating a great evil, or giving a stranger an umbrella in the rain, they’re the people we feel for and connect to most of the time. They’re the characters who lead us on a journey, and the best kind of journeys not only provide for a strong character arc, but also change the reader too.

And as much as we all hate the villain of the story, or sometimes we root for them if we hate the protagonist — yes, I’ve wanted the killer to win once or twice — books and movies and shows wouldn’t exist without them. I’ll admit, I was one of those people who cried when Voldemort was killed. I’m not a Death Eater, I swear! It’s just that Voldemort shaped Harry into being who he was, and in turn, he did the same to me. He’s the reason why we know that we can’t let the darkness win and that we have to fight hatred with love. I just really appreciated him as a villain, okay?

Heroes

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Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

I didn’t really know what to expect from this book, but I knew it centred around a f/f romance and was about superheroes — which is all you really need to know about this gorgeous novel. This book is honestly like sunshine in print form. It was just delightful. I adored the diverse array of characters, the swoon-worthy romance, and the SF/F elements. The romance was undeniably my favourite aspect — it was cute, funny, and felt so real.

However, there were a couple of aspects that didn’t quite make this book a five-star read for me. The first thing was that sometimes, the dialogue between the characters felt a little immature. I know, I’m one of those people that hates it when adults reading YA says ‘it’s a bit young for them’ — yes, because the characters are teenagers, not 40 like you, Susan — but the characters were only a couple of years younger than me and their conversations made me cringe sometimes. But like, that’s such a minor issue and the rest of the book was still sensational.

I also felt as though Not Your Sidekick was incredibly predictable at times. I’m a pretty gullible reader and will believe what the protagonist believes most of the time, and even I guessed how this would end. But knowing what the twist was didn’t make me love this book any less. If you’re looking for a quick, cute read with diverse characters and are willing to overlook the couple of issues I pointed out, then I definitely recommend picking this gem up.

Rating:

4 Stars

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

This novel was one of my most anticipated reads of this year, and wow, it certainly didn’t disappoint. I’m ashamed to say that I never really got into all the Marvel and DC Comics stuff, only occasionally seeing the movies when they came to the cinema. However, the hype surrounding Wonder Woman was insane, and I knew I had to go and watch it. I ended up quite enjoying it, but it’s not my favourite film of the year.

Nevertheless, I was still super eager to get my hands on Wonder Woman: Warbringer! It was the first book I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo, and it was absolutely stunning. Although it took me a little while to get into because I don’t really care about the mythology and backstory and stuff, I loved everything from when Diana made it to New York and met Alia and her brother. Their banter was probably my favourite part of the novel. The dialogue was just superb.

And hooray for female friendships! The friendship between Diana and Alia was so lovely to read about, and although I was shipping them for the majority of this book, I felt it was incredibly refreshing to see friendship take centre stage. It was empowering and feminist and it makes me want to go to war against the patriarchy. If you’re a fan of Wonder Woman, or a complete newbie like me, this wonderful book should definitely be on your TBR.

Rating:

4 Stars

Thanks to Penguin Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Villains

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Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie

I was looking forward to reading this anthology, not only because I love villainous stories, but also because it contained a short story from both Queen V and Adam Silvera — my two favourite authors ever. However, I’m afraid this one didn’t live up to the hype. I expected such amazing things from this anthology, and sadly, it just didn’t deliver. A lot of the stories were underwhelming, I wasn’t a fan of quite a number of the ‘essay’ things from YouTubers, most of whom I’ve never even heard of, and the only really outstanding story was the one from V.E. Schwab. I’d only really recommend Because You Love to Hate Me if you like a lot of the authors and YouTubers who contributed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother.

Rating:

2 Stars

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — this is a book that every Slytherin needs to read. Both of the characters are villains to the other’s story, and it was filled with death and powers and it was just incredible. I’m in love with everything Queen V writes, but even if you haven’t picked up a book by her before, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s just phenomenal. The characters are three-dimensional and incredibly flawed, the plot is fast-paced and thrilling, and it will leave you craving more. I’m so excited for the next instalment!

Rating:

5 Stars

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

WOW. I absolutely adored this one! Nimona is one of the few graphic novels I’ve read, and I knew it was going to be my favourite even before I was halfway through. It’s been getting enormous amounts of praise — including from Queen V, which would put anything, and I mean anything, on my TBR — and for good reason! The illustrations were amazing, the plot was gripping and entertaining, and the friendship between the two main characters melted my heart. It was just so, so sweet. Go and buy a copy of this one right now. I’ll wait.

Rating:

5 Stars

Let's Talk

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are some of your favourite books featuring the classic hero / villain? Are there any I should add to my TBR? I’d love to know!

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Graphics used sourced from Winged Graphics and Picmonkey.

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10 thoughts on “Heroes and Villains

  1. This was a fun post!

    While I love heroes I will always have a soft spot for villains in books! It is strange though. I rarely get attached or root for the villain in movies but I’m books a lot of the times I kind of root for them?

    I definitely want to read Vicious. I just read my first Victoria Schwab book and she is a genius!

  2. This was a great post! I just read my first V.E. Schwab book, and I absolutely loved it! So excited to read more of her books! I don’t think I really have a preference, I kind of like both. 🙂

  3. Hi! 🙂 Nimona is on my wish list since forever and I really hope to read it! I’ve read only Vicious, and I liked it a lot. I have not read any of the other books, but some of them would my be on my reading, sooner or later.
    I’ve read Urban Enemies that is a great book about villains, is a collection of short stories written by Villains’ POV from a lot of urban fantasy series, I enjoyed it a lot! 🙂

  4. I haven’t read any of these, but I want to read all of these except Because You Love To Hate Me (haven’t read any reviews that convinced me to). They all sound so amazing and I need to get my hand on them.

    A book that I definitely loved was Heroine Complex – though the villain was a bit stereotypical, I really loved the superhero feel of the novel 🙂

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