It’s time for some discussing and some list making (because have you met me? I always make lists). I’m participating in the 2017 edition of the fabulous Discussion Challenge, which is a fantastic place to find more bookish discussions. The participants always have something interesting to say!
Today, I thought I’d say a word or two about my love for shifty characters: thieves, assassins, pirates, and so on.
It’s weird that I enjoy reading about these people so much when in real life, my worst “crime” was getting fined for jaywalking in high school (seriously, I’ve never even gotten a parking ticket, I’m distressingly honest and law-abiding. Okay, so there might have been some underage drinking and pot smoking but I’m a responsible adult now. *cough*). I can’t even say that I know any criminals – at any rate, I would do my best to avoid real-life hustlers and con (wo)men, let alone assassins, because they prey on innocent people and kill and engage in really bad behavior.
So why is it that I am so drawn to any book that has a morally questionable protagonist? I’m not even talking about villains here. It’s the main characters with shifty lifestyles that I love. The redeemable bad guys.
Probably it’s because I hate characters who are too good and pure to be true. I mean, I consider myself to be a fairly honest, good person, but I still get jealous, petty, and downright nasty (only when I’m hungry, though, promise).
So let’s consider the loveable bad guys and get some recommendations! Note that some of them fall into multiple categories (I mean, as if stealing wasn’t enough. Let’s add murder to the mix, right?).
- Thieves/Con(wo)men: this is probably my favorite. Great examples: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic, Iron Cast, The Demon King, The Book Thief
- Assassins/Hit(wo)men/Mercenaries/Murderers/Enforcers: much harder to like, because of all the killing. Assassin’s Apprentice, Agnes and the Hitman (probably the only romance on the list), Son of the Shadows, Half a King, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Vicious
- Pirates: woo, I love pirates. Why do I love pirates so much? They burned ships, stole, and probably smelled. Red Seas Under Red Skies
- Monsters/Mad(wo)men: because sometimes they just can’t help it. This Savage Song (seriously, I should just say “every Shwab book out there” and be done with it, right?), The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Nimona, Carry On
Have you read any of these? Did you like the shifty characters?
What do you think makes them so great?
And do you have any recommendations for me?
I’d love to hear from you! :)