Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read in 2017


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 πŸ™‚

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Night Realm by Annette Marie
Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude

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.

Wraith Hunter by Clara Coulson
Real Vampires Don't Sparkle by Amy Fecteau
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Nightingale Girl by M. R. Pritchard | reading, books
Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie | books, reading, book covers

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!

Smoke City by Keith Rosson
The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher
Chester 5000 XYV Vol. 1 by Jess Fink
Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat
Sleeper by Lexi Blake

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 πŸ˜‰


Talk to me!

Who was your favorite character from the books you read this year?
What are your thoughts on the characters on my list? (Love 'em? Hate 'em?)


Your Thoughts


36 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read in 2017

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  1. chucklesthescot

    Sorry, I haven’t read any of the books on your list so I can’t comment on the characters you picked! Well, I DNFed the Anne Rice one but I did like the film and Antonio Banderas character…Armand was it? I liked him. Best characters I’ve read? Myrnin from the Morganville Vampires, Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, Fitz and Apollo in the Extinction series, Col Jameson from the Arisen series, Deacon Chalk from the series of the same name…lots of good ones this year!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, that was Armand (very strange casting though, since in the book he’s got this shaggy red hair and was turned at like 17, but I digress). You should totally check out my review for Queen of the Damned whenever I finish and post it since I talk a lot about Armand, and there are some hilarious quotes. I haven’t read any of those books you mentioned lol, but glad you found lots of great characters too!

  2. ioana @dragonwaffles

    I am not ready for all these end of the year listssss. I still have a million books to read and my TBR is killing me slowly omg can 2018 come later pls?! Also I’ve never heard about most of these books SO YES HELLO I am living under a rock ?. I did read the first 2 vols of Saga (but I didn’t like them that much ehhh).

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol your TBR will still be there next year, but the end of 2017 only comes once! So get crackin’ on those lists! πŸ˜› Ah, yeah, I can see how Saga wouldn’t be for you.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, yay! It’s a great series, and his POV is so unique. But it’s actually the second in the series! I know Amazon lets you return ebooks for a few days though, so maybe switch it for the first? πŸ™‚ Hope you like it!

  3. Greg

    I liked Mutt too, that was a fun book. I still need to read the new one. I’m behind on Saga but I know if I have a fave character from that series- hard to pick. And the Night Realm books look fun.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Mutt was great! I still haven’t read the second book yet, so you’re doing better than I am lol. Better catch up on Saga though! The new volume comes out in like three days, I think. And yeah, my fave Saga character has changed numerous times as the series has progressed lol. The Night Realm is great!

  4. Luna & Saturn

    This is such a fun post. We haven’t read any of these books, didn’t get around to a lot of books this year, but we have heard of Alistair from Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle series, and you putting on two characters as enjoyable makes it seem like a great series. We love characters who are relatable, like Matheus.

  5. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    unfortunately of your list I’ve only know of The Vampire Chronicles because I watched the movie, I agree the characters are fantastic! Maybe I should give Captive Prince another try! I like how BAD he sounds πŸ˜‰ Can you believe it was a DNF??? [don;;t answer it was a rhetorical question lol!)

    1. Kristen Burns

      The characters are even more complex in the books! Lol Laurent is very interesting. And just because you told me not to answer, I AM going to answer. WHAT?! You DNFed?! Just kidding, I actually CAN believe it because I know you are a professional DNFer πŸ˜‰ But I did think it was a great series!

  6. Karen

    I didn’t know you read The Captive Prince!!! IT was such a twisted, f*cked up mess but I loved it. lol

    I was so in love with Louie (IWaV) back in the day. Like…obsessed!

    And I downloaded the first issue of Saga and hope to try that soon.

    For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Tbh, I don’t think it was particularly twisted or fucked up (other than the whole kidnapping/slave thing), but I guess that says something about the kind of books I read, haha. It was definitely super gripping though! I didn’t realize you’d read it either.

      Ahhh, I feel like a lot of people don’t like Louis, but I do! So I totally understand your obsession lol.

      Yay, I hope you like it!

  7. L

    I haven’t read any of these, but I do love strong, well-written characters. If you had to recommend just ONE book from this list (for me to read), which one would you suggest? I promise to try it! Preferably nothing too dark–I scare easily!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh gosh, you can’t ask me to pick just one! But I feel like you like PNR, right? I think you’d like the Thieves series by Lexi Blake. All the characters are fantastic. But if you haven’t read Saga, I think you’d like that too since you like GNs!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s def how you know a book is good! I just couldn’t pick one because all the characters are so well-written. I can’t wait to see what you think of Saga!

  8. Christy LoveOfBooks

    There are times I love a character that others despise, but it may not be about their likeability for me. It might be what they bring to the table and are just excellently well written. These sound like interesting characters. I should read Peter Pan!

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Great post. I am terrible at remembering characters much beyond finishing a book. Sometimes I can’t even remember an MCs name so to remember so many of them from the books you’ve read in 2017 is impressive. Some of the characters names aren’t even easy to remember. I have to say, you fit a whole bunch of characters in I don’t know so I can’t say if I agree (apart from Laurent from Captive Prince and I do agree on that one) but you do seem to have a theme with the characters you like. I don’t know what i look for in favourites.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And oh, don’t feel bad. I looked through my list of books in order to make this. But when an MC sticks out in my mind, I do tend to be good at remember names. Lol, right? “Has done some shitty things and/or is a mess but is complex and still kind of likeable and/or trying to redeem themselves” is pretty much my fave character type apparently πŸ˜›

  10. Danya @ Fine Print

    Oooh I really like this post idea! Personally I think Robot IV is a really strong character too — not necessarily a likeable one all the time, but one who’s well crafted. You’ve got me very intrigued about those Lexi Blake books now, although I don’t know where the best place to begin would be.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And yes, exactly! IV is not always likeable, but he’s complex and really well-written and has gone through lots of growth. Start with Steal the Light, that’s the first book in the original series πŸ™‚