Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read in 2021

 
 

Characters! I love ’em. But I especially love some of them. And that’s what this post is about!

As I sometimes do, despite the post title, I’ve included a couple non-book characters. This is my one chance to really gush about all the characters I love, I’m not gonna pass that up.

I have to admit, taking up five of the ten (technically twelve) spots, this is a vampire-heavy list 😅

I do think it’s kinda fun that, this year, I have actual images of most of the characters, whether because they’re on the cover or promo art or they’re from a visual medium. I don’t know, I just like being able to actually see what the characters are supposed to look like (assuming the author had a say in the art and that the artist got it right). But hey, characters are still great, even if I see them solely in my mind!

Anyway, in no particular order, here are my top characters from the books and other media I enjoyed this year!


Kiem & Jainan – Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Both of these characters were wonderful and lovable. Kiem was such a kind and compassionate person, and also one of those people who had such charisma he could walk into a room and know everyone’s name, job, family tree, and favorite color in twenty minutes. Jainan was reserved and duty-bound, and though he had some insecurity, he also had a well of inner strength and cared about what was right and could always stay level-headed. (There’s no artwork of them on the cover, as you can see, but here is some lovely artwork by @AceArt3mis and @VScrivanoKelley that closely matches how I imagined them!)

[ My Review ]

Sebastian – Mind + Machine Series by Hanna Dare

The Wayward Prince by Hanna Dare

A thief, a smuggler, but always so dramatic, and entertainingly so. He also endeared himself to me in the first book when he tried to protect his crew, rather than throw them under the bus to save himself or take them down with him. He’s a rakish rogue with questionable morals and some mistakes in his past but ultimately a good heart.

[ Review Coming Soon ]

Alucard – Castlevania (Netflix)

Alucard - Castlevania (Netflix)

I just love Alucard. He is kind of the typical beautiful, brooding, tortured, powerful but with a heart of gold vampire, and I love him. He had a fun quippy side, but also a deeper emotional side, and I really felt for him. I also particularly enjoyed his decision to just not wear shirts anymore in Season 4.

Heath – Red Embrace: Hollywood by Argent Games

Red Embrace: HollywoodHeath - Red Embrace: Hollywood

All the characters in this visual novel were complex and realistic, but Heath was the one I found the most thought-provoking, and the one I was most drawn to from the start. I feel like the fandom is divided about him. He certainly has his flaws and has made some bad decisions, but I think he is genuinely compassionate and I see the good in him. He just needs to find it himself.

[ My Review ]

Simon & Baz – Simon Snow Series by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow RowellWayward Son by Rainbow RowellAny Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

(Simon = redhead, Baz = black hair) Simon was kind of a disaster who barreled headfirst into everything and never knew what he was doing, and he was stubborn to the point that he was constantly ruining clothing with his wings or cutting himself out of shirts because he refused to ask for help. Baz was his broody self, still struggling with being a vampire, but just wanting to be there for Simon. Also, the guy knows how to rock a floral print. And together they were just so heart-meltingly adorable.

[ My Review ]

En – Fangs Vol. 1 by Billy Balibally

Fangs Vol. 1 by Billy Balibally

(En = white hair) En was just a sweetheart. So full of life and emotion, despite struggling a bit with not being human anymore. I can see why all the older vampires like him. You can’t help but be charmed by him, and he’s not even trying.

[ My Review ]

Adam – Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude

Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude
Adam - Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude

Adam has made my list once before, but that was years ago, and I reread the story, and I loved him again. He’s a character who made a mistake in the past (though it’s purposely unclear exactly what happened) but really tried to make it right. And though he was snarky and one of those characters who immediately seemed like bad news, he turned out to actually not be so bad and tried to help. And honestly, I loved his snarky side too.

[ My Review ]

Crimson – The Hunter & The Spider Series by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright

Strangers in the Night by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay WrightFriends in Low Places by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay WrightOnly the Good Die Young by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright

(Crimson = funnily enough, the one with black hair) Crimson is one of those characters who would probably be insufferable in real life but is so fun to read about. All drunk and flirty and charming and obnoxious and sarcastic and quick-tempered. But he can also be soft and sweet. And he has his struggles and inner demons. He’s been alive a long time. He’s suffered loss over and over. He’s just trying to get by.

“Mrs. Jones says there’s a horrible spider behind her sofa, and she asked me to go and get him.”

Jasper’s grin widened. “Why? So then she’ll have two of you back there?”

Crimson theatrically feigned shock and betrayal, dropping open his mouth with a gasp and bringing a hand to his heart. “You’re hilarious. Say, aren’t you running late to save a kitten or puppy or something?”

Jasper scoffed. “Says the guy rescuing little old ladies.”

“I’m not rescuing a little old lady,” replied Crimson. “I’m rescuing a spider.”

[ My Review ]

Kett – Reconstructionist Series by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Catching Echoes by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Kett is such a vampire-y vampire, and that’s why I love him. He’s scarily powerful and inhuman and cold, the kind of vampire who’s so removed from humanity that he basically thinks of humans as ants, that’s how below his notice or care they generally are. But he’s also not entirely immune to caring about people (or witches, at least) sometimes, when he finds ones worth caring about.

[ My Review ]

Alden – Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora
Alden - Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora. He has long, thin features (hands, face, neck), long, dark hair, and he's draped in loose layers of fabric and beaded jewelry.

(Artwork by @TheJadePrince is from the preorder campaign)

I won’t get into the things Alden did wrong and why I think some of them were not actually that bad. (Ok, fine, listen, he didn’t even leave his shop, so everyone he sold drugs to was specifically going there for them, it’s not like he was out pushing drugs on people. People made their own decisions.) Anyway… Alden was interesting, he was always his confident, beautiful, dramatic, moody, dazzling, imperfect self, and I felt like he didn’t deserve my judgment for his drug addiction or business when I didn’t know his whole story or how hard his life was. But I know that it was hard, and he found a way to keep himself and his grandma safe, and a way to keep going despite the difficulties of life. And the more I learned about him throughout the story, the more of his heart I saw, the more I liked him. And I loved his feisty spirit.

“I don’t like people I dislike talking to people I do like.”

“You don’t like me.”

Alden let out a deep sigh. “You tire me.” Without another word, he folded himself over Nate’s middle like a heavy blanket and passed out.

Only Alden could make falling asleep a dramatic exit.

Alden is an imperfect person, but a perfect character, and I love him.

Check out my other 2021 end of the year posts!

Cover Characteristics: Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2021
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read in 2021
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books/Series I Read in 2021 + Some Non-Bookish Things

 
 
 
 

Talk to me!

Have you read any of these books?
Do any of these characters sound like ones you'd like too?
Who was one of your favorite characters this year?

 
 
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4 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read in 2021

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  1. Roberta R.

    “I also particularly enjoyed his decision to just not wear shirts anymore in Season 4.”
    🤣

    “Crimson is one of those characters who would probably be insufferable in real life but is so fun to read about. All drunk and flirty and charming and obnoxious and sarcastic and quick-tempered. But he can also be soft and sweet. And he has his struggles and inner demons.”
    He reminds me a bit of Dean Winchester…Seriously, perfectly imperfect characters are the best ones to read about/watch…