Bookish Musings: Top Ten Male Characters from Books I Read in 2016


Alright, peeps. It’s that time of year again when I tell you all about my favorite characters! I know this probably won’t be my most popular post, but I love it nonetheless because characters are my lifeblood. They are what gives me the emotion and the feels when I read, and that’s what I love most in books. I might still sometimes give a book a high rating even without great characters if it’s well-written enough, but it’s the books with great characters that are truly memorable to me, regardless of their rating.

And on that note, here are my favorite male characters from books I’ve read this year! (Not really in order since that’s hard.) (Except for #1. That one is definitely #1.) (Also I made the graphic ahead of time and was too lazy to change it, so there’s actually more than ten on this list. You should know by now that I’m unable to make decisions.)

Top Ten Thirteen Male Characters from Books I Read in 2016

Steal the Light by Lexi Blake | reading, books
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
Something Wicked by Carol Oates | reading, books

13. Daniel Donovan, Devinshea Quinn, & Marcus Vorenus – Thieves Series by Lexi Blake

This was a reread, so I thought I had included all three on my list last year, but it turns out I only included Marcus. I guess I just love these characters more and more each time I read the books <3

12. Warner – Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Warner’s just so interesting and intelligent and broken and those are all things I can never resist in a character.

11. Dougal Gunn – Something Wicked by Carol Oates

Dougal kinda stole the show in this book, despite being a side character. He’s kind of boisterous, but he’s so lovable and high-spirited and an incredible friend to Henry.

Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples | reading, books
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason | reading, books
Soul Breaker by Clara Coulson | reading, books
The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot | reading, books
Mad God Walking by Connor Drexler | reading, books

10. Robot IV – Saga Series by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

IV was my phone background for a while, so it only seemed fair to include him. He’s not quite the bad guy he seemed to be in the beginning. And the way he helped out and protected Hazel in Vol. 6 was sweet. Plus I love his quippy, sarcastic side πŸ˜›

9. Max Pesaro – The Gardella Vampire Hunters Series by Colleen Gleason

All the characters in this series were so witty and hilarious with their digs at each other, but the banter between Max and Victoria was the best because they were both so good at it.

8. Calvin Kinsey – City of Crows Series by Clara Coulson

Cal is so snarky and funny and badass… but he’s also scared, and suffers from PTSD from the trauma he went through, and loses pretty much every fight he gets into with supernaturals. It makes him seem real.

7. Cambrian Branch – The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot

Cam was a side character, but he’s just so genuine and enthusiastic and lovable!

6. Damon – Mad God Walking by Connor Drexler

Damon is such an interesting character because he isn’t human is still trying to understand the human world, including emotions, and it’s all written in a really great way.

Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr | reading, books
Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey | reading, books
Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt | reading, books
Real Vampires Don't Sparkle by Amy Fecteau | reading, books
Shadows of Humanity by J. Armand | reading, books

5. Lynn Seymour – Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr

Lynn is this big, scary, surly kraken shifter, but with a heart of gold. He’s also a total mushball when it comes to his relationship, and he loves collecting anything with squid/octopi on them. Basically he’s just an adorable mass of contradictions.

4. Riser Thornbrook – Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey

If you read my review for Shadow Fall, then you already know I spent most of the review just talking about Riser. He’s just super interesting and murderous and cunning. He also ate cat food at one point, so there’s that.

3. Thaddeus Dupont & Sarasija Mishra – Hours of the Night Series by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

I just kind of adore both of these characters. Sara is hilarious and realistic and super relatable as a twenty-something, and Thad has such a unique perspective on everything because of his religious beliefs and upbringing and now life as a vampire.

2. Matheus Taylor – Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle Series by Amy Fecteau

As I mentioned in one of my reviews, Matheus is my spirit animal. Or really, he’s just me. We’re like the same person, except he’s probably a lot more hilarious.

1. Noah Burckhardt – The Immortal Coil Series by J. Armand

Cowboy turned vampire turned martial arts master/assassin. (By the way, I used the cover that has his image on it since that seemed fitting.) If you had told me upon reading the first book in this series that Noah of all characters would make my #1 spot, I’d have never believed you. He’s so cocky and egotistical and crazy, but, as I got to know him more over the course of the series and see past those walls he built up, I started to really feel for him, and he just kinda stole my heart <3


Check Out the Rest of My 2016 Top Ten Posts!

Top Ten Male Characters from Books I Read in 2016
Top Ten Female Characters from Books I Read in 2016
Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016
Top Ten Books I Read in 2016


Talk to me!

Do any of these sound like characters you'd like?
Who are your favorite male characters from books you've read this year?
Why do you love them so much?


Your Thoughts


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  1. Greg

    Hey it’s the dudes. πŸ™‚ Love lists ha ha. I don’t know most of these but the Shatter books always get my attention with those covers, so nice to see great character in em as well. And IV sounds awesome. The Gardella Vampire Hunters is interesting because the two protags in her Stoker & Holmes series were pretty snarky with each other too- so she seems to have a gift for that.

    A kraken shifter? wow.

    I’m trying to think about kickass dude characters in my books this year now. Fun list.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, it’s the dudes! I love lists too, but I hardly do them anymore since they’re never very popular posts for me. I mean, not that I worry about blogging about what’s popular, but you get what I’m saying. I just finished the Shatter Me series yesterday or so, and I enjoyed it! And IV *is* awesome lol. Yeah, I think Gleason does have a knack for writing snarkiness and banter, just from reading her Gardella series, so I imagine that kinda thing is probably in a lot of her books.

      It’s fun thinking back on the characters like this!

  2. chucklesthescot

    I like the look of the City of Crows series and I might just check it out. The MC sounds interesting! I think my favourite male character in books this year has to be Deacon Chalk from the James R Tuck urban fantasy series!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I definitely recommend the City of Crows series if you like urban fantasy or the character I described! I’ll have to check out the James R. Tuck series πŸ™‚

  3. Lola

    Great list! Just like you characters are really important to me, although i can still enjoy a book if I don’t like or care about the characters it does get a lot more difficult. I haven’t read any of the books listed here, but I do remember some of them from reading your reviews for them. I like how you describe your #1 choice, sometimes we start out not liking someone and they can really grow on you.

    One of my favorite male characters I read about in 2016 would be Gabriel from Kelley Armstrong her Cainsville series. He’s a bit broken and used to depending on his own only, but also such a wonderful and interesting character. He doesn’t always know how to express his emotions, but when he does make a gesture, it’s so sweet and perfect and typical Gabriel. I have high hopes for the last book in the series. I just love the scenes where’s talking with Liv, they are so great together. Pirate Nemesis was one of my 5 star reads this year and it had such an amazing cast of characters, I ended up liking almost everyone as the characters really came alive.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, a book can still be good, but I’d still prefer to have good characters. And it’s so interesting when a character grows on you like that! The Cainsville series sounds like it could be good (I just looked it up), and I definitely like the sound of that character! I’ll have to consider giving the series a try πŸ™‚ And that’s actually kind of like Noah with the gestures. In one book he brought the protag pizza and clean clothes which seems like nothing but for him it was just adorably sweet lol. And that sounds awesome how all the characters came to life so much in Pirate Nemesis!

  4. suzanna

    “Cowboy turned vampire turned martial arts master/assassin” – who could ask for more? Great choice.
    I’m afraid I still like Adam from Where She Went by Gayle Foreman. Always had a soft spot for a guy with a guitar lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right?! He’s so interesting. I had meant to read If I Stay and never got around to it, but if it has a great character, that’s all the more that I need to!

      1. suzanna

        I actually liked Where She Went more than If I Stay. I think I liked being in Adam’s head more than Mia’s lol. And I never watched the film. Maybe all that out of body will-she-or-won’t-she-die drama was too much. I just preferred to read about them getting on with life again in the second book.

  5. AngelErin

    I haven’t read any of these, oh my. Now I just keep thinking how I need to try the Shatter Me series at some point. People keep recommending it to me so I really should. I love that you did a list of just your favorite male characters. Will there be a female characters list soon? Just curious! Some of these men sound very intriguing. I’m also curious why that one ate cat food?? LOL!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m not sure if you’d like Shatter Me or not, but I enjoyed it. It was a little typical YA dystopian in some ways, but still good. And yes, the females will be next week! And lol I explained the cat food thing in my review if you’re really curious.

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I *LOVE* this post!! Especially since I see Warner made the list (LOVE HIM!) and *ahem* Max…hmm, is that a hint of which man you wanted Victoria to end up with from book 1?!? Hmm… I have Lexi Blake, um I think it’s a boxset?? of that series because of you but haven’t opened it yet. I’ll get to that in 2017 just so I can meet those dudes. πŸ˜‰ And Robot IV! I have to read further into the series so I can how much more he develops as a character but I did like him in Vol 1. I’m pretty sure most of these books are on *that* shelf. Here’s to some good reading and new favorite guys in 2017!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha yay Warner! And hmmm, I guess you’ll just have to wait and find out for yourself which character I wanted her to be with πŸ˜‰ Are you sure the Lexi Blake set you have is the Thieves series? Because she has lots of books, but I think you would love Thieves! I’m planning to re-review the books next year since I plan to read them for a third time <3 And you have to keep reading Saga! IV develops so much.

  7. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I love Robot IV. In fact, while I love the Saga series, I have to admit the main male character drives me crazy (at least through volume 5). He seems kind of weak but maybe that’s just me. Even though I haven’t read any of the other books, I enjoyed reading your list.

    1. Kristen Burns

      IV is awesome! Marko was actually on my fave character list last year because he was so lovable, but he got less interesting to me as the series went on. But when you say weak, do you mean his character development is weak, or that he’s weak as a person?

  8. Dragonfly

    wow I just realized how bad my fantasy allergies have been! I haven’t read ANY of these books! I’m missing on all this great reads! I did try to read Shatter and all that crossed out sentences were too much for me. So I can’t say which one is my favorite character here πŸ™
    BUT I’m listening to a shifter audio book Dannika Dark’s Seven Years, which I picked without realizing was paranomal romance [rolling my eyes, only I would do that] but I’M LIKING IT!!! so I’ll go with your shifter Lynn Seymour!
    Ok, let me go check what I read this year…
    I’m back.
    Of the books I read this year I like Elias from An Ember in the Ashes! πŸ™‚
    Great post! Made me want to get over my allergies sooner! πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I felt kinda of in the middle about the writing in Shatter Me. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I’m normally not a fan of shifter books, but when their animal forms are also something fantastical (like krakens and unicorns) rather than wolves or cats, I become more interested. I haven’t read Ember in the Ashes, so I’ll just trust you that he’s a good character πŸ™‚ And you do need to get over your fantasy allergy! Fantasy is the best!

  9. La La in the Library

    I haven’t read any of these books, but if Matheus is a vampire and he doesn’t sparkle, I certainly agree with picking him! My favorite male character this year is probably Gansey from The Raven King. πŸ™‚

  10. Wren

    I read The Dying of the Light this year, the ninth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and Skulduggery is definitely one of my favourite male characters from books I’ve read this year. I also really liked Bram from Dearly, Departed.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You do have me curious about the Skulduggery Pleasant series with how much you talk about it, and the covers are so awesome! I’ve not read Dearly, Departed either, but Bram is a cool name. Though that might be because it makes me think of vampires because of Bram Stoker lol.

  11. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I can’t even think of all the characters I’ve read about this year, let alone be able to create a list of my favourites. This is certainly an interesting list of characters. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Warner from Shatter Me and seeing him on your list definitely encourages me to want to read. I’m not surprised to See Damon from Mad God Walking on here, or Lynn from Wriggle & Sparkle after the reviews you wrote for those books. You’re definitely reminding me I still need to read both of those.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol well I looked through my list of books and I also have shelves for fave characters on GR. And yes, I definitely talked about Damon a lot lol and I loved Wriggle & Sparkle, so I had to include them!

  12. Lori

    I read Shatter Me years and years ago and enjoyed it, but never read the next book when it was released…I have no idea why. I’ve been seeing Saga around everywhere lately. I need to check it out. Love your list!

    Thanks for linking up on last week’s Saturday Situation…I’m just now catching up on those posts! πŸ™‚