Tuesday, March 10, 2015

10 Books with Criminally Awesome Characters

It is probably no secret that I love me a good criminal. Books about outlaws, criminals, spies, thieves, scoundrels, or anything of that sort are my favorite! This link-up is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but this post was directly inspired by Paper Fury's similar post.

Honorable Mentions:

The Last Knight by Hilari Bell
This is the story about a knight who forces a thief to help him on all sorts of adventure. It is great! I haven't read it in a while, but I think it deserves some re-reading.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
This book starts out with our main character in the dungeon. She has magic, which is illegal in the storyworld. But instead of being sentenced to death, she becomes the King's taste tester.

10. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The main characters in the book aren't exactly criminals. They're incredibly smart and gifted children. But they must join forces and become spies in order to stop an evil man from taking over the world. I'm not joking.

9. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
This book is about a boy who pick-pockets a wizard by mistake. He take the wizard's magic stone, which should have killed him on contact. When the wizard tracks him down and sees the boy still alive, he takes the boy on as an apprentice. The boy, Con, is constantly getting into trouble because of his ties to the criminal world.

8. Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
This book is about a young boy who is a genius. His therapist encourages him to indulge in criminal activity. Bonus, it takes place in Australia. I will say, I enjoyed books 2&3 in this series more than book 1.

7. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
This book is about a young street thief who accidentally kidnaps a princess.  The fantasy/historical setting in this novel is one of my favorite  things. Chima nails the worldbuilding wonderfully. This book is a must read for fantasy lovers!  It's so great! I own the first two books, and hope to own the whole series one day soon!

6. Heist Society by Ally Carter
This book is, in my opinion, the archetype for YA heist books. The main character is from a long family of crime. She tries to leave the life, but quickly gets dragged back into the family business when her father is framed for a crime he didn't commit. Heist Society has a great cast of characters, a well executed love triangle, some of the best one-liners, and a reference to Princess Bride. What more could you ask for?

5. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarivs McGraw
Mara, the main character in this novel is a cunning spy.  She was a slave, but because of her quick wit and good looks, she gets recruited to be a spy. She then gets blackmailed by the very people she's trying to spy on, and has to stay on her toes while secretly playing a double agent. This book is set in ancient Egypt, and has a great combination of adventure, suspense, and romance.

4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
This book has two main characters, Artemis and Holly. Holly is a fairy working as a reconnaissance officer for the Lower Elements Police.  In other words, she's a LEPrecon. Artemis is a child genius and heir to a criminal empire. He learns of the fairies existence and decides to kidnap one and hold it for ransom.

3.The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson
This book is about a orphan boy. He's a sneak thief until he gets kidnapped by a noble. The nobel has a nefarious and treasonous plan for the group of orphans he's taken. Little does he know that our main character is one step ahead of him the entire time. This book, I would have to say, is my favorite Middle Grade novel. It's great!

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This book revolves around the life of Celaena Sardothien. She is a teenage assassin. The crown prince takes her out of prison so she can compete in a competition to become the King's Assassin. Think Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones (I haven't actually read Game of Thrones.)  Celaena is one of my favorite characters ever! Definitely my favorite female character. She is the perfect mix of kick-butt awesome and prissy girly girl.

1. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
If you are a follower of my blog and haven't read this book by now, you clearly have no common sense. I know some people don't enjoy this book, but it is so great!  It takes you on so many twists and turns you don't see coming, and when you go back and reread it, it has all sorts of clues you missed the first time through. It is a must read for loves of thieves!

If you read a loved several of these books, I think you'll also love the movie Catch Me If You Can and the TV shows White Collar and Leverage.

What are some of your favorite books with criminally awesome main characters? Leave a comment and let me know.

23 comments:

  1. I really like the criminal-hero type of character...as long as it's done correctly. So thanks for recommending these books! I'll have to see if I can read some of them. Also I'm glad I'm not the only one who has read "The Mysterious Benedict Society" :b

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    1. I don't know if I ever would have picked up The Mysterious Benedict Society on my own. My brother frequently buys me books for birthdays and Christmases, and he bought it for me one year. Thanks for commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  2. Ooh! I shall have to check some of these out! (Also, I totally approve of your choice for #1. :D)

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    1. It's so great to encounter other Queen's Thief lovers! I kind of feel like we're a sort of bookish cult. :) Thank you so much for reading! I hope you find some new favorite characters from reading books on this list!
      ~Sarah

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  3. The Mysterious Benedict Society books are some of the best MG books I've ever read. All of the characters are so loveable, and it's great how varied they are. All of their personalities complement each other so well. I also thought the puzzles were really interesting. It's fun to try solving them, even though I usually don't have enough patience to wait to solve a problem before reading on.

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    1. I totally agree! The Benedict Society books are such a fun challenge! I read them in middle school and loved them so much. What are some of your other favorite MG books? I have a hard time finding great ones.
      Thank you for commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  4. I LOVE The Thief! my favorite book in the series is probably The King of Attolia, but they're all wonderful. Artemis Fowl is fantastic, too, and I need to read The Magic Thief and The Last Knight.

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    1. The King of Attolia is my favorite book of the series (and in general) too! I have whole sections of it memorized. Yes, for sure you should read The Last Knight if you're an Artemis and The Thief fan! It is a great blending on the two, with a large cast of characters, a great setting, and fantastic humor.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  5. Awesome list! I have been wanting to check out Throne of Glass for the longest time because I have heard so many awesome things about it. I love your blog; I'm a new follower!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. Hi Krystianna! Welcome to Inklined! I'm so glad you like my blog. How did you find it? You HAVE to read Throne of Glass if you like fantasy and YA. The is the best of both worlds!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm excited to check out your blog!
      ~Sarah

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  6. I love criminal hero's! Artemis Fowl was near and dear to me when I was younger. I also really like Considine from High Lonesome.

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    1. My older sister read the Artemis Fowl books out loud to me when I was pretty young. We thought there were only three books, and were so excited when the next 5 came out. (Although I'll admit I wish the series had ended at book 6. I've never heard of High Lonesome. I'll have to check it out.
      Thanks for commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  7. I love criminal books to , and I enjoyed ally carters books. New follower.

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    1. Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for following Inklined. I hope you continue to like what you see here!. Which of Ally Carter's books is your favorite? I loved Heist Society, but I haven't read All Fall Down yet.
      Thank you for reading and commenting! I'll be checking out your blog for sure!
      ~Sarah

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  8. WHAT. I had no idea Evil Genius was set in Australia! OMG I NEED THAT BOOK RIGHT NOW THEN.

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    1. Hey Cait! It's either set in Australia or New Zealand, but I'm pretty sure it's Australia. There are sections of book three set in the USA, too. It is a really good series. I think book two is my favorite. The MC is pretty dark in the first book.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  9. This is an awesome list, Sarah! I've read pretty much all of them, but there a few I should definitely check out.
    Criminal-like characters are the best! :)

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    1. It is my dream to write a series with criminally inclined characters! They are so great!! I'm glad you like the list. you clearly have good taste in books if you've read so many of these books. (We also raid the same library. That might have something to do with it.)
      Thank you for commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  10. I adore Artemis Fowl, and I haven't read any of the others. (I have watched Catch Me if You Can, though, and that was fabulous.) I do wonder about Evil Genius; I mean, I didn't actually finish the book because evil was not happening fast enough for me and I was disappointed with the setup, but I'm still curious as to what happens.

    I'll have to check out the others later and pick out one or two to read! :D

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    1. Yes, I can understand the frustration with Evil Genius. When Evil is promised, us minions expect it to happen quickly. In my opinion, the first book in the series is actually the worst. My favorite character doesn't really step into the spotlight until book 2. I would encourage you to revisit book 1 and try to slog through. I think it's worth it in the end.
      Thank you for reading!
      ~Sarah

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  11. I'm not kidding when I say that I screamed when I saw The False Prince on your list. I have a lot of faverite books, but when it comes to The Ascendance Trilogy, I turn completly fangirl. Excellent choice!!!! A book with a charecter more admirable than "Sage" is defenitly worth reading.

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    1. Sage is such a great character! But if you liked him, just wait until you meet Gen from The Thief. He's got everything Sage has got, plus a better sense of humor and more cleverness to boot.
      Thanks so much for commenting!
      ~Sarah

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  12. I love The Thief! And Artemis Fowl, and Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I'm going to check out some of the other books here, great list!

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