Joe in “You” by Caroline Kepnes – One brooding, nerdy, psychopathic, stalker, lovable killer coming right up! Joe is far from OK, he’s the opposite of it, he makes you terribly uncomfortable, he’s the lowest scum of the earth, the list of the things that he does that are despicable are basically the length of the entire book but he’s one character that has STAYED with me despite reading it months and months ago. Joe decides he has a connection with a girl and begins to stalk her to a level of deep disturbance going as far as to commit murder to achieve his happily every after. However, he’s written so well that you feel gross when you sympathize with him and find yourself being team-Joe.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in “Perfume – The Story of a Murderer” by Patrick Suskind – Grenouille is one of the creepiest mother fuckers to ever lead a book. An unloved child born with no odor of his own, he can pull scents from his surroundings, including people to manipulate people’s emotions. His ‘gift’ leads him to kill people and extract their essence scent in order to create perfume and bottle their scents. It’s gritty and disturbing but so well done as his determination to be loved leads him to become a monster.
Cordova in “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl – Cordova is a mysterious eccentric horror director that has reached near God-status in the eyes of his fans. However, what we see of Cordova is from the eyes of our main character, journalist Scott. The reason Cordova is such a great villain is because much like the Jaws shark, you hardly see him yet his presence is overwhelming, it drives the plot becoming a tangible thing. You don’t know if he’s a satanist, a sadistic asshole or a feeble old man. Overall, Cordova, despite his lack of presence, makes an awesome villain because it shows us how we can create villains in our own mind with no limit.
Queen Levana in “The Lunar Chronicles” by Marissa Meyer – I believe that Fairest elevated the Lunar Chronicles to a greater level just because Meyer decided to flesh out the cruel Levana and basically tell you her side of the story. How did someone get to be so sadistic, so hateful, so horrible? Behind the monster there’s a person, a person who suffered personal loss and it twisted her to someone willing to burn her baby niece alive in order to gain power. Truly malevolent, Levana is probably one of my favorite YA villains this year.
The Holy Father in “The Invasion of the Tierling” by Erika Johansen – There’s like 4 people you really hate in this series but none made me rage more than The Holy Father who, in an act of despicable bigotry, castrates one of his priests for being gay and it’s just such a horrible scene that your hate for him just grows to exponential levels. Needless to say, I receive the final book today so I am looking forward to how Johansen deals with El Padresito.
Honorable mentions – Fucking Umbridge in Harry Potter and Abendroth in “City of Thieves” by David Benioff. Sadistic motherfcker.