Time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of the Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic is: Ten Books For People Who Like Character Driven Books
1. The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice – Every book of the series either focuses on the individual story of one vampire, or Lestat takes charge and recounts his many adventures. I can’t think of anything more character driven than that.
2. The Dollanganger series by V.C Andrews – this book is an intensive look at characters, and relies almost entirely on them to tell the story, especially in the first novel, Flowers in the Attic, because the children are left locked in an attic for the better part of two years. This character driven story takes us to deep dark places of family, incest, hatred, ethics, morality, and is guaranteed to keep you reading.
3. Anything by Robin Hobb – Robin Hobb is a character driven writer, and her first person POV truly elucidates the level of complexity this allows her stories to have. As such a brilliant writer, her characters are genuine and perfectly flawed, conflicted and yet driven, and end up in the worst outcomes because of this. She’s character driven to the max!
4. The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follet – To be able to write two books together that span across hundreds of years purely on the drive of the characters and their lasting legacy is quite a feat, and I feel that Ken Follet manages this stunningly. His characters are very compelling, and drive not only toward their personal outcomes, but are so enmeshed in the larger milieu of the ‘first English civil war’ that they drive to massive outcomes as well.
5. Philippa Gregory? I add this because its literally the only nice thing I can say about Gregory’s work. She is such a nastily biased author and infuriates me on so many points, but damn, that woman writes strongly driven characters.
Fry: Character driven? So, less tugged along by the plot like Cress and Wizards First Rule and more just.. characters? I feel like that’s more of a Contemporary and Romance specialty.
1. The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey– Holy bajeezus you guys. This book focuses so deeply on the characters that despite being in a zombie infested wasteland, you experience Melanie much more. She’s the driving force in this novel.
2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss– It’s mostly told in reminiscing. Though, there are a few chapters here and there that are mainly plot driven.
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell– I bring up this book only randomly and only within certain groups of people. But, I love Cath and her character arc and her love of Simon Snow.
4. Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks– This is the second book in her second highlander series. The first book is just as character driven, but I found it more poignant in this book. The fact that all the women in this series have some disability or stigma to overcome certainly helps move the plot forward and gives the romance a bit more depth.
5. Game of Thrones- There’s a bit of supernatural stuff happening here and there, but basically it’s a bunch of bratty bitches being bratty at each other and it’s wonderful!
1. The Lord of The Rings– Yes, I am saying this for the Tolkien massive-triology, but I have good reasons! These books are completely driven by the characters. Not just Frodo, the main protagonist, but his family and friends in the Fellowship. When together, their cohesive unit as friends and comrades shines, and when separated there are small and subtle things and events that ultimately connect them, and you care for them the entire way through.
2. Spindle’s End– The first half of the book focuses on Kat, and you stick with her until Rosie grows up. You grow to love and adore her and feel that she’s doing her utmost best. Then when Rosie becomes the main focus of the tale, you love her just as much because you watched her grow up, and want her to find her own ultimate destiny. A pair of characters who are tied together through love, family, and a magic spell that shapes their fortunes and futures.
3. Deerskin- Another book by Robin McKinley, and it continues with her strong characters that drive the story. Lissar is a great character to follow, and you feel all of her ups, her downs, her pains and horrors, and if she did not fight so hard to go on, there would be no story to read. It is all about this girl.
4. The Harry Potter Series– Oh you BET this is character driven! Not just Harry’s choices as the protagonist, but every choice and every move the characters make in these books shape the course of the plot. Without even one of the characters mentioned in these books, we’d have very little plot and adventure to follow!
5. Full Metal Alchemist– Character driven plot is not just for the novel. It’s for manga too! And no better title deserves to be on this list. Every action taken by the characters in this series, especially Ed and Alphonse Elric, drives the story headlong like a train going down the track.