Good morrow! If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been working my way through The End of the Year Survey as created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I follow her pattern pretty closely, but now I want to take a brief interlude in the proceedings to talk about secondary characters.
Protagonists, antagonists, and love interests garner the most talk in the survey, and rightly so. However, being a character-focused reader, I often find myself falling most deeply in love with the supporting characters that aid or hinder our main characters and prop up the bulk of the plot, and so I thought they deserved their own list.
Rules for making the list:
- They must be actual secondary or tertiary characters. So no love interests (I still love you, Sturmhond and Niklaas and Gansey and…!), antagonists (sorry, Mr. Darkling, sir, don’t kill me), or any main characters that shares a POV (so as much as I love Titus and Iolanthe, since both helm the narrative, neither qualifies.)
- They must be well-rounded. How well-rounded will depend on how much page time they receive, but I don’t want any one-trick ponies on my list.
- I have to know who they are. What I mean by that is that I don’t need more than a name to remember why I love them so much.
- They have to be cool enough that I would follow them to a spinoff novel all their own.
Derrick from The Falconer by Elizabeth May
In a book of awesome, Derrick was one of the brightest parts of my reading experiences. As a pixie (a type of faerie) living with a faerie-killer, Derrick should be balancing a dangerously thin line. Instead, he throws himself wholeheartedly in support of Aileana, be it in mending her clothes or telling off faerie bad boy, Kiaran. Derrick is by far one of the funniest characters I’ve read all year, and I’d happily follow him anywhere.
Dimwit and Cusser from Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
As Dimwit and Cusser are drones operating within certain programming, it might be hard to write an entire book around them, but I could easily see them functioning in a Minions-style spinoff. Dimwit is sweet and well-intentioned in a Wall-E sort of way, while Cusser is… let’s say pugnacious. They’re both too cute to handle.
Ezra from Firebug by Lish McBride
In my review, I described Ezra as this year’s Kenji, or YA’s Jack Harkness if Jack were a were-fox. Ezra is immature, vain, irritating, and overly flirtatious, but he’s also loyal, fun, funny, and has some tender moments that made me sigh.
Harshaw from Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
We’ll get to some of my other favorites in this book farther down in the list, but we need to talk about Harshaw. This guy came out of nowhere in between Siege and Ruin. I’d never met him before, didn’t know what to expect, and honestly thought he’d be a problem, but I ADORE him now. He’s eccentric, a bit unhinged, and loves fire. What’s not to like?
Micah Yoder from Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas
I may be stretching the “well-rounded” requirement a bit here, but that’s okay. You know why? Because I am Micah Yoder. I am! I identified with him so much, and I’d love to see him grow and become better friends with people from work.
Noah from Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
MAH BEBE! Let’s face it, Noah is never NOT going to be on this list. I adore all of Blue’s Raven Boys, but Noah… Noah is mine. He’s like a little sugar glider you just want to snuggle and tuck in your pocket. Any time anything even remotely bad happens to him in the books, I want to wail.
Simon from H2O by Virginia Bergin
I think Simon is the only one I WOULDN’T want a book about, if only because I’m not sure my heart can take it. Could I handle seeing the events of H2O through his eyes? It was bad enough looking through the eyes of his stepdaughter, Ruby, but Simon did so much to shield her from their horrific situation. Ugh, that man. What a dad.
Sloane from Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I adore all of the kids in the Naturals programs, but I have a special soft spot for Sloane. She’s the youngest kid in the program and the only one who has a gift unrelated to the nitty-gritty of human psychology. As someone who understands probabilities and statistics, Sloane can calculate the odds of another person behaving a certain way, but she doesn’t quite understand why. Therefore, she’s often left out of group interactions. All I want is for Sloane to helm a book of her own and find love and acceptance.
Vladimir from A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Technically, Vladimir doesn’t even exist. He’s the brother to the book’s protagonist, but only in a very specific alternate universe. AND HE IS WONDERFUL. Seriously, Vladimir is one of the best literary big brothers out there, and as the heir to the Russian throne in the midst of a revolution, his story would be a fantastic one to follow.
Zoya and Genya and David from Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
I told you there would be more! I lumped these three together, because I think of them as a unit, and one couldn’t have a spinoff without the other two being present. I’ve always loved Genya and David (they made my list last year), and they’re just as wonderful together as they are apart. (Seriously, David, that speech you gave in R&R? You got game, bro.) On the other hand, I HATED Zoya in the first two books, but her bromance (galmance?) with Genya in R&R was a masterpiece. Go off and have adventures, you crazy kids!
Ziggerastica from How To Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell
The HTTYD series is chockfull of hilarious and detailed secondary characters, but I think of all of them, Ziggerastica the nanodragon would make the best main character. I’d love to see a book (maybe even a picture book?) following the egotistical little creature as he rules his tiny kingdom and spouts off insulting poetry at the giants around him.