Monday, June 23, 2014

Snarkfest: Overly Badass Heroes & Heroines

I'm sure most of us, if not all, love a heroine/hero with a considerable amount of "spunk." Girls like Katniss and Celaena makes us girls proud, and guys like Ash and the Darkling make us swoooon.


For some, there comes a time when you encounter a hero/heroine who is just WAY too badass and extremely unrealistic. Yeah, yeah, it's fiction, but we crave a character with flaws, who isn't perfection incarnate, and who makes mistakes. Sometimes, I think, authors take the badassery way too far and end up creating a character whose only purpose is to defeat the bad guys. There's no personality, no imperfections, NADA.

Well, I guess this is better than the alternative - to have insipidly weak heroes and, more commonly, insipidly weak heroines. But there's got to be a balance, y'know?

1.) Jace, from City of Bones
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Emma Watson is Annoyed
You go, Emma
I admit this series is sort of a guilty pleasure, put Jace is definitely one of the not so redeeming qualities. I've just DNFed City of Heavenly Fire because, well, there are only so many descriptions of Jace's apparent fighting prowess I can handle without banging my head on a wall (you can find my ranty-review here). I understand the author wanted to create the ideal teen version of a Greek god, but please, couldn't she have made him a tad more realistic?

2.) Scarlet, from Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)

If you've read my review of Scarlet, you know that I adored the first installment, at least when I first read it. A few months ago, I read Lady Thief, and from then on, things went downhill. That is to say, I started to notice the major flaws of the series; namely, the protagonist, Scarlet.

Cosby No

While I am all for female empowerment and proving that we are not in constant need of saving, Gaughen went to extremes. Yes, Scarlet is a badass, but she is nowhere near realistic. At first glance, she is actually quite admirable - albeit a bit scary. But digging deeper, I start to notice she has nothing more to her personality other than the fact that she is a master thief. Which made her seem one-dimensional. Which made me dislike the series entirely.

3.) Day/June, from Legend by Marie Lu
Legend (Legend, #1)

I say Day/June because they are both exactly the same. I've read the next and half of the third, but the lack of characterization/distinguishing between the two is pretty bad in this installment. Here you have June, who is perfect at everything, and Day, who is also perfect at everything. 

Therein lies the issue - they are too ideally badass from the beginning of the series that they a) have no room to grow and b) have zero personality. They're not only badass in fighting, they are also badass at being geniuses and stuff. You know, much smarter than the average mortal. /sarcasm 

Do you guys know any characters that are waaay too badass for them to be considered realistic? Does it bother you when authors choose to make their characters like this? Let me know in the comments!

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