Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jennifer Harlow's Top 10 Anti-Heroes! (Guest Post & Giveaway)

If I had to pick one book so far this year that was better than all the rest, it would be Jennifer Harlow's "Justice". Yes, it was that amazing. You can check out my 5 star review HERE and a great review by my buddy Mithrendiel HERE. If that's not enough to convince you of the awesomeness that is Justice, then there are even more raving reviews over at Amazon. This story definitely deserves the praise it's receiving.

Jennifer Harlow has stopped by to discuss her favorite anti-heroes. I know you all love them as much as I do, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments below. ~Cat

Full confession: I cannot stand Superman. I have never and will never like him (even when played by eye candy like Henry Cavill.) Why, you may ask? He saves people, he’s handsome, he’s almost invincible, he can rock tights like no one else. He is perfect. Well, there is your answer. I cannot stand perfect people either in real life (Hello Gwyneth) or in fiction. It’s just so boring and one dimensional. Most of us have layers, good and bad with good hopefully winning out more than its yang. The world and people in it live in gray.  Given the choice between a conversation with a nice person or an interesting bastard I go bastard every time. Which is why I love my main character Det. Joanna Fallon in my latest book Justice. She’s not the sweetest, softest of women. She cusses like a sailor, drinks too much, makes tons of bad decisions, and is prejudiced toward the superhumans who inhabit her world. Yet she’s also excellent at her job, owns up to her flaws, and loves with everything she has. When my agent was shopping the book around one of the reasons editors gave for not publishing it was Jo was too tough. She wasn’t “feminine” enough, whatever that meant. She was the kind of woman who if someone punches her in the face, instead of crying and shutting up, she spits blood right back in his. In other words, she's wasn’t a perfect heroine. She was an anti-hero. And she’s in good company. Here are my top ten favorite characters of all time, and everyone is an interesting bastard:

10. Beatrix Kiddo AKA The Bride
“You and I have unfinished business.” Don’t mess with the top female assassin. Don’t try to kill her and kidnap her daughter or you’ll face the wrath of her katana. But what wouldn’t you do for your child?

9. Malcolm Reynolds
Smuggler. Space pirate. Wise ass. He’s a criminal without question, yet if you’re in his heart, you’re in for eternity no matter what he may try to make you believe. And he does look amazing in tight pants.

8. Walter White
Mild-mannered chemistry teacher dying of cancer wants his family to have some money before he dies. Why not cook meth? Of course now he’s a hairsbreadth from becoming Evil (his death count is almost as high as Dexter’s), but somewhere deep down his humanity remains intact.

7. Veronica Mars
Most teenage girls are obsessed with fashion and boys. Veronica is obsessed with following people around and solving murders. She’s always sassy, she does have sex, and her methods can be questionable but she gets the job done.  

6. Batman
There’s a reason they call him The Dark Knight. He fights for good, sure, but his methods involve beating bad guys to a pulp and committing crimes for the greater good. He’s moody, misanthropic, and what normal human puts on a mask without something to hide?

5. Scarlett O’Hara
She’s beautiful. She’s determined. She’s strong. She’s a total bitch. She will go after your man, shoot you dead for stealing from her, and lie just as much as she breathes. But she’ll also deliver your baby, save a plantation, and support her family. Sometimes being a bitch isn’t such a bad thing.

4. Dexter Morgan
Can a serial killer have a moral code? This one does. A serial killer who only kills other serial killers, Dexter knows what he’s doing is wrong but he has to feed his dark side or else. Sure he’s cleaning up the streets, but for his own selfish reasons.

3. Sherlock Holmes
No matter the portrayal, or the hotness of the actor (*sigh* those cheekbones) one thing remains consistent: Sherlock is a dick. He is the smartest person in the room and knows it. He doesn’t care what you think about him or your feelings, he will literally walk over your corpse to solve the puzzle. And let’s not forget he’s a drug addict. But he puts his intellect to good use to solve crimes.

2. Tyrion Lannister
Part of the evilest family in all of Westeros, this put upon dwarf manages to survive by his wits and wit. Sure he drinks, whores around, and even kills once or twice, he also saves a city and tries to put the kingdom above his own needs.  You can’t spell Pimp without Imp.

1. Catwoman
Some people place her in the villain category. She is a thief, she’ll play the side that benefits her, and she’ll cut or whip a bitch without hesitation, yet she’ll help Batman whenever she can. She believes in helping wildlife, especially felines, and she has been known to stop a crime or two herself.

What about you? Do you prefer your heroes in white or gray? Who have I left off the list? Why are anti-heroes so popular right now?

Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills. She is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling  F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad and Midnight Magic Series. For the soundtracks to her books visit

It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic. 
Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers. 
After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.
At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.

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famous landscape paintings said...

haha fun post!! good to know your top ten!

Timothy Brannan said...

Great list. I'd also include Gregory House from House MD.

timewantsaskeleton said...

I second Catwoman and Batman. Also, Ironman. Ironman, aside from the fact that he's kind of a drunk and a womanizer, frequently makes his own problems, it would be easy to be unsympathetic towards him but it's so much better to root for him. I've been watching Under the Dome, I'm going to say Barbie, 1st scene he's dumping a body then he starts sleeping over the deadguy's wife's house and doesn't come clean. That's some "bad guy" behavior. But then he saved 3 people's lives and beat up this psycho, Junior. So, you know, multi-dimensions. GREAT POST!!!

Jennifer Harlow said...

I loved House but he's basically Sherlock Holmes.

Debbie said...

Oh, I love this list! My favorites from the list have to be Batman, Dexter, Scarlett and Sherlock. And I love that she picked the Cumberbatch Sherlock because he's the bees knees.

Beth W said...

And with this post, an author I'd never heard of before just landed on my must-read list. I LOVE morally-grey characters, especially Byronic/reluctant/anti-heroes. And heroines, of course.

(and of course, your list is dead-on...other add-ons might include: Sawyer from Lost, most of the cast of Battlestar Galactica, most of the cast of the British series Misfits, etc)

Katy S said...

OH, I hate Superman (and Spiderman, too, for that matter, but that's beside the point), too, and also love a good anti-hero! Have you seen "The Book of Paul" by Richard Long? That has both a good anti-hero and a truly outstanding hero.

Wanted to say that the Facebook option... there's no link to the FB page, or even a URL to copy/paste, so I can't do that one. I think I'm a fan, but don't want to "cheat" if I am not. Since I was already following on Twitter, I figure I probably AM a fan, but better safe than sorry.

Great giveaway, great post! Thanks!

Jennifer Harlow said...

Debbie-I use any excuse to look at a pic of Cumberbatch. ANY EXCUSE.

Beth-I love Misfits! Save me Barry!

erin said...

Sounds fantastic!!! Thanks so much for the fun post and congrats Jennifer! Ummm... I'd have to add Vin Diesel's character from the Fast and Furious

Jennifer Harlow said...

Katy S-I'll have to give the book a look. Thanks for the recommend. As for the Facebook thing, no idea. If you have a Pinterest I'm most active on that.

Erin-Good one.

Coley said...

Thanks to reading a review on another blog, I already have your book on my to read as soon as humanly possible list (its burning a hole in my ereader). Now I want to read it more. Great post, great anti-heroes - they are my favorite to read and write about.

Jennifer Harlow said...

Happy reading Coley.

Mary Preston said...

What a great list. I'm a huge fan of Tyrion Lannister and Dexter & Batman.

Tammy said...

Malcolm, Veronica, Dexter, Tyrion and Sherlock- love them all!

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