As my children keep reminding me, it's Halloween Eve today. Such a momentous occasion deserves a list, don't you think? I thought we'd go with my favorite creepy crawlies. These are my favorites, you understand. I already did a best of the Big Bads (the ones you run from screaming like a banshee). This lot are horses of a different color. These ones can be scary as hell when they want to be, but they're also the ones I return to over and over again because of the love. They are the heroes, the antiheroes, the you're-never-quite-sure-of-them-but-there's-something-about-them-you-can't-walk-away-from ones. So. In no particular order, my favorite Things That Go Bump in the Night:
Adam Hauptman from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
You saw this one coming, I know. But I really can't help it. Adam is just . . . Adam. He lets Mercy be herself while threatening to eat her cat if it strays onto his property once more. Full disclosure, I went back and forth between Adam and Bran because, well, Bran. But it was Adam in the end.
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I don't feel the need to explain myself here.
Con from Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The best of all the many different visions of vampires, he combines nobility of character with absolutely spine-unhinging terror. His skin is the color of dead mushrooms and he is not okay. But in the very best way.
Ti from Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
Ti is a relatively recent acquaintance, but a favorite nonetheless. Because he is goofy and yet grave . . . in a very relaxing and intriguing way. Also, he is a zombie firefighter. I just . . . I just love how awesome that is.
Helen from A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
I am fond of a fair number of literary ghosts (Jacob Marley, anyone?), but Helen came out of nowhere and captured my attention and my sympathy in a very real way. I am not often fond of the ghost as protagonist. But Helen is an exception. A beautiful, haunting exception.
Curran Lennart from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
"Here, kitty, kitty, kitty . . . "
Ravus from Valiant by Holly Black
You think a troll can't be a romantic lead. But Holly Black will prove you wrong. And she'll do it in such a Beauty and the Beast convention-bending way. Ravus is like the Dr. Jekyll of modern YA faery tale fantasy. He also wields a mean sword.
Nick Ryves from The Demon's Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan
I may be more partial to his less demonic (though no less deviant) brother, but Nick Ryves is definitely my favorite soulless hellspawn. By a long shot. I feel you, Mae. I feel you.
Marak from The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
What I said above about trolls and the unexpected qualities thereof, the same thing goes for goblins. And yet. I love that Clare B. Dunkle yanks you back and forth with Marak. Never sure exactly how you feel about him, it's an exquisite agony watching Kate learn to shape a life with the goblin king.
Irial from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr
Twisted. And oh-so-dark. I'm still a bit taken aback at how comprehensively Melissa Marr brought me over to the side of the Dark Lord. I have to admire the skill involved cause, yeah, Irial is embedded way down deep in my heart.
And what about you? Who are some of your faves? Any creepy crawlies I'm missing?