Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dystopian Reader Views - Kick A$$ Characters on your Side

A question I often ask myself when reading a dystopian or post apocalyptic novel is: would I survive?  I always think it would certainly help if I had some kick a$$ characters on my side.  Naturally, no single character has the universal skills it takes to survive the wide range of world ending scenarios authors have thought up over the years, so it is essential to pick a good team.

So here's who'd I pick:
Peeta from The Hunger Games just because I love him
Lena from Gone because she's a healer and you can always use that
Elspeth from Obernewtyn because she can farspeak (telepathy), beastspeak, and has the power of coercion
Tool from Shipbreaker as my muscle
Topher from Dollhouse as my computer genius

I asked my dystopian reader panel who'd they want on their team (up to 5 characters from the genre) if they had to face down a villainous dystopian society. 

Diana Peterfreund's Team:

I think it would depend on the nature of the villains. I don't know how much use someone like even Katniss Everdeen would be if my dystopian society were powered by evil master computers. I think then I'd rather have someone from Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, or Crake or, you know, Neo. But if it were a low-tech kind of society, someplace where I might be attacked by a zombie around any corner, Katniss and her fighting skills would be a huge asset.

 Swapna Krishna's Team:

Gale from The Hunger Games (because he could hunt so I didn't have to)
V from V for Vendetta (because he'd kill everyone)
Shogo from Battle Royale (because he's smart and I'd assume he knew what was going on since he did in the book),
The main character from Anthem by Ayn Rand (because he figured out how to invent a light bulb, and I figure that would be useful)
Mary from The Dead-Tossed Waves (because I'd need someone to talk to - NOT the whiny version from The Forest of Hands and Teeth)

Julie 's Team

Marena from The Silenced because she is clever and thoughtful. Often she makes rushed decisions and trusts too easily but that is what makes her an endearing character. I need someone that I could feel comfortable making mistakes around and then coming up with a solution to get out of a problem.
Tally and Zane from Uglies. Tally’s skills on a hooverboard and her exemplary courage even through her dreaded doubts pretty much say it all. Zane’s amazing endurance and classy characterization make him an unforgettable choice.
Thresh and Rue from The Hunger Games. It just seems like Thresh was a strong character that was misunderstood & underrated. Rue’s ability to make herself hidden, her ability to forage and last as long as she did is what I’d want on my team.

Jen Arnold's Team

Tally Youngblood from the Uglies series...need I say more? Tally is bad-ass. Everytime I’m on a snowboard I imagine I’m Tally on her way to the Smoke.
Snowball from Oryx and Crake. Such a resourceful beach dweller.
The little boy from The Road. Tough kid.

Michelle Millet's Team

Katniss from the Hunger Games cause the girl uses a bow with skill, can kill when she needs to and dang it, but she needs a good girlfriend.
Tom from Mortal Engines because he is intelligent and handy in a fight. Good qualities both.
The Dad from The Road because sometimes you need someone willing to sacrifice themselves for the group.
Sam from Gone: It'd be very handy to have someone with his supernatural powers floating around for a big battle.
Manchee from Chaos Walking because I'd need a loyal companion when things really started to get dark - and he'd provide humor, which is a must.
Michelle Franz' Team
Katniss from The Hunger Games. That girl is like a cat she's got so many lives, smart and strong to boot!
Harper Adams from Veracity. She's got the ability to read people's aura's (maybe even a bit of ESP), she's a government agent/spy, and has critical thinking skills like nobody's business.
Alex from Delirium because he's super swoon-worthy and what girl doesn't want a guy who does the types of things he does (which I won't spoil because the book isn't out yet) for her?
Angela Mann's Team
Katniss from The Hunger Games, because she is fierce, politically astute, does whatever is needed.
Thomas from The Maze Runner as he is wily and tenacious and knows more than he thinks, cares for those around him
Sya's Team
Todd and Viola from Chaos Walking - because they have totally got it down.
Peeta from The Hunger Games - because I like cake.
Ethan from The Adoration of Jenna Fox - because I like Walden.
Boy from The Road - because I like hope

Beth Revis's Team

Katniss, because she is awesome at surviving and will hopefully help me survive, too
Mary from Forest of Hands and Teeth because she's pretty smart at getting out of trouble
Tally from Uglies because she can get out of scrapes well
Captain Mal from Firefly because he has no trouble shooting people and is very hot naked
Cinna from Hunger Games because then he can dress me and I'll look pretty for Captain Mal...

Jennifer Reeder's Team

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games because she’s a survivalist who not only knows how to hunt but who survived two Hunger Games and inadvertently started a rebellion;
Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451 because he can wield a flamethrower and recite poetry;
Ender Wiggins from Ender’s Game because he is the king of strategy
Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go because he’s a talking dog, and who would suspect a talking dog?

Gail's Team

Katniss from Hunger Games that girl can kick some serious ass, so yeah I'd want her on my side.
Peeta from Hunger Games because not only can he kick butt when need be but he's also got a very valuable skill. he can cook...and food is as essential to survival as facing down villainous dystopians.
Tally Youngblood from Uglies the girl is smart and can think fast which is a valuable assesst when being hunted - be it by crazy power hunger adults or by the zombie horde.
Dr Eph Goodweather from The Strain because he's a doctor. He's an expert for the CDC and so knows all about illness and disease and patching people up. Which is always needed in a battle.
Mary from Forest of Hands and Teeth because when the going gets tough and you need a sacrifice I can totes pitch her to the hordes for that purpose. Does that make me mean and heartless? maybe....but man, that girl just annoys me. lol

Looks like that Katniss is spreading herself pretty thin!  So tell me, who would be on your team and why?  And which of my panel members picked the best team in your opinion?


Unknown said...

My team?

Todd and Viola from Chaos Walking.


Tom and Hester from Mortal Engines

Now that's a team that KICKS A$$! ;)

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I'd choose:

Ky from Matched because he's super-smart, but has the smarts to hide his intelligence. He observes from a distance and makes his move after he's assessed the situation. And, he sounds pretty cute.

Viola from The Ask and the Answer because she's one tough tomato. She lands on a foreign planet and escapes hundreds of men intent on getting rid of her.

Mikey from The Unidentified because he's a computer/ tech genius. He could be that guy in the dark room who figures out the bad guy's master plan right before the bomb explodes. Or whatever. He'd be a good guy to have around.

Avox girl from the Hunger Games. Why? Well, to be different. She may bot have the use of her vocal cords, but she sure has a reason to be pissed off and to want to kill for what happened to her. I bet she'd be a great asset. And, there are other ways to communicate, right?

This is a team of unexpected, kick-a$$ people. Let's do this!

ibeeeg said...

I really like Swapna Krishna's Team because I completely agree with her choice of Gale and Shogo...especially with Shogo!!

Laura @ I'm Booking It said...

No idea who I'd pick-- I'm with Diane that it depends on what kind of society it was-- but I really enjoyed reading everyone's picks!

Peaceful Reader said...

I would also choose Katniss from the Hunger Games and Sam from Gone-the two of them would be assets. Even though she is not from a dystopian novel I would def. want Lisbeth Salander by my side!! Loved reading everyone's answers and gave me some new reading ideas. Rue from HG is a great choice also.

Lightheaded said...

I'm going for Tally Youngblood as well. And since my lunch is calling to me, I can't think straight as to who the other four people would be.

I like why Sya chose her team. But for the mere mention of Captain Mal Reynolds, I'm going for Beth Revis' team on this one :) Browncoats forever!

Lightheaded said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn Embers said...

This is an interesting post. I haven't read many of the books but several of the ones mentioned are on my to read list. I even just bought Little Brother today.

so umm... I'll take whatever characters I create for my own novels that I'm writing soon. I think one might be named Sage. Since I've only read a couple books recently that are dystopian.

Rebecca said...

I like Gail's team. :D

I'm not really sure what defines a Dystopian-book, but well... I'd like to have a Katniss and a Peeta on my team. :)

- Rebecca

Lenore Appelhans said...

Darren - I guess I need to read Mortal Engines, b/c Todd and Viola are def. awesome!

Mrs. DeRaps - Good call on Mikey!

Lightheaded - YES! Captain Mal!

Jeanne said...

I like Diana Peterfreund's team. My team would also have the main character from Little Brother (Marcus) on it, along with Hiro Protagonist (from Stephenson's Snow Crash) to help him. Also Toby from Atwood's The Year of the Flood, because she has a lot of practical knowledge. And the person from Fahrenheit 451 who is Shakespeare's play Othello, because I love it and would want to hear it in such a time.

Beth F said...

Love everyone's teams and the reasons for picking each member. Great fun here.