Hello friends! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, brought to you by Top 5 Wednesday on GoodReads, is ‘Books For Your Hogwarts House’. My house is Slytherin (which… may have already been obvious), house of ambition, cunning, unfathomable camaraderie, and loyalty so fierce it can become deadly.
Before I start on these books I’ve chosen for my beloved house, I feel as if I must begin with a disclaimer: as a Slytherin, I’m aware, of course, that we are not ‘the evil house’, that there are Slytherins who aren’t pure evil, however, horror is my favorite book genre. So there’s gonna be some characters in here that maybe aren’t the best representatives of Slytherin as a whole, but are just some of my favorite characters because they happen to be in horror novels. There are a couple of non-horror ones, though!
So let us begin!
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Hah! Like we could get through a Slytherin book rec list without talking about Amy Dunne. This bitch is a poster girl for Slytherin house: resourceful, ambitious, determined, cunning, good at making all her moves behind the scenes and under the radar.
Gone Girl tells the story of a man named Nick Dunne, who’s approaching his fifth wedding anniversary with his wife, Amy. Suddenly, just before the date approaches, Amy disappears, leaving behind a diary filled with accusations toward Nick, that he’s been abusive, that she’s frightened of him. The only problem is, Nick hasn’t done any of those things (and we know this; the first half of the book is from his point of view). But what motive does Amy have to make all of this up about him? And how far will she go?
Gone Girl is probably most famous for the movie starring Rosamund Pike and
Batman Ben Affleck, and, admittedly, I saw the movie before I read the book, so a lot of the twists and turns were perhaps lost on me. Still, in a twisted way, Amy was someone who awed me, someone so intelligent and calculating, using her powers for evil instead of good. A Slytherin through and through.
2. The Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris
Another incredibly smart and suave baddie. I’m pretty sure everyone on planet Earth has heard of Hannibal Lecter, at least in passing, mostly because of his portrayals by Anthony Hopkins and Mads Mikkelsen. But I think less people have read Thomas Harris’s original books, which is a shame, because they’re amazing.
The first book in the series, Red Dragon, is told from the point of view of Will Graham, an FBI instructor with a special gift for hunting madmen, like Hannibal himself. But it’s not enough to be talented at catching killers; this time around, he has to take the advice of a killer himself, visiting Hannibal where he sits dormant in a high-security prison and taking what advice he gives Will in order to bring his current maniac to justice.
But it’s not just Hannibal I think represents Slytherin in these books. Will himself (and later, Clarice) shows remarkably Slytherin-ish tendencies himself; who else would use a convicted cannibalistic serial killer as a valid resource in a case, just because he knew that Hannibal would have exactly the mindset he needed? No, no, Ravenclaws would be too sensible, Gryffindors too proud, Hufflepuffs too loyal to the justice system. Will Graham is a Slytherin, through and through.
3. The Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo
This one is definitely not horror, although I guess it has some spooky elements. This is actually a middle-grade series, that I read when I was much younger, probably still in elementary school, but I still remember it quite vividly because I loved it quite a bit. It has the added bonus of being set in a school not unlike Hogwarts itself, but with academic departments instead of houses. Let me explain.
The first book, Midnight for Charlie Bone, introduces us to Charlie, a little guy totally normal except for the fact that he can hear people in photographs talking. Turns out, he’s the descendant of some weird dude called the Red King. And he’s not the only one. There are actually quite a few kids around his age who appear to be descendants of this Red King, and all of them go to a place called Bloor’s Academy, a school for prodigies in music, art, and drama.
But what would a boarding school story be without a slimy little Draco Malfoy type? Yeah, we got one of those. His name’s Manfred Bloor, which is the nerdiest name in existence and reminds me of Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory. He’s the son or grandson or something of the person who founded Bloor’s Academy, and a descendant of the Red King himself. Now that I think about it, the only reason I included these books is because he reminds me of Draco. whoops.
4. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
This badass, amazing book gets double the points because Nefertiti was a real, badass, amazing lady, and a Slytherin without a doubt. There is nothing I love more than a ruthless, ambitious woman, and this novel by Michelle Moran shows off Nefertiti’s Slytherin side in spades. I really am overdue to reread it.
The story is actually told by Nefertiti’s younger sister, Mutnodjmet, and the two of them are the youngest women in a powerful Egyptian family. Because of this, Nefertiti is all set to marry Amunhotep, Egypt’s newest pharaoh, and honestly, a little bit of a nutjob. He’s talking about worshiping only one god, to totally ignore Egypt’s pantheon, which is basically making all of the priests hate him. But she’s alright with it, as long as she gets to be queen, which, hey, same.
Throughout Amunhotep’s rule, Nefertiti just goes with whatever nonsense he’s spewing in order to maintain her high status, all the while making sure her sister wants for nothing. Until they start realizing the priests might not just kind of hate Amunhotep. They might despise him enough to kill him. So, yeah, probably do something about that.
5. The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay
Last but not least, a Slytherin favorite. This was a thing I actually read the book of before the show came out, which was cool (but not like, necessary). But this is a story where a Slytherin uses their powers for (debatable) good.
Dexter is a serial killer (stay with me!) who only kills shitty people. Honestly, that’s enough for me to consider him not a horrible person, though I know my standards are a little low. He also, conveniently, has a job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department, so he gets front row seats to all the really horrible people and the evidence that surrounds them. Which is awfully handy.
However, one fine day, they come across a crime scene that looks… weirdly similar to the stuff Dexter himself does to all the dicks he disposes of. A copycat killer. He’s half flattered and half creeped out. Cause, on the one hand, hey, it’s nice to have your work appreciated. But on the other hand, what if this other dick-killer is using this as a threat? What if he knows who Dexter really is? Or even worse, what if it’s Dexter himself doing these things, and he somehow doesn’t remember it?
That’s it for Top 5 Wednesday this week! Join me next week for Side Ships, aka ships between secondary characters I totally love. Until next time!