First of all as you would imagine this post is spoilery. Which is why we’ve hidden each name and explanation under a spoiler tag. If you don’t want to know who dies in a particular book, don’t click it! If you can handle it, go for it. Also we ask that you are conscious when commenting on the post and only reference comments with the book name not actual character name so there’s no obvious spoilers in the comments either.
That warning out of the way…there are some deaths that are just too hard to swallow and have been forever engraved in our minds. These are our top ten that even now as we count them down and remember them we can’t help but clutch our chest in pain.
When we all thought that nothing else could happen, Suzanne Collins absolutely devastates readers and her characters by killing off the one person who we all thought was safe. Killing Prim off in the last book of the Hunger Games series not only enraged many readers but it put plenty of us in shock as well. Prim’s death communicated that NOBODY was off-limits. This one was particularly hard to accept because of all the sacrifices that Katniss had made for her sister. If you were anything like me, there was a long moment of silence as disbelief coursed through my system before full on rage consumed me. This by far was the most difficult death to accept. [/spoiler]
Not an easy thing to deal with, the death of our beloved Jenks’ wife. Matalina is the rock that holds the pixies together at Rachel Morgan’s house. Her death while protecting Rachel from a fairy attack was unexpected and we felt the effects of it for a long time to come. I think that was the worst part of all, was seeing Jenks fall apart without his reason for being.[/spoiler]
There are times authors can’t recover from killing off a character. This might be the biggest one of those. Long time fans of the series couldn’t forgive it and it felt like the worst possible way to end a series so abruptly. Other readers haven’t been able to read the last installment due to the fact the spoiler was out there about this death and they can’t cope. Overall, a hard hit for a series with so much potential.[/spoiler]
Liam’s death in A Cursed Bloodline is one of the biggest devastation in all the books I’ve read. Though his death was honorable, it was so sudden that everyone who loved him suffered enormously. The loss of his packmates endured was a heavy burden but what Emily felt was even worse. Her heartbreak and loneliness was so palpable it stripped me of any energy I had. I cried so hard. To this day, it is still one of the most emotionally charged books I have ever read.[/spoiler]
You know how sometimes you are reading something and you are so caught up in the action that when a character dies you have to do a double take because….THAT COULDN’T HAVE JUST HAPPENED? And then you read it again, and maybe a third time and you keep thinking that he’s not really dead because the author can’t do that so I’m sure he’ll show up alive later. But then that doesn’t happen. The death of Faythe’s brother Ethan Sanders was a hard hit for me and because of how shocking it was it is still one of the pivotal moments in the Shifters series for me. One of those moments that I remember exactly where I was when I experienced it. And I still wish it hadn’t happened.[/spoiler]
It is no secret that this book will draw tears from you because from the beginning you are dealing with kids having cancer and suffering through their treatments. But, the fact that the one that actually dies is Augustus, who had been in remission and was healthy for the whole of the book and just supporting his new girlfriend and his friends, hits hard. All.The.Feels. This was one of those deaths that reduced me to a messy, snotty, hard to breath, disaster. Because it’s shockingly unexpected when you thought you were prepared for a death to come.[/spoiler]
Oh, look! Ward is on this list twice! Seems like the WARDen takes great pleasure in ripping reader’s hearts out. With Wellsie’s death, the BDB fandom cried as one. No one ever thought that a Shellan would die. It went against all of the Romance rules that once you got a HEA, you were untouchable but Ward proved that wrong. To this day, Wellsie’s death makes me cry whenever I reread.[/spoiler]
Speaking of Romances, not all of them follow that cardinal rule of a HEA. This year, Ward shattered hearts and caused an uproar when she killed off one of the heroines in the latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. While she does ensure that a HEA does occur in the book, it’s not what readers may think.
To me, Selena’s death was inevitable. When I started the book, there were several clues of what was going to happen to her so I was almost ready for it when it actually happened. Does it make it easier to read though? No. In fact I think all of us were weeping when the time came to say goodbye to Selena.[/spoiler]
In the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, Kartik is the main hero of the series. He’s the heart and soul of the book so when he sacrifices himself so that the others could live, it basically killed me. Not only was it unexpected but when I really stopped to think about it, I realized that this wasn’t such a crazy thing for Kartik to do. He’s always been the one to look out for Gemma and while it completely shattered me after the whirlwind romance that he had with Gemma, his decision to die stayed very true to his character. But because I was just getting into reading when I first read this, I think this death will probably go down as the worst one for me because everything you hoped to happen, everything you thought would happen to him and Gemma died along with him. It’s why I prefer Romances now over YA. At least you know you’ll be getting a HEA at the end of the book.
“Do you ever feel that way?”
I search for the words. “Restless. As if you haven’t really met yourself yet. As is you’d passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt – ‘Ah! There I Am! I’ve been missing that piece!’ But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again. And you spend the rest of your days looking for it.”
He nods, and I think he’s appeasing me. I feel stupid of having said it. It’s sentimental and true, and I’ve revealed a part of myself I shouldn’t have.
“Do you know what I think?” Kartik says at last.
“Sometimes, I think you can glimpse it in another.”[/spoiler]
I believe this is the ultimate character death I can’t get over. Maybe because we get to go through it TWICE. I was shocked when it happened. I’m still shocked and saddened when I think about it. It definitely was impossible to get over and I know many people dropped the series after reading this. To those of you who did that, stick with it! The series is kick ass and I loved how it ended. This death though will just continue being a sore spot in your heart that I don’t think you can fully recover from. Heartbreaking, sad, shocking and brutal. Yeah. Now I’ll just go cry some more.[/spoiler]
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- Black Dagger Legacy Series Guide - April 14, 2023
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*cries* why, oh why did you have to remind me of those? I agree with both of your The Hollows deaths, and the one you mentioned last hit me even harder, I think. I literally cried for days! And now, you made it all come back to me! TFiOS gutted me! When I watched the movie with my daughter, who hadn’t read the book, she didn’t understand why I started crying at the very beginning… The Mocking Jay death nearly killed me! And that’s all I have to say about that one… there was another death in that series that… Read more »
Can you imagine reading all those books one after the other? Nonstop crying ~ Annie
Mocking Jay pissed me off. I didn’t cry I was just mad that she went from point A to C to avoid it and it still happened. Wonder if they will change it in the movie?
I haven’t read any of the books mentioned but I do have a few on my TBR pile, I didn’t look at the spoilers.
Yep, this is the sort of list that haunts a reader. Buckets of tears have been shed by me over shocking and sometimes inevitable losses.
Ok, I’ll just excuse myself from my office as I go sob in the restroom remembering these deaths.
LOL! Oh no! Come back, Tanya! ~ Annie
I got to that spot in Black Magic Sanction like the day after my dog passed way and had to quit. It about killed me! It took me a year to pick it back up. I am still trying to get the courage to continue with the rest of the series that I have on my kindle!
Yup…great, big sobbing cries for these!
#6 was so sad!! Love that series!
I still can’t re-read The Hallows series because of #1.
The Hollows didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t feel the connection between them.
But there’s one not on your list that killed me. I won’t say in case you’ve not read it but I feel like you’re caught up on the series.
Well I did cry for one of the Hollow deaths. HER death but not HIS.
I agree with all the stories that you mention here. The one in Mocking Jay really pissed me off for the reason you mentioned. I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers. Another one I would add to this list, Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. Another one that pissed me off is a certain vampire that didn’t stay dead. I don’t have a problem with killing off characters, but don’t bring them back to life in another book. I don’t want to mention the series, so as to avoid spoilers. I quit that series when that character came back to… Read more »
Melanie, I agree with you!
Now I’m curious about the one that came back to life. You have to share!!!!!
#4 still to this day I haven’t gotten over it and it has been years, don’t think I’ll ever get over it!
I KNOW!! 🙁 🙁
I completely agree with you on nearly all of these! The only ones I didn’t look at were the books I e not read yet but the others = total devastation! I’m one of those who hasn’t read Allegiant because I got spoiled on it & have no interest in actually reading it for myself. I’m not sure I’ll be able to read anything new from Veronica Roth in the future because I won’t be able to trust her now. If I spend years & hundreds of pages getting invested in a character I need to know I’ll feel good… Read more »
I know exactly what you mean. When I get excited about a new release, I want to know that I’ll be guaranteed a good read. But I also don’t want it to be at the cost of character lives. I think there are better ways to shock or get a reaction from readers if that’s what the author is trying to do!
I feel your pain, but is it wrong that I’m honored A CURSED BLOODLINE made your list?
Well deserved,Cecy! LOL
For me it was Anne McCaffrey’s “All the Weyrs of Pern” and (SPOILER) Master Robinton. I CRIED. And of course Beth in “Little Women.”