Tough Traveling: Snarky Sidekicks

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The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour topic is: Snarky Sidekicks

Why is everyone so serious all the time? Perhaps they need a friend that is there with a quick bit of wit to liven the day; even if the day is looking to quickly turn to blood. (Not actually found in the Tough Guide)

Mogsy’s Picks:

I thought this one would be easy, but I really had to scour my shelves! Maybe it’s not too surprising, but it’s almost all urban fantasy for me this week:

Storm FrontDresden Files by Jim Butcher

Bob the skull is a spirit of intellect, acting as Harry’s assistant and store of knowledge for magic. He has the tendency to take on the personalities of his masters, so under Harry, Bob can be a little bit of a wiseass.

Generation VGeneration V by M.L. Brennan

Suzume Hollis, is Fort’s kitsune sidekick. She’s a faithful friend and ally, but like the shapeshifting fox spirits in Japanese mythology, she is also a wily trickster, always playing pranks on Fort and others around her.

6db97-johngoldenfreelancedebuggerJohn Golden series by Django Wexler

John Golden is a “debugger”, a professional you call when you need someone to get the gremlins and other fae out of your computers and networks. John’s assistant is his sister Sarah whose personality resides in a Dell Inspiron. She’s delightfully hilarious in her remarks in the form of footnotes, always poking fun at her brother endearingly.

81584-nightterrorsNight Terrors by Tim Waggoner

Ever since she was a child, Audra has been terrorized by nightmares of the psychotic clown Jinx. But now they are partners working together in the Shadow Watch, a supernatural agency dedicated to patrolling the border between our world and realm of dreams. Jinx isn’t so much snarky than he is totally insane.

5a35e-thief27scovenantWiddershins Adventures by Ari Marmell

Widdershins is a follower of the almost-forgotten minor god Olgun — his only follower, actually. Now he’s hitching a ride in her head, and the playful banter between the two of them comes across only as one-sided to the reader, ensuring plenty of humor to break up the tension.

Wendy’s Picks

3223a-thelivesoftaoThe Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

Between Roan and Tao, I’m not exactly sure which one can be considered the sidekick, but both of them are free with the snark and sarcasm, whether or not the moment requires it.

batman no man's landBatman: No Man’s Land by Greg Rucka

How can I talk about snarky sidekicks without including the ultimate sidekick of all sidekicks: Dick Grayson. He may no longer sport the mantle of Robin, but he’s always available to put the Dark Knight in his place with a well-timed quip.

the genomeThe Genome by Serge Lukyanenko

Alex’s tattoo is an unusual sidekick. The Demon changes according to Alex’s mood, thereby revealing what he’s really thinking. Not too convenient when he’s in the middle of a conversation, but sometimes, even Alex doesn’t quite know his own thoughts. Good things the Demon is there to help him out.

20 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Snarky Sidekicks”

  1. I… Am.. an idiot. How could I forget my favorite Kitsun?

    I admit I thought the list would be easier. I could think of books that had them, but didn’t own many of them so couldn’t get double check.

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  2. Geez, I’m starting to feel like the only one who hasn’t read Dresden. I have to rectify that at some point. 🙂

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  3. Bob is a great one! I didn’t remember the ‘takes on the personality of his owners’ thing. That so makes sense though. I just read Generation V (all 3 books) and I loved Suzume!

    I hadn’t heard of the Genome before, but the tattoo sounds so funny.

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    • I think it was in one of the recent books where Bob was in the hands of a bad guy, and he went sort of scary. Now he’s with Butters, and he’s adopted some of his personality.

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  4. I love Suzume – such a great character – I also thought about the Copper Cat! Another character of recent that I like so much.
    I like the sound of this Widdershins character – will have to look that book up – it may have to go on the list.
    Wendy – I didn’t get Robin on my list but he was on my mind – check out the title…
    Lynn 😀

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  5. Generation V has recently gone on my TBR and I’m now even more excited for it knowing that it has a snarky sidekick! A tattoo that changes with one’s moods/thoughts sounds very intriguing! I think I’ll add that and The Widdershins adventures to my TBR – they sounds fun!

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  6. Those Widdershins books look soooo good. That style of fantasy is my favourite, and now I know there’s snark too? Must pick up a copy at the library. Bob seems like a popular pick this week, which makes sense because that skull really snarks it up sometimes.

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    • Oh yes, Widdershins has got a bit of everything, actually. It’s technically YA, but it doesn’t read like your mainstream YA, and can be enjoyed by everyone. Has a bit of darkness too.

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