It’s Ace week! Ace week is an international campaign to raise awareness and show some pride for asexuality and all identities under the asexual umbrella. This is the second ace week since I accepted that I was asexual, and it’s my first ace week on this blog. My asexuality is a huge part of me, and there was no way that I could let this week pass without doing something to commemorate it!
There are loads of books featuring characters who are acespec, meaning that they fall somewhere on the asexuality spectrum, and I haven’t read nearly enough of them. Most of the books with acespec characters that I know of have come out in the last couple of years, meaning they’ve come out since I started university, and I haven’t read as much as I would’ve liked since then. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll have a much bigger pool of things that I’ve read that I’ll be able to draw from for lists like these!
Without further ado, onto the list of some of my favourite acespec characters!
Aled Last from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – Demisexual
A lot of people love Aled, and for good reason. He’s a total sweetheart and I’m sure that a lot of people have found him very relatable! He’s the creator of the in-universe podcast Universe City, forms one half of one of the greatest platonic m/f friendships I’ve read, and struggles with asking for help when he needs it. Him figuring out that he’s demisexual isn’t the main plot of the book and happens mostly off screen, but it’s an important part of his character arc and the word demisexual is used on the page near the end of the book. If you’ve been reading Oseman’s Heartstopper series, then you know Aled as well! He’s one of Charlie’s friends!
Neil Josten from the All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic – Demisexual
Neil is another character who discovers his demisexuality over the course of the work he appears in. At the beginning of the series he gets asked which way he swings, and his response is that he doesn’t swing at all. He’s experimented with girls in the past but a combination of his circumstances and a lack of interest on his part meant that nothing ever really went anywhere. Through the series he gradually forms a close bond with his teammate Andrew, and is more surprised than anyone else (except maybe Andrew’s twin) when he realises that he’s falling for him. Neil’s attitude problem and tendency to look at a delicate situation and say the worst possible thing makes him very entertaining to read about, and the series being from his perspective means that the reader gets a front row seat to his cluelessness and skewed priorities. Never mind that Andrew’s in love with him or that his mob boss father wants him dead, Neil wants to play some sports! No acespec terminology is used in the text itself, however Sakavic has confirmed that this is because Neil doesn’t know the words for it, and that he is indeed demi.
Dionysus / Umar from The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie – Asexual
Dio is one of the last of the ‘Gods’ to be introduced in this series, and he became a favourite of mine almost immediately. Learning that he’s asexual only made me love him even more. He uses his powers to bring people joy and keep people dancing for as long as they want, though he makes sure to cut people off if they look like they’re in danger of losing themselves entirely. He always tries to do the right thing, he cares a lot about his friends, and when he realises that he’s falling for a friend of his who’s never going to like him back he handles it excellently. He just wants to make sure that everyone else is happy, even if he has to massively sacrifice his own happiness to achieve that. I want to give him a hug, he really deserves one.
Aisha Un-Haad from Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie – Aroace
Aisha is a strong character who’s prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals and protect the people she loves. The book begins with her volunteering to become a super soldier so that she can provide for her younger siblings after her little brother falls gravely ill, and throughout the book she doesn’t let herself get pushed around by anyone else. Anyone who puts her family at risk should not expect any mercy from her. Her sexuality is mentioned on the page without any explanation as to what aroace means, because that isn’t the story that Hullmetal Girls is trying to tell. I personally liked that approach, although it admittedly won’t be for everyone.
Sir Violet from The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen – Aroace
Sir Violet is a technically-not-a-knight who’s just doing his best to keep things running smoothly in his hometown, and if that means that every other day he has to traipse up to the cave where the dragon lives to demand that he returns whatever it is he stole this time, then so be it. At least the dragon is polite, and more mischievous than malicious. All Violet really wants to do is have a good time with his friends, and then go home where he can snuggle up nice and warm with a freshly baked cinnamon bun. And honestly, that is incredibly relatable. Plus he literally befriends a dragon! Violet is living the ace dream, can we swap places please?
Light Yagami from Death Note by Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba – ?????
This is admittedly a headcanon, albeit a well supported one. When it comes to Light’s sexuality all we really know for sure is that he isn’t attracted to women. He makes that much very clear throughout the series, and the creators didn’t hesitate to confirm as much when they were asked. At no point during the series does he express that he’s attracted to anyone at all. His dynamic with L can be interpreted in multiple different ways, but personally I never got the impression that Light was sexually attracted to him.
(This doesn’t mean that I don’t ship them. I do.) Light never comments on the attractiveness of any of the other male characters either, despite there being a lot that he could’ve chosen from, and he definitely has enough internal monologues that there was surely room for him to make a throwaway comment if he did find anyone attractive. But he doesn’t, not even once. I wouldn’t recommend this series specifically for its asexual representation, but I would recommend it in general, and the main character can easily be interpreted as ace. Plus the Goodreads description of the first volume (linked through the image) literally describes him as an ‘ace student’ so need I really say more?
That’s it for this list! Have you read any of these works as well? What do you think about these characters? Who are some of your favourites?
About The Blogger
El is a 21 year old university student from the UK who loves to read and loves talking about what they read. They particularly like to focus on books featuring lgbtq+ main characters.