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Existential angst in a superhero world

Cover of Hench
A review of Hench by Natalie Walschots

Anna Tromedlov hasn't had a gig in weeks from her temp agency so she jumps at the chance for a data entry position that might last a few weeks - even though she'll have to work on site (she prefers working from home). An offer to do some field work is unexpected but makes for a nice change of pace and she is promised that it's safe. Only it's not so much and what should have been a routine press conference by her villain boss turns into a violent attack when a hero crashes the event. You see Anna's temp assignments are for Villains (emphasis on a capital V) and her latest job lands her in the hospital with severe injuries, mounting bills and a token apology from the "Hero" who caused it all. So what's a hench person to do? If you're Anna, you weaponize your ability to gather data and information and you make your targets suffer.

This is one of my best books of the year and is a sharp, funny, sometimes sad, look at what it means to be a villain or a hero and how sometimes those lines blur between them. Battles between heroes and villains don't happen in a bubble - there's a lot of collateral damage and often it's the support staff who get caught in the middle. Loved this.

Dec 10, 2020