Hench

Hench

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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"This book is fast, furious, compelling, and angry as hell." — Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author

The Boys meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this smart, imaginative, and evocative novel of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption, told with razor-sharp wit and affection, in which a young woman discovers the greatest superpower—for good or ill—is a properly executed spreadsheet.

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn't glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?

As a temp, she's just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called "hero" leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she's the lucky one.

So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It's not too long before she's employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.

Publisher: William Morrow

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Finally, the dream job of working for super heroes! But , injured by one and treated as collateral damage, leads Anna to commit and use her considerable data analysis skills for super villains instead. This henchwoman's aim: exposing super heroes for the bumbling clay-footed idols they really are. Short-listed for Canada Reads.

Kris--Pt. Roberts

r
retrouth
May 14, 2021

Really different. Fascinating, creative, many layers. I hope the author writes a sequel. There is still so much I want to learn about the characters.

DCDL_Megan Apr 02, 2021

In three short words: Funny, relatable, unexpected

This is the first of her novels that I have read, but I get the feeling that the author really enjoys writing similar books regarding villains and heroes, so I think she has really found her niche with this one. This book takes the typical super hero trope and gives it a nice remix. It reminds me a bit of the show The Boys, but much less graphic and much more funny. I really enjoyed the idea that superheroes are too expensive. That really put the world that Walschotts in perspective and gave it a nice realistic view.

On the first page you get a real world perspective where Anna talks about looking at her checking account balance and comparing that to her grocery list to figure out what she could actually afford to buy. I think many people can relate to that at some point in their lives. When she is laid up after breaking her leg, she is laid off from her job and ends up on the couch of a friend. Again, another very relatable situation. All of this is interspersed with ‘super moments’ which make a nice mixture between fantastical and realistic.

Overall, I really enjoy this book. I ended up listening to the audiobook and Alex McKenna did a wonderful job. I’ve listened to many other books that she narrates and she has done a wonderful job each time. As for the book, the pacing was great, the dialogue was very relatable especially for those who may be struggling to find work or are considered ‘millennials’.

k
Katie_Dublin
Feb 23, 2021

Amazing! The perfect fit for the Venture Bros size hole in my heart. I loved it so much, I didn't want it to end, which is exceedingly rare. 400 pages was not enough! I really hope there is a sequel.

l
LBJ
Feb 23, 2021

I picked up this book because it was on the Canada Reads short list 2021. I would never have picked it up otherwise. Boy am I glad I did. I really enjoyed it. What a great read. I hope she writes a sequel.

A fun Read!!! I am a retired older woman and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to read this book. I mean really Superheroes, villains. I was rooting for the bad guys all the way!!!

THANKS CANADA READS!!!!!!! ANd thanks Natalie . Keep writing

a
Activevoice
Feb 19, 2021

This book is fun. Laugh out loud fun. But creatively fun as well. Walschots’ use of language, grammar and descriptions are dynamic, easy to read but, provocative -- she shapes the narrative in interesting ways that take the reader away from a normal response. I was Rooting for the bad guys....
No sequel is required, this author should be free to create whatever her imagination inspires.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Feb 09, 2021

Escape to a game world,
virtual reality unfurled:

human robot enhanced,
super power entranced.
creatures no boundary,
realm of non-binary.

Anna narrate,
awed by "an arthropod", or God?
his epic fate,
a sequel may sate.

Good or evil,
stood upheaval.
All are in thrall
to data mining, IT support and distort.
...disasters fall.

Quantum entangled
Super, the bellicose;
but body mangled,
overdose of gross.

STPL_JessH Feb 08, 2021

If I was a super villain, I would definitely have an iguana named Shannon! That's it. That's really all you need to know about this book.

Just kidding! Hench is great! I wasn't really sure what to expect with a story that begins at a temp agency where villains can go to hire temporary help?! I was pleasantly surprised. I laughed out loud numerous times and really enjoyed the social commentary. I mean, this line happens: "I'm a researcher. I generally only brutalize databases."

What more could you want in a book about the slippery slope between good and evil?! A great narrator for the audiobook. That's what more you could want, and this one delivers!

DPLjennyp Jan 04, 2021

So much fun.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Jan 02, 2021

Escape to a game world,
virtual reality unfurled:

human robot enhanced,
super power entranced.
creatures no boundary,
realm of non-binary.

Anna narrate,
awed by "an arthropod", or God?
his epic fate,
a sequel may sate.

Good or evil,
stood upheaval.
All are in thrall
to data mining, IT support and distort.
...disasters fall.

Quantum entangled
Super, the bellicose;
but body mangled,
overdose of gross.

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