Rating: 4 out of 5.

Villains of the world rely on temp agencies to find henches to support their work. After being injured in an altercation with a superhero, Anna begins harnessing the power of spreadsheets to expose how the heroes of her world do more harm than good. Then, hired by an ultra-villain, she begins using her data analysis skills to take down those heroes.

Ok, hear me out. The idea of a book about making spreadsheets and doing data analysis sounds really boring. But this book is anything but boring. It’s weird, wild, and wonderful. It’s a completely unique idea that was executed so perfectly. And honestly, it feels made for anyone who watches a superhero movie and says “that’s going to be expensive to rebuild” (me).

In this world, superheroes and supervillains are a very real and commonplace part of society. Anna gets into henching to get by and does temp work for villains. But, while on the job, she has a horrific run-in with Supercollider and ends up permanently injured. She begins creating a spreadsheet to track the collateral damage of superheroes, and this work gets her noticed by the supervillain Leviathan. Seeing the potential of her work, Anna begins using data analysis to break superheroes. She gets to know them deeply and arranges little triggers in their lives which bring them to the breaking point. It’s both hilarious and hard to read as her schemes become more and more deadly.

Anna is gifted with biting wit and the dark humor and satire is very compelling. I found each character to be fascinating, particularly the average people who are just working with villains to make ends meet. Additionally, the cast is incredibly diverse which adds a nice level of realism to the story.

This book balances pure absurdity with gripping action. It features body horror and mundane office politics. It’s well-paced, darkly humorous, gruesome, and an exciting twist on a superhero story. I loved this one, and think it will have strong appeal with many readers,

Have you read Hench? What did you think?

[CW: violence, PTSD, death, torture, graphic injuries]

Published by Kristi

Hi there! I am Kristi, a book obsessed human with strong opinions. Join me as I read across genres and do the work to find you the best of the best books.

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