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Hench

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  347 reviews

A 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 b
...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by William Morrow
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Popular Answered Questions
Kathleen The protagonist is bi, one hero is mentioned as a trans woman, others have same sex partners or use they/them.
Debbie I was going to ask this same question! I really hope there will be.
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  905 ratings  ·  347 reviews


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David Putnam
Hench Aug 2020
Yikes, two stars. I really wanted to like this one too. I won it on Goodreads giveaway. The premise sounded so interesting and promising. And it started out just so. Great Point of view, strong female character, good writing craft. The first part of the book had me all the way while she built the new world. It came out natural and easy to follow. I always talk about the Fictive Dream and as the book progressed I got dumped out too many times. This was caused mainly by my own inabil
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Elle
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Hench didn’t end up being what I thought it was going to be. I suppose that’s my fault, because halfway through I went to re-read the synopsis and it turned out to be pretty faithful to the events of the novel. Suffice to say, I was expecting more action. What this was instead was essentially ‘super accounting’ with some mean-spirited pranks thrown in for good measure.

I don’t think that’s necessarily a knock against the book. Natalie Zina Walschots writes with a lot of momentum and charisma. Her
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
Omg this is a novel about a supervillain's henchwoman.

YES
Lukasz
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hench expertly deconstructs superhero stories and offers a fresh perspective on the subgenre. Instead of following heroes, it focuses on Henches, expendable employees of supervillains.

Anna Tromedlov works temp jobs for minor baddies. Her newest job ends in a disaster - Anna ends injured, out of work, and disillusioned with reckless superheroes who pay no attention to casualties of their superhuman feats. Her data-based research confirms superheroes, for all their good PR, are terrible for the w
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Faith
Anna is a hench, which is basically an assistant to supervillains. While I can watch superhero movies for 2 hours of mindless entertainment I don’t think that I have ever read about super heroes and villains before, and I probably won’t again. After Anna and other henches are injured in a failed child hostage situation she becomes obsessed with proving that superheroes actually cause harm to society. She is eventually hired by supervillain Leviathan to help him disrupt and destroy superheroes.

T
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Ellen Gail
This synopsis is giving me Dr. Horrible vibes and I am HERE FOR IT.

...more
Audrey
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
You will never look at super heroes or super villains the same way again. What started out as a commentary on the millennial gig economy (because hey, villains need data entry and organization as well) quickly morphs into betrayal, scheming, mean vindictive pranks, inadvertent lol in horror and above all, loyalty. Anna’s unique point of view brings forward the fallout, one rarely thanks about: the collateral damage that super heroes wreak when ‘saving’ the world. One can see that the line betwee ...more
Rosann
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally something different in SciFi. Informed by the modern penchant for statistical analysis, marketing, data mining, gig economy, temp workers, and possibly influenced by the Amazon series "The Boys", Natalie Zina Walschots gives us, at last, the story of the villains and the hench folks that support their evil plans. The superheroes are revealed to not be so heroic, the villains, not so blackhearted, the support staff that make all tales of the 'supes' tick are revealed in all their glory. T ...more
Matthew Galloway
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: super-hero
It's not that the themes here are new -- I could name at least a good handful of books that explore the darker sides of heroes and the underpowered in a superpowered world (The Refrigerator Monologues, Soon I Will Be Invincible, Heroine Complex, After the Golden Age, etc.) -- but this does refine some of those ideas for the current day. Plus, a lot of these kinds of stories stick to superheroes or supervillains, so it's great to get this from the henchperson's point of view.

I'm personally not o
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Angel
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an entertainingly and delightfully evil read! Such an interesting and unique concept I've never seen before! If you love a good superhero read this is definitely not for you. But, for the fans of supervillains and their henchman...or woman, this is a must-read!
Gabi
DNF at 30% - apparently I'm not in the mood for it. Perhaps again later.
Toya (the reading chemist)
When it comes to superheroes and their sidekicks, I am usually not all that interested since these stories tend to follow the same formulaic script. Hench brilliantly flips the script to give us a fresh new take on hench people, the expendable people who work for villains.

Anna Tromedlov alongside her friend June work crappy temp assignments for minor villains that no one really cares about. Anna can’t complain though because she needs to make money to be able to eat. Anna finally gets her break
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Bexa
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc
This was phenomenal!

Anna Tomedlov, later known as The Auditor, is an out of work hench. Her last job ended and she's been struggling to get into a new role with a villain who could use her data skills. After a quick application at the temp agency, she gets assigned to the Electric Eel. The job is boring, it's a lot of recalculating information on known identities of superheroes, but hey, it pays. Then she gets told that she is expected to be at his press conference, mostly to correct the ratios
...more
April Sarah
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy
*ARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review*
Video Review: https://youtu.be/rx3_mqEFzn4

This book is a strange mixture of data, superheroes, and walking that fine line of good versus evil. And I liked it.

This is the story of Anna, who is a temp henchman. She works through an agency and is farmed out to different villains. She is in data entry, so she does a lot of cataloging and moving and analyzing data. One day she starts a job under a villain called the Electric Eel and she is
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Dom
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need a little break from YA, so I decided to pick up HENCH by Natalie Zina Walschots and ended up binge reading the whole thing because I was hooked from the get go—that’s how much I enjoyed it.

Anna, the protagonist of the novel, makes a living ‘henching’ for various villains on a part time basis. Even criminals need office help, and in this economy, there’s no such thing as turning down work. When Anna is seriously, permanently injured by an encounter with a superhero gone wrong, she takes it
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Debbie
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this book was phenomenal! It works as a stand alone but could easily have a sequel. I really really REALLY hope Natalie Zina Walschots does write a sequel to it. I'm recommending this book to all my book club members and anyone who loves heroes, or especially loves villians. ...more
Cynthia
Sep 15, 2020 marked it as abandoned-books  ·  review of another edition
For the moment, I’m shifting this to the abandoned books shelf. Perhaps I’ll have a change of heart. I was so excited about the concept within this book and while I am grateful for the ARC, I wonder if I might have an easier time with the audiobook when it becomes available. I’m struggling a lot with the pacing, as very little has happened and I’m at page 111. Plus, the chapters are insanely long. For example, chapter one was 68 pages. So this isn’t something I can take a short break with during ...more
Kate
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super witty, super charged, and super villainous! Anna is a normal temp hench, working for ho-hum villains to make rent. But when she finally steps out from behind her desk, she's severely injured by a superhero. The pain and unpaid time off leads her to start running the numbers on the damage to humans and material objects caused by the so-called good guys. Burning with revenge and hatred, Anna soon captures the attention of the online world and a true villain- Leviathan. Soon Anna is using her ...more
Lisa Ladd
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if the bad guys are really the good guys? That is the driving theme of this debut novel by Natalie Zina Walschots, aka poet, community manager, and game designer. superheroes and supervillains are just part of the everyday landscape therefore they need employees to support their work. Enter the Hench, who is basically a temp for hire, to do whatever jobs their bosses need done, usually administrative tasks like crunching numbers or window dressing for press conferences. The Meat are the mus ...more
Rosann
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally something different in SciFi. Informed by the modern penchant for statistical analysis, marketing, data mining, gig economy, temp workers, and possibly influenced by the Amazon series "The Boys", Natalie Zina Walschots gives us, at last, the story of the villains and the hench folks that support their evil plans. The superheroes are revealed to not be so heroic, the villains, not so blackhearted, the support staff that make all tales of the 'supes' tick are revealed in all their glory. T ...more
Maureen
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anna is so fantastic as a backdrop for the various and sundry villians she works for in her menial boring temporary job. When she gets an interesting project everything goes wrong! And a encounter with hero of the hour leaves her seriously injured. She lucked out she was alive but as it goes she is unjustly laid off from her temp job. So no money and no mobility Anna disovers the wonderful world of data. And she disovers the fine line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with her use o ...more
Vicki
What a great twist on the superhero trope—thinking about the damage their “heroic” acts cause to both people and property. And who are all the villains’ henchmen/women? Why, there’s a temp agency for henches, of course. An imaginative and smart fantasy for our times. Highly recommended.
Brianna
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy superhero based YA but looking for something with a little more heft.
WOW?!

I had a strong feeling that I was going to enjoy this, but woooowwww... this was really good! I don't know why I was expecting this to be YA, but it definitely wasn't. Such a ride and I am SO invested in these characters. Definitely will reread again.

Also can we get a prequel and a sequel PLEASE?!
...more
Mom_Loves_Reading
Are you a fan of comic books or superhero movies?

My son has always been a fan of comic books, such as the Marvel Universe (specifically Dead Pool), The Walking Dead, & others, so when I received 2 copies of 'Hench', I knew he was the perfect person to buddy-read this book w/ me. I, too, have enjoyed all the Marvel movies, but I have never read a comic book. We both really enjoyed this unique, well-written, debut novel!

Spreadsheets, data compilation, research analysis, costs of justice, superhero
...more
Seth Turner
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read that has satirical and sarcastic tones throughout. Similar to Vonnegut in some ways. Love the main character and her depth. The characters and story are so unbelievably believable. The only word that came to mind while reading this book was “whack-a-doodle”. Definitely an author to follow.
Cathy
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hench is a unique story of growth through the eyes of a "hench," In calculating the massive cost of the actions of so called "superheroes" after a super collision of her own, Anna discovers the true value of a super hero, and of what is right and what is wrong. With excellent, nuanced characters coming from all corners of this book, it is a deep exploration into life told not by the heroes of the story, but from the point of view of the rest of us.
#Hench #NetGalley
Shan
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun.

Superheroes have sidekicks (Kicks) and supervillains have henchpeople. Lots of Meat - think Star Trek redshirts - but also others, like Anna the data analyst who tells her story here. All those buildings that get knocked down in superhero movies actually cost real people real money, and innocent bystanders get injured all the time when superheroes are doing their thing. Obvious, but not something I've ever seen in a story before. Specialty temp agencies supply the endless need for replaceme
...more
Katy
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual superhero story as rich with cozy afghans and Taco Bell hot sauce packets as it is with scheming and action sequences. It’s set in a world a lot like our own where superheroes are real: adolescents are screened for nascent abilities. The main character, Anna, is the eponymous hench. She and her friends scrape together a living doing odd jobs for villains – until Anna is badly injured in a kidnapping gone wrong. Angry, scared, and recuperating on her friend’s couch, she begins calculat ...more
Judith
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received and advanced readers copy of this book through NetGalley. From the start I couldn't put this book down. It is a delightful twist on heroes and villains posing a different outlook on the norm. With plot twists aplenty, strong women and a misogynist superhero that does his best to keep them down, Hench will grab your attention and keep you up well past your bedtime. It is well written with a great vocabulary. The story is unexpected and quirky very delightful and inspiring story. I can' ...more
Paige Erin
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ARC of "Hench" and by September 2020, there will be an official review on my YouTube channel (linked in my bio)! For the meantime, I'll say that this book was SO interesting - long, but very much worth every page. If you like villains, you'll love this book!
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Readers Unbound: Hench 9 14 Oct 03, 2020 12:38PM  

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