SFF

Hench

Morrow. Sept. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9780062978578. $27.99. SF
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Walschots’s (Doom: Love Poems for Supervillians) adventure-filled new novel takes the lead character of a villain’s henchwoman, with all the potential for evil, and creates a reluctant and sympathetic antihero. Anna does boring temp desk jobs for villains and is questioning her career choices until one job places her in the middle of a superhero vs. villain fight. She ends up being severely injured by the superhero, which turns her life around, but not quite the way the hero imagined. She realizes how much damage superhero fights cause to the people who become unintentional victims. With her data analysis acumen, she is able to catch the eye of villainous mastermind Leviathan, who hires her to oust his opponents. A superb marketing strategy causes people to begin questioning whether the good and evil personas are as clear-cut as they seem. There is a price to all this so-called justice and Anna means to reveal both its ugliness and its potential.
VERDICT Smart, witty, and at times bloody, this book will please comic book fans who wish to take a jab at the superhero tropes, as well as readers who enjoy dark humor with a bit of satire tossed into the mix.

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