Hench Review

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots is a novel set in a world where superheroes and villains collide with one another vying for control and to, well, duke it out because that’s what they are expected to do. However, in the busy world of villainy, someone must still perform the mundane day to day tasks of filling out paperwork and the such. They are an organization after all. Enter Anna, an ordinary girl by all accounts looking for freelance work as a hench for villains. The problem is, work is hard to come by with villains only hiring henches with specific abilities. Anna doesn’t really have any and so goes the story of how she one day got noticed by one of the most notorious villains around, Leviathan, and discovered her new found talent. If you don’t find the idea of villains needing henches to handle paperwork hilarious, this novel probably ain’t for you.

“We need timelines. We need receipts. Then the path to ruin will become clear.”


Hench immediately got my attention because I needed something to make me laugh. Just the thought of reading about some poor soul stuck in the office handling paperwork duties while their boss is out and about in the world wrecking havoc is something I just can’t stop smiling about. Doing work as a hench to get health and dental insurance is something that continuously had me laughing only because of the absurdity of it all. I feel that Hench definitely got some inspiration from Amazon’s original series, The Boys. In a world where super heroes are managed by organizations and revered in the media, it’s basically considered a business and it’s a theme that is getting more often used as of late. I felt that the first third of the book really got it going. There were some truly hilarious parts and surprisingly, it wasn’t the dialogue and interaction between characters that had me cackling up but rather with just the way how Anna describes things from her point of view. However, I found that the fun started to ebb down a bit and things got more serious and dark. This I also loved because it paints a grim picture of Anna’s job. There’s even a section towards the end that is pretty grotesque.

“I was willing to stoop to all manner of soul-destroying work that didn’t require me to put on clothes.”


What I felt lacking the most were the connections between Anna and her crew. It felt pretty threadbare and needed more work with a few exceptions. The story between Anna and Leviathan also seemed weird. It does highlight Anna’s insecurities but it again didn’t amount to anything worthwhile in the end for me. Part workplace comedy and part revenge story, Hench is a recommended read, especially if you are looking for something to put a smile on your face even if it is for just a little while. I felt the author could have expanded more on the universe by bringing in more heroes and villains into the mix to add more fun and chaos.

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