30 Mar 2023

We Can(ada) Read: HENCH by Natalie Zina Walschots

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadians for EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors!


Author: Natalie Zina Walschots
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook from Audible; eARC from publisher
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:
Representation: LGBT side character

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. 
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

Content WarningPost Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Medical experimentation, Chronic illness & pain, Body horror, including eyeball trauma, Murder, Torture, Kidnapping.

I wanted this to be SO much better than it ended up being. It was missing something - and it could have been that it had such long chapters instead of breaking up the action a bit more. I loved this take on superheroes and villains but it just didn't quite connect with me the way I wanted it to.

This also just felt like it was missing the point the whole time - was it a sarcastic take or an introspective one? Was it to showcase that there are morally grey in every person or that the "bad guys" just have a bad reputation? It took the idea of The Boys and Vicious together but created something that was almost unreadable for me.

Not sure I recommend this one!

Are you going to pick this up?

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