Our Bookseller says:
“So I started this book expecting an interesting plot that makes me want to actually learn to use Excel sheets to their full potential. What I got was so much better. Let’s start with the protagonist, Anna. Wonderfully relatable, she’s a young woman working temp jobs and trying to make ends meet in the city. The temp jobs just happen to be for villains, which lends itself to its own brand of danger — even as a paper-pusher. Then there are the superheroes — the folks who were gifted with powers and therefore take it upon themselves to “save” others, no matter the cost. But what happens to the businesses and people who become collateral damage to the super “saviors”? Is stopping a villain from stealing worth the amount of damage heroes do to everyone and everything around it? These are the sort of questions Walschots forces us to consider while we laugh and cry and have our minds turned upside down about what makes a hero and questioning how far is too far for the ‘greater good.'”
– Christine ✨
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 evil—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 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.