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Book Review: Assistant to the Villain, by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

I borrowed an audio copy of Hannah Nicole Maehrer‘s Assistant to the Villain through Hoopla.
assistant to the villain audio cover

ASSISTANT WANTED: Notorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits.

With ailing family to support, Evie Sage’s employment status isn’t just important, it’s vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie.

But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out.

Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay.

After all, a good job is hard to find.

my review

I have got to stop letting TikTok convince me to read books. I’m having difficulty remembering a book that left me feeling as let down as this one did. First off, how did I miss that this is set in a fairytale setting? I’ll accept that the fact that I missed this is probably on me. But I was 100% put off when I finally realized what I had really signed on for in choosing to read this book. Just go ahead and preemptively roll your eyes. You’ll want to before you get very far into this story.

I could nitpick a million reasons this book didn’t work for me. But there are a few main ones I will concentrate on. First, I was bored silly. The book is working hard to be quirky and, yes, silly. But I’m fairly sure being bored silly was not the aim. There is far too little plot to keep a reader engaged. Second, the author tries far, far too hard to be funny, and most of the jokes don’t land. Third, how exactly are you going to title a book Assistant to the Villian and then write a villain that isn’t really a villain? I was incredibly disappointed and somehow also not at all surprised by this fact. Fourth, while the villain may not be villainous, he also isn’t particularly charismatic, and the heroine is a bland Mary Jane. Fifth, it ends on a cliffhanger…because, of course, it does. Sixth, the narrator (Em Eldridge) was wrong for the book. She did a fine technical job but didn’t carry it off in a tone that worked for the story.

Other Reviews:

Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer


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