Saturday, December 30, 2023

Hannah Nicole Maehrer: Assistant to the Villain

In her debut novel Hannah Nicole Maehrer show that even a Villain require an assistant to make sure his day runs smoothly:

Evie Sage needs to find a job, she is the some earner in her household as her mother left when she was young and her father has a mysterious illness that can never be cured, plus she has a younger sister who she is determined will not have to drop out of school like she did. In chance meeting Evie find the perfect job as the assistant, it just comes with a side of things that may not be morally right, like murder and torture. However, Evie is determined to keep a smile on her face and make sure she can keep this job, even if a dead body happens to currently be on her desk.

For a debut novel I really like that Maehrer went for a light cozy fantasy book with just a side of mystery. I say just a side of mystery as it never felt like the hunt for the mole/spy was ever really front and centre but something literally on the side of Evie’s desk. This book is 340 pages and it feels like not a lot happened, unless you count relationship building but that is about it. It seems like Evie and The Villain just danced around each other, a lot.

Evie is the highlight of the book, I love how positive she is no matter what but at the same time is is a fairly morally grey character. Actually all the characters are morally grey in this book. I mean no one really questions the heads hanging from ceiling or how they got there.

I will say there are also some funny moments throughout, especially when the Villain is trying to Test Evie. I also like the side characters but they are not overly developed in this book.

I liked that there were duo POV but I wish there was more from the Villain’s doing his villainous this against the king. We only really get this in the prologue and one other scene.

The relationship between Evie and The Villain seemed a bit juvenile at times, and I think at times it felt forced. I just wasn’t really feeling what Maehrer was writing for them. I’m all for not having a relationship between the two main  characters or have it slowly develop over multiple books but when a book is mainly centred on that fact I feel like it should not feel fake. 

I really wanted to enjoy this book, I was totally onboard with the concept and premise. I’m on the fence whether I will pick up the second book in the series. This one does leave off on a cliffhanger but all the action and really information comes out in the last 10% of the book. Before that it kind of felt a bit like fluff.

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