‘Assistant to the Villain’ by Hannah Nicole Maehrer – Book Review

Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

An avid book reader, especially the one with a liking for romance and fantasy genres, there is just something about the danger, the challenge and the uncertainty that comes with a morally-grey character that just draws you in.

Come The Villain, whose name is enough to invoke curiosity among the readers. Hannah Nicole Maehrer first introduced The Villain in a series of TikTok videos. The popularity rose so much that she decided to turn the story into a full fledged novel series. The first of a proposed three novels is titled Assistant to the Villain. 

Assistant to the Villain is a comical fantasy story featuring Evangeline “Evie” Sage and The Villain. Evie worked hard to support her family after her father took ill. On one fateful day, after being jobless for a while, she accepts employment offer from The Villain. The Villain has a reputation in the city to wreak havoc, cause chaos and disrupt peaceful living in the town of Rennedawn.

Evie’s employment at the Villain’s manor is nothing less than a gory and scary adventure. She is now immune to the Villain’s mood swings and also to his attacks on those who wrongfully cross him. As she spends more time in his employ, she learns that he is not what he pretends to be. Whatever he has done so far is for the greater good, albeit his means to achieving those goals are highly unconventional.

Assistant to the Villain is exactly what you expect and a little more. It has been long seen in the history of reading books that readers fall more for morally gray characters. There is that  tipping behaviour of those gray characters that make you want to delve more and more into their story. This book plays on that curiosity. The title itself is enough to evoke a sense of mystery for the story.

The Villain’s cute nickname for Evie and softness towards no one but her has definitely won brownie points. As Evie and the Villain continue their work relationship, they both learn and unlearn things. They both grow individually and help each other grow. Their romance blooms slowly, like a flower unfurling its petals. They share a work relationship at the start, but things soon escalate thereafter.

For long the society is told that someone who goes against its rules is bad and someone who conforms is good. But what if the rules are the bad things? It takes a villain to see one, and that is what we see with The Villain.

The pacing of the book is fairly adequate. There are details scattered throughout which tell us more about the characters as we finish chapter after chapter. There comes a certain element of predictability once you have found the grove which it is rested upon, but that does not take away from the curiosity of what comes next.

To those familiar with the writing style of Renee Ahdieh, specifically The Beautiful series, Assistant to the Villain also showcases the ability to shock readers until the very chapter of the book. All the while you are reading and having fun with the characters’ camaraderie, but as the book comes to its climax, you find that the action has only just begun.

Given this book is the first of a proposed trilogy set, it is going to be a long, long wait for the sequel. Until then, let us know what you liked about Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer in the comments below!

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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