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My Thoughts on Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer


I’ve been following Hannah Nicole Maehrer’s Assistant to the Villain series on TikTok since it began, so I was thrilled to see it made into a book series. I expected it to be on the cozy side of fantasy rather than the epic side (lighthearted vs. in-depth). And, while I don’t read a lot of cozy fantasy or rom-com books, I was ready to give this one a shot because I enjoy the TikTok series so much. I haven’t done a thorough review in ages. Usually, I just offer my overall thoughts on the book and leave it at that. But I feel the need to break this book down more in order to share my opinions accurately.


ASSISTANT WANTEDNotorious, 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.

Book Details

Review of Assistant to the Villain

Before I get into my thoughts on this book, I wanted to start out with answering two questions:

  1. Do you need to watch the Assistant to the Villain series on TikTok to enjoy this book? No.
  2. If you’ve watched the Assistant to the Villain series on TikTok is this book spoiled? No.

While there are many elements that call back to the original TikTok series, there’s a different plot. A lot of the TikTok series focus on the Heroes trying to use Evie against the Villain in various plots, or Evie accidently selling her soul to the King of the Underworld. That is not the plot of this book. Assistant to the Villain focuses on Evie helping the Villain determine who is undermining their operations. We also get a few of the Villain’s POV sprinkled throughout the book, which we did not have in TikTok as those were almost always from Evie’s POV. Also, we get to learn the Villain’s name, Trystan, early on whereas we never had that in the TikTok series.

Alright, now that comparison is done with the original source material, let’s get into my thoughts on Assistant to the Villain.

Thoughts on the Main Characters

Thoughts on the Romance

I knew that the two were going to be clueless about the fact that they fell for each other. We get a sense from each of them extremely early that they are attracted to each other, but refuse to act on it. Meanwhile, the whole office is aware along with people who just see them together for a short period of time. The other characters give them knowing looks regarding the two falling for each other. Or mention that Evie puts Trystan in a better mood when she’s around. But we don’t see a lot of development between them. A lot of longing stares and one kiss. But other than that, there’s barely anything there.

Thoughts on the World-Building

The world is unfortunately extremely forgettable as we have no sense of the dynamic of the Kingdom. There are so many elements that are brought up, but never fully explained leaving me with a lot of questions. Some of those being:

It’s a lot. I think this book had a lot of great potential, but it wasn’t fully fleshed out in those elements. I mean, we do get some explanation at the end of the book, but that doesn’t help the overall book. Some of that should’ve come sooner.

Thoughts on the Genre/Marketing

This book is marketed as New Adult and the author hinted that there would be spice. There is no spice. This is MG or YA at best. Maybe that changes in later books, since there’s obviously going to be more. But the humor, which I’d argue is awkward humor, is what I’d expect to find in a MG fantasy book. The Villain sleeps with a night light, really? Also, Evie slips on anything. Literally she could just look at something and she would fall over. She was standing on a piece of paper and fell off a desk because of it while barefooted. That’s the kind of thing that happens in MG/YA, when you want the MMC to catch the FMC.

I think if the book was marketed more accurately than my expectations would’ve been met better. Did I still enjoy the book? Yes. But if I compare it against other books of the same genre, it falls flat.

Also, this book is classified a humor. Most of the jokes are awkward or weird. Don’t get me wrong, a few of them made me laugh because it’s the kind of joke I would make when I’m uncomfortable. However, the book also points out any time a joke is made to the point where it’s cringy or over the top, as if it has its own laugh track.

Final Thoughts

There was a lot of potential with this book, but I don’t think it overall achieved that. Though I do think if this was marketed as MG or YA, and a few things taken out to reflect that then it would’ve been better. I also think it would’ve reached it’s demographic better then. Unfortunately, I’ve moved passed the days where those books interest me as I find myself needing more adult elements. That being said I still enjoyed this book. It just didn’t live up to the hype I had for this book.

So, I would give this book a 2.75 star rating on my rating scale.

With that being said even though I don’t think this book reached its full potential, I still think the elements are there. And considering this was the author’s first ever novel, so I’m willing to give the next one a chance. As I think the twist at the end was good. There were clues throughout the book that something was quite right, but was still easy to explain as something else. And it did tie the elements together without leaving too many open plot points. Of course there were some as it ended on a cliffhanger, but I don’t think it fell flat like other elements of the book did. But the way the office dramatic didn’t pan out the way the same way it did in the TikTok series. They’re two very different things, so the mixture just didn’t land right. Hopefully, it improves otherwise I’ll just stick to watching the TikTok series.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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