My cover from the edition I checked out of the library was blue. It appears to hardcover to Hench is red. I’d be interested to know why it’s different. On it is the silhouette is a person, but their shadow has a cape. None of the people in this book are nice people. including the main character, Anna. She starts out working for a temp agency for villains, and a mayor’s son is kidnapped, their some torture, and boom, she gets her leg shattered by the main antagonist in the story, Supercollider. So she goes on a mission to look at the data and try to calculate the value of the lives and property damage caused by superheroes.
Everyone needs a good origin story, and this is Anna’s as a supervillain. She does more damage to the heroes in her first few months with her data than the smashy villains do in years. She ends up getting hired by a supervillain, Leviathan, and going to work in his evil lair. Leviathan has a history with Supercollider, and he needs Anna’s help to take him down. (Please let me know in the comments if he really wants that or not because I’m not sure.)
There’s a section of body horror in this that I could have done without. I kind of skimmed that part. I took off one star because there’s no world building at all. If you want to know why there are villains and heroes and people that have powers, you won’t find that here. And there could have been, one of the grand daddy’s of the heroes makes an appearance and he could have explained things a little. There’s a section where Anna decides to trust someone that she decidedly should not which seemed out of character, except for the fact that she is clearly lonely. There is a set up for a sequel that I will definitely read. Superheroes and their collateral damage has been done before, but this was such a unique and interesting way to address that. Does Anna’s quest for revenge lead her to some poor choices? Absolutely, and that’s what makes this book so fun. Anna is not a good person. She gets people killed too. (Which you could argue ruins her argument about the need to take down the heroes because of how destructive they are.) If you like speculative fiction with an interesting pov, you will like this.