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From Viral TikTok to New York Times Best Seller: The Journey of “Assistant to the Villain” by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

Hannah Nicole Maehrer, image courtesy of Goodreads

In a world inundated by stories of heroes and their epic quests, it’s refreshing to encounter a book that approaches the classic fantasy narrative from an alternative viewpoint. Published by Entangled: Red Tower Books on August 29, 2023, “Assistant to the Villain” by Hannah Nicole Maehrer offers readers a different lens through which to explore morality, power, and love. The book is more than just a fictional piece—it’s a phenomenon, one that has traversed platforms, going from a viral TikTok series to a New York Times Best Seller.

A Meteoric Rise to Stardom

Hannah Nicole Maehrer isn’t just another name in the literary world. Known as @hannahnicolemae on TikTok, she initially garnered attention for her short video clips featuring skits that would later form the essence of “Assistant to the Villain.” These viral videos propelled her from obscurity to prominence, demonstrating her knack for blending fantasy, romance, and humor in easily digestible formats.

Originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, Maehrer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She grew up engrossed in Disney movies and often spent hours in her living room, imagining her own magical worlds. It wasn’t until she explored TikTok that her dream of becoming a published author started to take tangible form.

A Unique Narrative

The story is set in Rennedawn, a kingdom plagued with dark forces and, more interestingly, job insecurity. Evie Sage, the protagonist, finds herself employed by the kingdom’s most notorious villain. Tasked with not only maintaining a chaotic office but also ensuring the smooth execution of nefarious plans, Evie realizes her new job has a steep learning curve. As if that isn’t enough, she develops feelings for her evil yet undeniably attractive boss.

The beauty of the book lies in its dual narrative. Chapters alternate between Evie’s perspective and that of her villainous employer, offering a multi-dimensional view into the lives of characters who are traditionally simplified into stereotypes of good and evil.

Duality of Opinions

“Assistant to the Villain” isn’t just loved for its enchanting story and character depth; it’s also admired for its impact on readers. One particularly glowing customer review highlighted how Maehrer managed to evoke a “myriad of emotions,” praising the realism behind Evie’s personal issues and how well they were woven into the fantasy elements of the story.

However, even the best stories aren’t universally acclaimed. The same review expressed disappointment with the audiobook version. According to this reader, the narration didn’t quite capture the vivacity of Evie’s character, which serves as a cautionary note for those considering only the audiobook format.

Limited First Print Run: A Collector’s Dream

For those who are keen on book aesthetics, the first print run of “Assistant to the Villain” features spray-painted edges, making it an instant collector’s item. This enhances not just the visual appeal but also the tactile experience of reading, adding another layer of uniqueness to this already captivating book.

The Cliffhanger and What Lies Ahead

The story leaves readers hanging, yearning for more of Evie’s adventures in navigating the morally complex world of Rennedawn. The tantalizing cliffhanger serves as a testament to Maehrer’s storytelling skills and her ability to keep the audience captivated, which only bodes well for the future of this series and her career.

In closing, “Assistant to the Villain” by Hannah Nicole Maehrer offers a harmonious blend of fantasy, romance, and real-world struggles. From its viral beginnings on TikTok to its hard-earned place on the New York Times Best Sellers list, the book is a testament to the shifting landscape of storytelling in the digital age. If the debut novel and its subsequent reception are anything to go by, we can look forward to much more compelling storytelling from this promising author.

As the lines between social media and traditional publishing continue to blur, Hannah Nicole Maehrer serves as a beacon for aspiring authors who dream of turning their virtual narratives into tangible successes.

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