Cover Image: The Nowhere Man

The Nowhere Man

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Member Reviews

Good book., I like this series, but find it a bit predictable. I would read more with this same character as it is entertaining.
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Published by Minotaur Books on January 17, 2017

As an action novel, The Nowhere Man rocks. It’s full of chase scenes, explosions, shoot-outs, and fistfights, some of them quite clever. As an action novel that makes sense, The Nowhere Man is lacking. I took a sort of guilty pleasure in enjoying it, but I found the enjoyment to be almost equally balanced by aggravation.

Fiction often demands the willing suspension of disbelief and I’m happy to do that for the sake of a good story, but sometimes the challenge of believing the impossible impairs my ability to lose myself in the book. That was the case with The Nowhere Man. I liked the action but I have serious reservations about the plot.

Kidnapped American girls who are sold as sex slaves is the latest fad in thriller crimes. Investigate the real-world statistics and you’ll find the crime almost never happens, but exploiting every parent’s nightmare is this year’s way to sell books, and Gregg Hurwitz has jumped on the bandwagon.

Fortunately for teenage American girls who are about to be shipped to Serbia, Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, is there to help. Evan is one of those thriller heroes who was recruited by the military from an orphanage and turned into a killing machine. There are so many of them in thriller world that one of them is probably your neighbor. And, of course, the government is trying to track him down and kill him, because that’s always what happens to government-produced killing machines in thriller world.

If it’s easy for abused kids who have nothing to contact Evan, it shouldn’t be all that difficult for the government, with all its resources, to find him. Evan’s ability to stay beyond the reach of his pursuers while spreading word of his existence to anyone who might know an abused kid is my first reservation about the plot.

As Evan is working against a deadline to rescue a kidnapped girl from a container ship, he is himself kidnapped. That leads to a lengthy story that departs from the “dark hero rescues abused kids” theme, changing the plot into “dark hero rescues himself.” While the reason for Evan’s captivity is improbable, the story moves fast and it gives Evan a chance to show off his talent for killing bad guys. The fact that he is given so many chances to kill bad guys instead of being hogtied is ridiculously improbable. In fact, the bad guys almost make it easy for him to kill bad guys, and that detracts from the story.

Near the end, Evan twice shows up in a spot that allows him to inflict mayhem on bad guys with no explanation at all (probably because none could be imagined) of how he got there.

Evan is a little crazy and that’s always an interesting feature in a protagonist, but his craziness is forced. None of the other characters exist in more than one dimension. The primary villain is a bigger cartoon than Snidely Whiplash.

I like the pace of The Nowhere Man. Most of the action scenes are very well done and I enjoyed reading them. The story would probably make a great action movie, because the special effects would distract the reader from all the implausible things the reader is asked to accept. In a book, however, the reader has time to think about those things. On too many occasions, I thought “Why is this bad guy being so stupid?” or “How could that possibly happen?” That makes it difficult to recommend the book with any degree of enthusiasm, despite my appreciation of some of its parts.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
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I love Gregg Hurwitz books. This one was really not for me. I gave it 4 stars due to the writing. I know it's not my genre and not my style, but I know that there are people out there that will go crazy over this stuff. 

When I first started reading it, it was like reading the steps a video game would take. Not sure if you get that, but that's what it was like. Instead of watching a video game, your reading it. 

I am sure there are teenage boys and young men that would be all over this and I think that's a good thing. We need to get more young people involved in reading.

Like I said, not my style, not my genre, but I think it was written very well and needs to be recognized. 

Thanks Minotaur Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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I haven't read the first book in this series yet, but I think I just may have to ;)

The beginning was gripping.  I loved how the story started, but after awhile it felt repetative.  The action was great and Even is a great character.  There is a lot going on in this story!  Overall I found it well written and a good read!
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Once again with Orphan X, our man with no name from a secret government program where no one knows him but everyone on Earth now wants to kill him. You know that kind of protagonist. He effortlessly kills anyone and knows about every kind of device, tech or killing. Now he is the Nowhere Man, determined to cleanse his past by rescuing people from evil-doers. As luck would have it, there are plenty of those around. Separately, one such bad guy decides to steal all of X's money and hide him on a hilltop until he can get the rest. This is a set-up for a game-changer as the prey decides to wreak havoc upon the hunter. This is an exciting, action-filled book that just doesn't calm down once it starts. Luckily that #2 after his name in the title indicates we can count on more. Because this book was just as much fun as the first.
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Evan Smoak became my favorite character of 2016 after reading Orphan X.  He was taken from an orphanage and turned into a weapon. When his mentor dies, he decides he will use his gifts for good,  helping those who have nowhere else to turn.  In this installment he just begins getting to work on a trafficking monster when he is taken. Now Evan must use all he has learned to help himself. He has not only been taken by a monster, but he has others hunting him as well.  Figuring out where he is, how many are involved and how he can escape is on the edge of seat suspenseful with a twist that changes everything. You will find yourself rooting for Evan all the way in this non-stop action thriller,  This book will also make my favorite of 2017 list. The only thing that would have made it better was listening to Scott Brick's fantastic narration.
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First time reading this author and enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it.
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Review featured at www.books-n-kisses.com

3.5 Hearts This was not one of favorite’s from Hurwitz. For some reason it seemed to take me a long time to read this book. There were parts that were very slow, they dragged on and just gave too much detail. It almost seemed like Hurwitz combined two stories because of so many villains (“I can’t make book 1 a complete story or book 2… I will just throw all the characters together in one”).

Don’t get me wrong the book is not bad just not great. Smoak just needed a little less going on and a lot less detail of what did happen. 

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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That rare thing, a sequel that's as good as the first in the series!
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