Cover Image: The Last Orphan

The Last Orphan

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

When it comes to reading I'm a big fan of strong characters that appear in a series of books.
Over time Hurwitz has brought the character of Evan to life in his Orphan X series, and I'm a big fan. That being said, I'll be the first to criticize with the hope of being constructive.
Looking at a single book in a series, do I review it as a single read; or as part of an ongoing series? To be fair, someone could pick up this book, not having read any others of the same series; how would they review this book?
On its own, this book is weak. The story is weak, and the characters are weak. I guess I might also find it lazy; sorry for being direct.
Gregg Hurwitz, I'll tell you I'm in love with your characters. Evan is great. Joey is great. But where were they really in this book?
Not being a writer myself, I guess it's easy to be the critic. But this isn't easy to write. The previous book, "Dark Horse" was a wonderful book and I gave it five stars; and, in my opinion "The Last Orphan" doesn't meet it half way.
Precedence had been set, and I wanted to see the characters. I wanted to see their inner conflicts. I wanted the introduction of exciting new characters. I also wanted an exciting story line. I didn't get much of that.
In this book Evan is told he'll remain safe if he follows the President's instructions and eliminates a bad man. The story is about Evan's choices.
One last thing. Doing reviews, I've found myself reading a book that's part of the way through a series, and determining whether I'm interested enough in the story and characters to read more of the series. If the characters are not compelling, and if there is not enough of a backstory relating to previous books in the series, then the author is not doing his job well enough. I know that, had I read "Dark Horse" first, I'd have been interested in reading more. This book not so much.
Thanks to Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book.

Was this review helpful?

"The hard part isn't making you a killer, the hard part is keeping you human."

At the age of twelve, Evan Smoak was trained as an assassin, an expendable weapon. Evan was also trained to work alone. Jack Johns, now deceased, was more than Evan's handler. He was his mentor and father figure. Early on, Jack gave Evan a list of 10 Commandments so that he would always maintain his humanity despite the mentality and brutally that was the very fiber of his life.

For much of his life. Jack not only worked alone. He was alone. But he has come to depend on sixteen-year-old computer hacker Joey Morales. She might drive Evan crazy, but she is brilliant. Evan has OCD, and this alone makes Joey his polar opposite.

Having previously left the Orphan Program, Evan feels he can make whatever decision he chooses. However, the President orders him to kill a man, and if he does, he will have an immunity of sorts. He will escape any punishment for his actions, and this includes the times he had taken the law into his own hands. Living by those Commandments that Evan learned from Jack puts Jack into a quandary. He finds that this assignment might force him to go against his values.

Not only is The Last Orphan a thrilling read from start to finish, this book brings back some familiar characters, and this includes others from the Orphan Program. Of course, there is Joey, and then there is Dog the dog.

If you like movies like James Bond or The Bourne Identity or The Equalizer, then this book is definitely for you. I will say at this point that this book leaves readers with a cliffhanger. But, I have already read the next book, Lone Wolf, and I am very happy that I did.

Many thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

My first Orphan X book but I’ll definitely be going back to read the first books. This character definitely gives me Lee Child’s Jack Reacher vibes, a character I love and follow regularly. This book was action packed and filled with plot twists up until the end. When two seemingly unconnected people are murdered, X gets involved under a government contract to eliminate a big wig in the public eye. However, as X gets involved further he discovers the truth underneath the story and takes matters into his own hands. X pulls strings with all of his connections to make discovery and hold those who have done wrong accountable. I cannot wait to read the past and upcoming books in this series.

Thank you NetGalley and St, Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Hitman with a conscience, Evan—The Man With No Name—also Known as Orphan X—is at his best in Gregg Hurwitz’s fast-paced action thriller, “ The Last Orphan.”

Superbly trained in martial arts and covert espionage tactics, Evan is always prepared for the worst case scenarios; however, when his neighbor, Mia, languishes in hospital suffering from a long-term coma, his reconnaissance efforts to observe her fail dramatically.

In fact, he is snatched by the US Secret Service that’s been monitoring the unsolved murder cases that perhaps he may be linked to over many years. With orders from the highest echelons of government, Evan is offered immunity for his involvement with any criminal wrongdoing. However, there are stipulations attached to this deal.

Although a trained assassin from a young age, Evan operates on moral principles. He will not be dictated to commit crimes against humanity just because someone orders him to do so—even to save his own skin.

“The Last Orphan,” shows Evan at his most vulnerable and most dangerous aspects. He is the person that you want defending you if you’re the target of hostile attackers or have already been victimized. He’s a hero and white knight— or perhaps the Anti-Hero that we all love!

JoyReaderGirl1 graciously thanks NetGalley, Author Gregg Hurwitz, and Publisher Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, part of MacMillan Publishing Company Ltd., for this advanced reader’s copy (ARC) for review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the pace of this novel and the pages kept turning themselves. I was up long past my bedtime and couldn't wait for my day job to be done so I could pick this back up and repeat until I finished that last word. Love the Orphan X series.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Evan Smoak is in a quandary. He has been alone his entire adult life, in fact he was trained to be alone. No attachments meant less things to go wrong. Somehouw that theory has fallen to the wayside as Orphan X has people in his life. He worries about his ward Joey. He's fallen in love with a woman and her son. He has contacts that like it or not 'he has become attached to. Evan is in over his head in the emotions department, and he really has no idea how to navigate these new developments.

Now the President wants Orphan X in her control. She offers him a deal that goes against is vow of only using his skills to help others. If he takes the deal, she will stop hunting him and allow him to survive, if he refuses......well we can use our imagination. Evan wants nothing else but to survive and protect the people that need his services and the people that he loves.

As usual Gregg Hurwitz has written another unique thriller that pulls you in and won't let go. He is showing us an Orphan X that wants nothing more than to be left alone to help people.

This is a great series and I can't wait for the next one to come out.

Was this review helpful?

Orphan X has always been several steps ahead of his those who mean him harm. That is, until he makes a mistake that puts him back on the government's radar. With the President in control, she offers Evan a deal that, should he refuse, would mean the end to his personal freedom. Dedicated to the idea of only using his abilities against those who truly deserve it, will Evan get out from under the government's thumb long enough to decide for himself?

Having read the whole series thus far, both The Last Orphan and the previous novel, Dark Horse, seem more phoned in and lacking substance. The series has lost its edge, with this novel being more of the same. Though I do enjoy reading about Evan, I feel that the author should just move on to a new series featuring a different character. The Last Orphan does have some thrilling moments, but not enough to keep this reader riveted. For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend The Last Orphan to other readers.

Disclaimer: I was given an Advanced Reader's Copy by NetGalley and the publisher. The decision to read and review this book was entirely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Let me tell you about the latest book in the Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz. It's called "Into the Fire," and it's one of the most suspenseful and exciting books I've read in a while.

The story follows Evan Smoak, also known as "Orphan X," who has a very specific set of rules for himself. He's very selective about who he trusts and how he helps them. But when a powerful person comes to him for help, he has to put his skills to the test in order to keep living his new life.

What I think is really cool about this book is that it's different from the previous ones in the series. Evan is faced with a new and unexpected situation, and he has to navigate through it all while encountering some pretty serious challenges. It's a very suspenseful story that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

One thing I appreciated about this book is that it has less violence than the previous one. Don't get me wrong - there's still plenty of action and thrilling moments. But the way the story balances non-stop action with precise, brutal moments is really impressive. Personally, I prefer the latter, which is why I think this latest volume is even better. The best parts of the story are in those quieter moments where you really get to see the characters develop and connect with each other.

Now, if you're new to the Orphan X series, don't worry. You don't necessarily have to read the previous books to enjoy this one. However, if you do have some background on the characters and their relationships, it'll give you a deeper appreciation for the story. Either way, I highly recommend "Into the Fire" and the whole Orphan X series. It's just really satisfying to see Evan grow and evolve throughout the books.

Oh, and one more thing - I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and it was fantastic. The narrator has a really pleasant voice that just draws you into the story even more. I found myself completely immersed in the world that Hurwitz had created, and the narrator's voice just brought the characters to life in a way that made the story even more engaging and enjoyable. So if you're looking for an audiobook that's both engaging and immersive, I highly recommend this one.

Was this review helpful?

Evan Smoak is having woman trouble. But his trouble with women is a bit different than normal people have. First, Mia, the woman he is attracted to and the mother of Peter who looks at Evan as a sort of hero, is in the hospital in a coma. He cannot visit her, though, because the President of the United States (a woman) has assigned a Secret Service agent (also a woman) to dedicate herself to capturing him and they are watching the hospital. They don’t know why he was visiting that hospital, but cameras and facial recognition spotted him and so they are staking it out.

When he is captured, Evan turns for help to another woman, another survivor of the Orphan program (a secret government program to raise “orphans” to become assassins). She is willing to rescue him–but she would like to, umm, well, do more than rescue him, which would not go over well with Mia if she recovered from her hospitalization. Then there is Evan’s “niece,” another former Orphan, who is an expert hacker but is as moody as an adolescent. Which is not surprising, because she is an adolescent. Even Vera is mad at Evan for neglecting her–and when you’ve upset an aloe vera plant so she is not talking to you, well, actually that probably is not the issue. When you are in so much trouble with so many women that you are talking to an aloe vera plant, you probably need to get some things sorted out.

Rather than capturing Evan for breaking the law (which he has) or for breaking his agreement with the president to retire (which he did break), the president wants to “hire” him. A billionaire tech guru is creating political problems for her, and she wants Evan to eliminate the source of the problem. That, however, is not how Orphan X, aka The Nowhere Man, takes on cases, so he decides to look into the situation himself.

Ultimately the question facing Smoak is simple: is he willing to sacrifice his ethics for a presidential pardon. If he kills the tycoon, his past is officially forgiven and he can begin living his life in the open–no longer worrying about the Secret Service trying to capture him while he’s in the hospital visiting a would-be girlfriend. If, though, he betrays his values and his principles, is that life in the open really of any value? Smoak, the “orphan” would like to experience “normal.” He never has, and it looks attractive. But what price is he willing to pay to be normal?

It is highly unlikely that any of us will be asked to assassinate a businessman by the president of the United States. All of us, though, face regular choices that tell the world and ourselves who we really are. Are we a tax-cheating kind of person or a tax-honesty kind of person? Are we a resume embellisher or a resume truth-teller? Do we lie about our child’s age to get a reduced-price ticket to Disney World, or do we pay the price for honesty? Is our Tinder profile picture current or is it 10-years old? Or photoshopped? There are times when we confront obvious life-changing choices: education, career, marriage, family, etc. Often those are very obvious. What is less obvious are the hundreds of little choices that forge our character. For good or for bad, we are the product of our own choices.

How Evan Smoak resolves this choice–and resolves his issues with the women in his life–is something you should read for yourself. Get ready for a fun and thoughtful thrill ride from a writer who has mastered the genre.

Was this review helpful?

This is an author that I never hestitate to pick up. I enjoy his writing style as well as his attention to details that bring reality to his stories. This book is no different. A well written story where the twists and turns are like no other. A fast paced story that is engaging and hard to put down. A story that will make you question what is important in your life and how far you will go for it. I enjoyed how the characters pulled me into the story from the start. They add so much to the story that it was easy and entertaining to read from the start. I enjoyed watching the growth of the plot as well as the characters throughout the story. This is a really great story that you don't want to miss. I highly recommend this book and this author.

Was this review helpful?

I have said that the Orphan X series is my guilty pleasure. It is full of adventure, violence yet with a moral bent to it. In this eighth installment, Gregg Hurwitz continues to bring us non-stop action, twists and unfortunately, some morally reprehensible characters. If you aren't familiar with this series, the protagonist is Evan Smoak, who was plucked from an orphanage when he was just twelve. He was trained by the US government to become an assassin. He learned all manner of fighting techniques, tactical evasions, and extensive use of weaponry. He also made contacts along the way, which he still uses now. When he decided he didn't want to do that anymore, he went underground and became "The Nowhere Man." Of course the government officials who know about this program, don't want it to become public so they have been after Evan ever since. With Evan getting older, he is slowing down and in this book, the is captured by the US government. The president wants him to kill a very bad man, who is influencing the government using blackmail. He doesn't want to be a gun for hire, but he agrees to look into it and if he deserves to die, then he will consider it. With lots of innocents involved, this story is another one that had me on the edge of my seat.

The Last Orphan will not be for everyone. There is violence, debauchery, rape, drugging others, murder and more when dealing with the crimes of the man the president wants killed. It is not throughout the book, but there is enough in there. Of course Evan is not a computer whiz, so he needs help from Joey, another orphan who bombed out of the program, who we met in an earlier book in the series. She is like an adopted daughter and I love her banter and humor when she deals with Evan. As always the adventure is over-the-top, and edge of the seat stuff, and this is the closest Evan has come to being killed. Another great addition to this series and one I would recommend to those who love this series, action-packed pacing, and good vs evil.

Was this review helpful?

This is 8th in Gregg Hurwitz's thriller series featuring Evan Smoak. Taken as a child for a U.S. black assassin training program, Evan reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man, helping people in desperate need.

The US President pressures Evan to kill a very powerful man with unimaginable influence - but does Luke Devine deserve killing?

What follows is the Nowhere Man's usual explosive action and skilled use of all resources available to protect the innocent, find the truth, and take down the guilty. Don't miss this series!

Was this review helpful?

Evan Smoak! I'm not entirely sure how I ended up starting this series, but I'm most definitely glad I did. Evan Smoak is a fascinating character, plucked from the foster system as an adolescent boy to train as an assassin for a secret government program. He was mentored by a man who not only trained him, but instilled in him a set of rules and guidelines that helped him maintain a hold on his humanity while he did inhumane things. His government work is in the past, but he continues to use his "particular set of skills" as the "Nowhere Man" to help everyday people in desperate situations that have run out of options.
In this installment, however, it's the US president who's requested (or demanded, to be precise) his help, and he questions her motives, which seem to be more in her own interest than that of the country. But due to some of his past activities, he's in no place to refuse her demand. Not that his target is any saint - he's a horrifying individual surrounded by equally horrifying associates and they've done some horrifying things. Thus continues the evolution of Evan Smoak - as government assassin Orphan X he was a loner, avoiding human connections. Over time, though, as civilian "fixer" the Nowhere Man, he's begun to make some fragile human connections (albeit somewhat reluctantly) and he's not sure he likes it. But it's fascinating to watch him evolve and question and begin to explore his humanity - and his past. I can't wait to see what's in store for him in the next book!
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

Another excellent installment in the series. I put this review off for a little bit because I wans't sure what I wanted to say about it. I love this series. I always wonder what will happen next and in this one I was a little surprised, in a good way, with part of the ending.

I enjoy Hurwitz's writing and I am really glad that he didn't try to continue to make the situations Orphan X finds himself in get progressively worse. Honestly, I think he hit a peak with the targeting, explosive bugs and more than that would have caused the series to start to get too unbelievable. In this one, X finds himself in sticky situations, but we are starting to see more reliance on others, slight signs of aging, and introspection on relationships. This gives X more depth and adds a touch of realism to the story as well. Don't worry; it's still full of crazy action scenes and all that brings to the series as well.

I did have a couple of minor issues with the story. First, I'm starting to like Joey less and less. I find her to be grating. She is getting older, but acts less mature and more whiny. I'm hoping that she has a breakthrough soon because otherwise I feel like her emotions are going to cause her to have a breakdown soon. Second, I don't want to hear any more women say things like, "As a liberated woman, I should (or I think..., etc)." Liberated (or progressive, etc) women don't generally refer to themselves as such and more than one woman did this in the story. It gives the feeling of a man trying to write a strong woman from a woman's perspective, which it is, but it shouldn't read that way.

I love that Hurwitz is including Candy and others in the series. I like to see this network of independent people forming deeper relationships and depending on each other.

Once again, I can't wait to read the next in the series.

Was this review helpful?

Not as good as earlier books. Evan Smoak (Orphan X) is captured by the U.S. government, trying to keep an eye on his comatose girlfriend (Mia), and the President asks him to kill a billionaire, who is a direct threat to her and therefore America. Evan agrees he will investigate, but not before escaping from his imprisonment with help from Orphan V. The billionaire is a charmer, but has a nasty group of enforcers, and he lures Evan into a meeting hoping to convince him that his agenda is less dangerous than the President's own agenda. Caught in the middle is a family of a fun loving kid, who was murdered and his sister Ruby asks for Evan's help. Always working for the underdog, Evan goes on the hunt. While I did like the blurred line between the good and bad guys here, the growing attention paid to Evan's emotional issues (and his sidekick Joey's) make for a less interesting thriller, in my opinion. 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Was this review helpful?

A fine exit. X seems to be getting soft, he has feelings, he sipped a (spoiler alert) root beer float. Ciao, mr nowhere

Was this review helpful?

So far this is the second book I have read in this series. I was glad we seen some small glimpses in the creation of Orphan X. The man he came to feel as his father. It got me more interested in the history, so now I’m reading the first book in the series.
Is the Nowhere Man going to do the bidding of the President in order to obtain freedom from been hunted by the government he previously served or follow his own rules of justice. The case he is working on is not a simple black and white and the many twists and turn keeps you guessing on what is going to happen next. I read both the kindle version and listened to the audio version. The narrator Scott Brick presented the story nicely.

Was this review helpful?

My thanks to St. Martin's Press, Gregg Hurwitz and Netgalley.
This is my first Orphan X book. It will not be the last. Hell, I ended up enjoying it so much that as soon as I get signed up at the library in my new town of Missoula, Montana I will be checking them out!
I was initially a wee bit put off by this Smoak character. He came off more super hero than human, but he slowly snuck his way in! I ended up enjoying this book a whole heck of a lot more than I would have thought.
3 1/2 stars!

Was this review helpful?

This is the second Orphan X book that I have read. I can see why Evan Smoak is such a beloved character. Hurwitz has a fantastic writing style giving us characters with depth to them, as well as excellent action sequences. In The Last Orphan, Smoak is against a potential foe who has him stripping away his training and rethinking everything. He is seriously rattled. It was fun to see him reach out to another member of the fabled Orphan Program for assistance when the odds were so stacked against him. I am impressed with the humanity he is learning about, and trying to embrace where up to this point in life he has been content being in solitude as he was trained/raised to be. All in all, this is an excellent read. It is not necessary for readers to read the series in order. I am going to go back and read all of the books because I have been blown away by the last two installments.

Was this review helpful?

The Last Orphan
Orphan X #8
Gregg Hurwitz

Personal Note:
I LOVE this series, I came late to the party at book 6, The Prodigal Son and was HOOKED from page one and knew I had to go back and start from the beginning because I needed to know more about Evan and what makes him tick. I also started with the Macmillan audio version of The Prodigal Son and was also hooked on Scott Brick’s remarkable, talented rendition so much so that now when I think of Evan or The Nowhere Man it’s Scott’s voice I hear and he’s ruined me for any printed version of this series.

Gregg Hurwitz’s The Last Orphan is a titillating thriller, a non-stop edge of your seat, one sit read that’s bound for bestsellerdom that once again digs deep into Evan Smoak’s complicated OCD plagued psyche and strips him bare in the emotion department. Readers/Listeners once again are gifted with experiencing the slow continuing metamorphosis of Evan’s humanity, showing what a lonely existence his is and just how much he must sacrifice to protect those he cares for. The audience also gets to see sixteen-year-old, soon to be seventeen super hacker Joey grow up just a little, unravel just a little, showing her normal teenaged side just a little and letting readers/listeners see hers and Evan’s relationship become more solid. There’s of course the paradigmatic bloody, deadly battle scenes that are not for the feint of heart that pits Evan, part McGyver part 007 part vigilante, up against incredible odds hoping he’s the last man standing. Fans of this incredible series and other thrillers will find this unputdownable.


Evan Smoak used to be Orphan X part of the Orphan Program, a clandestine, super secret government organization that trained young orphans to be sanctioned assassins. He was good at his job but was on a very short leash and when he started questioning his handlers and didn’t like the answers he left turned into a ghost and reinvented himself into The Nowhere Man, a man who if you have his number and are worthy of his help he’ll make things right. Then the government decided they needed The Last Orphan for one more sanctioned assignment and on a day that Evan was just a little off they caught him and gave him an ultimatum, help or die. But the agency taught him well and with the help of a small group of trusted associates that he’s collected over the years Evan escapes but the assignment intrigues him so he decides he’ll look into it himself and he’ll be the one to make the ultimate decision.

Was this review helpful?