Cover Image: Orphan X

Orphan X

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Orphan X is a well-written, action-packed, espionage thriller with excellent scenes of action, blending the lines of good and evil. 

Evan Smoak, the main character, with the alias Orphan X, also known as "The Nowhere Man", is a trained spy and assassin. He shares his experiences and trainings throughout the read as "flashbacks", demonstrating his progression from a young child to an off-the-books, government sanctioned assassin. He then walks away to more personal missions, keeping his identity covered, and refocuses on individuals in need with whom he can use his skills to help.

I greatly enjoyed the author's incorporation of detailed martial arts, military training, weapon details, and anatomy and physiology throughout. The author clearly did his homework in writing this!

This story line quickly grabs you, with twists and turns that surprise. Well done!
Was this review helpful?
This is book 1 of the Orphan X Series.  This is a book about a man raised in an off-the-books program raising the perfect deniable assets.  These people are to help those that need help and have nowhere else to go.  Evan was an Orphan X, then he disappeared, now he has to use his skills to stay alive.
Was this review helpful?
Premise was new to me.  I was fascinated by the X storyline.  I enjoyed the characters, the dialogues, and the different storylines.  Albeit sometimes it was busy, it was fitting, and the story flowed.  

I was surprised this is a series, and I'm not sure if I want to continue.  I don't want the series to take away from all the enjoyment I had with Orphan X.  

Thank you NetGalley.  This was hit with me.

Was this review helpful?
Review featured at

This is a re-release of the first in the series. I have read the second in the series and it was nice to understand a bit more of what book two was really about. 

However, it did not change my mind on Evan. I really am not a fan of his. He is a bit of a jerk and the writing is a bit winded. I have read Hurwitz before but this series seems like he is using 3 words where one will work. 

I am sure I will continue with the series but I hope he starts a new series soon. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Gregg Hurwitz is a gifted author. He has well-developed characters I can easily relate to or understand. His prose are wonderfully descriptive—neither too little nor too much. He puts the reader right into the scene, and his plots, along with his unexpected twists fit the story lines. The book started off a bit like he was holding back a little bit too much information but once you got past that you fall in love with Evan as a character. The book is an absolute must read.
Was this review helpful?
Evan was raised to be a secret mission operative in the Orphan program. He left the program and is now the Nowhere Man. Accepting missions on a word of mouth basis helping those in need. He is methodical, precise and gets the job done quickly using his training learned as a child. He accepts a mission and soon figures out that he is the target, and has to scramble to figure out who and why. Plenty of action, a couple of twists and great characters makes this as exciting start to a new series. Evan Smoak is an awesome character with a heart he is reluctant to allow free reign.
Was this review helpful?
This book rocks. It pops. It funks. It...dances(?).
It's thrilling, fun (if you think high-stress situations are fun), and engaging.
The main character is intense. The supporting characters are intense.
The story is interesting, and the pay-off is worth it.
Overall, 5/5.

I got a free review copy of this book from the publisher.
Was this review helpful?
Orphan X is the exciting first book in this series by the same name. We meet Evan Smoak, often called The Nowhere Man, He is known as Orphan X. Evan was abandoned as a baby, and was eventually found and housed in a program that trained young boys to be killing machines. This was a Black Ops program, referred to as the Orphan program and they were trained to become government assassins. Evan made his first kill at 19 years of age.

It is ten years later, Evan has chosen to leave the program and now he is in a run for his life. Even will not get away easily. No one leaves the program, so he is being trailed by someone with skills to match his own. Meanwhile, he has since lost his handler/father-figure Jack. Despite being chased, Evan begins to use his inestimable skills to try and help others.

There are a couple of particular things of that I’m worth noting about Evan. First of all he has extreme case of OCD. Secondly he was raised by a list of commandments and part of his role as an assassin and he lives by those principles to this day. Also, he has a great love of vodka. Can’t forget to mention that. Also, there is a character introduced in this series that has had a minor role throughout that I have enjoyed seeing from time to time.

This first book is most certainly action packed, gadget filled, and has excitement from beginning to end. What a great introduction to a thrilling series.
Was this review helpful?
Orphan X  is the first book in a great series by Gregg Hurwitz

 “Evan Smoak has skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere to turn. But now someone with similar skills is after him. Someone getting closer and closer...”

This book is full of action. This is the first book, so there is some backstory but it adds to the character. Evan Smoak is not invincible but he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people he cares about. 

Fans of Reacher and Grey Man should enjoy this. Hurwitz writes with a fast-paced, easy-to-read style. This is a great option for the beach or whever you like to read.
Was this review helpful?
I don't know why this popped up suddenly in 2021 as a wish granted but for the record, I'm not sorry. I read it back when it was published and  It's a great read.  The series has only gotten better over time as Evan Smoak has been developed more fully. The pacing is terrific, the storytelling masterful.  Looking forward to a new one in 2022.
Was this review helpful?
Back in 2012 I read my one and only Greg Hurwitz book 'They're watching' which I loved and rated 5 stars and writing in my review that I intended to read lots more of his books. So it is surprising that I have left it over 3 years before I decided to read the next one.
'Orphan X' is the first book in a new series of books that features Evan Smoak, a man with a dangerous past who helps the desperate people who have nowhere else to turn. Evan Smoak is taken at the age of 12 and trained in a secret Government program to be an assassin. When this program is disbanded, Evan moves to California and decides to use his skills to do good.
In this novel Greg Hurwitz sets the scene extremely well and starts to develop a strong character in Evan Smoak that he will be able to extend further in future novels.
The novel is full of action and really is an excellent thriller. 'Orphan X' will appeal to readers who enjoys fast paced action filled thrillers.
I would like to thank Net Galley and St Martins Press for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for a honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This series is amazing! So we’ll crafted. I love it. Full of great characters and such fast moving action!
Was this review helpful?
Orphan X is the first of six (so far) installments in the series. In it, he introduces Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, who risks his life to help people who are have no one else to turn to. He carries a RoamZone telephone that he answers by asking, "Do you need my help?" After he renders assistance, he instructs his clients to "find someone who needs me. Give them my number: 1-855-2-NOWHERE."

Evan lives in a 7,000 square foot apartment high above Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The building, known as Castle Heights, was once quite posh, but its prime has passed, making it the perfect place for Evan to reside without drawing attention to himself. His eclectic and frequently annoying neighbors are hilariously determined to get him to attend homeowners association meetings. 

His apartment is a technological fortress, equipped with sensors, cameras, and a 400 square foot vault that he accesses through what appears to be a normal shower wall. But his computers, arsenal, and other tools are stored there. Although not an expert hacker, he has enough skill and assistance from professionals to have hacked into federal databases, as well as those maintained by police departments, so he has access to a vast network of information that assists him with the cases he handles. He de-stresses by drinking designer vodkas and meditating, and sleeps in a high-tech levitating bed.

Evan was a child when he was selected to be trained as part of a top-secret government Orphan program. His handler, Jack Johns, took him into his home and taught him everything he would need to know to carry out his missions. Evan Smoak is not his real name and in the program he was known only as Orphan X. He came to be known as one of the most skilled Orphans, his talents surpassed only by Orphan Zero, and has left a trail of death and subterfuge around the world. His resources are vast, transferred and accounted for through complex electronic configurations and numerous shell companies registered outside the United States.

As the story begins he is called upon to help a young woman who has been ensnared by a local cop in sex trafficking. Her younger sister is about to be indoctrinated and Morena Aguilar has to save the innocent young girl from that fate that has made her life miserable. So she calls Evan for help. 

But Evan doesn't take the information he receives from those who call on him for help at face value. He investigates their claims of distress, stakes out the locations where they agree to meet, ensuring that he hasn't been followed, and thoroughly researches their backgrounds. Only when satisfied that it is safe to do so does he get involved. 

Now someone seems to know things they shouldn't. They've determined Evan's whereabouts when that shouldn't be possible. Gotten too close. When Evan figures out that the attempts on the life of the woman he is trying to help were actually attempts on his own life, he is thrown completely off balance. Her story and background seem to check out, but something is not right about the case. He has to figure out what it is in order to save her . . . and himself.

Complicating matters is the Deputy District Attorney, Mia, who resides in Evan's building. She's the widowed mother of nine-year-old Peter. And Evan feels that he has to help her when she is in danger, even though he does not handle more than one case at a time. Getting to know Mia is dangerous for both of them, but for different reasons. She offers Evan a glimpse into a kind of life he has never known. He has never been part of a family or experienced the kind of harried, messy, but loving day-to-day existence that is Mia's life as she juggles her home responsibilities and career. But he knows that becoming part of Mia's world will endanger her and her son. And letting them into his is, of course, unthinkable.

Interspersed between chapters detailing current events, flashbacks tell the story of Evan's time with Jack. Hurwitz provides deftly-timed glimpses into the brutal way he was trained to be "a weapon," and the advice dispensed by Jack, including the Ten Commandments to which Evan must adhere at all times. Hurwitz describes the day that Evan lost Jack, and the reasons Evan blames himself and is haunted by that day's events. On that day, he started a new life. He "decided to put his training to personal use. A pro bono freelancer, helping others who could not help themselves. Either way he had a calling, aligned with the heading of his own moral compass." 

Orphan X is a gripping, fast-paced exploration of a uniquely complex character. Jack's training of Evan was different than the training provided the other Orphans in the program. He taught Evan to respect life, telling him, "The hard part isn't turning you into a killer. The hard part is keeping you human." Because Evan is both an assassin and a philanthropist, his two natures are often in conflict. Despite what he was trained to be and do, Evan is not just likable, but remarkably empathetic. His duality is relatable, his conflict demonstrating that Jack succeeded at teaching him to retain his humanity, even as he leaves a trail of dead bodies in his wake. 

Hurwitz hurls Evan into a cat-and-mouse game full of shocking twists that unfold at an unrelentingly fast pace. The story is populated with supporting characters that are deliciously despicable and quite often meet ends that they deserve. There is simply no good place to stop reading because virtually every chapter ends with a cliffhanger that propels the story forward. The cleverly-plotted mystery keeps readers guessing until the very end with Hurwitz expertly setting the stage for the next installment, The Nowhere Man.

Orphan X is an enthralling, ingenious thriller featuring a fascinating protagonist who has many more secrets to discover, layers to explore, and desperate clients to assist. It's a perfect blend of action, intrigue, high-tech fun, and an engrossing character study.
Was this review helpful?
Dripping with action, page-turning plots, clear good vs evil. I'm rather miffed that it's harder to find this series. It's simply fantastic. It has some humor, and then heartwarming things, like a dear child with Down's Syndrome, and red balloons, which makes me smile. Fighting is well choreographed, movie-like actually. Evan Smoak is just, well amazing and gadgets and tech, it's just fun, like Bond, Batman, or Gadget. I can't wait to read this whole series. 

Thanks to Net Galley for my copy of this book. This review is my own, left of my own volition.
Was this review helpful?
I tried to read this book several times but could not get into it.  I finally discovered the audiobook and got interested in it. Evan Smoak was rescued as a child by a man named Jack and entered into a secret program known as the Orphan Program which trained  boys to be assassins. He was Orphan X. When the program was disbanded he becomes The Nowhere Man and used his skills to help the truly desperate who seek him out. We learn his back story in little bits throughout the book. He lives a solitary life, alone with his technology and his gadgets, trusting no one. He rather unwillingly becomes a friend of sorts with a divorced lawyer and her young son. Suddenly he is the one in trouble, being pursued by an unknown villain who is just as skilled and tech-savvy as he is. He spends a large portion of the book fighting this villain while trying not to endanger those around him. There are a lot of fight scenes which got a little tedious to me. If he was so well trained, how did he miss some of the things and make the mistakes he did?  Perhaps this was to show that he was not perfect and had a touch of humanity after all. The ending had an unexpected twist designed to leave you wanting more.
Was this review helpful?
This book had me up all last night.  Yes.  I finished it at 4:57 a.m.!  I gave up sleeping because it was beyond me how I was going to put it down!  I loved it!  It flows well, reads quickly with an unusual plot.  There are car scenes, and fight scenes, and even some "chemistry" scenes but not something that got in the way of a man trained well and one that chose to be a good person to the best of his code.
Was this review helpful?
I inhaled, INHALED, the first half of Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz. I am a sucker for fictional assassins that I care about–let’s not explore this too deeply–and anything that gives me ’90s action/thriller movie vibes. Basically I am loving this read at the moment.
Was this review helpful?
This was an okay read.  For me there were too many times in the book when the author got too wordy.  I will try the next in this series hoping there is an improvement.
Was this review helpful?
I have had this book on my TBR list for a very long time! I had received a copy from Netgalley but since my reading time has been scant I also purchased this book in audiobook version.

I am so happy that I finally downloaded the audiobook (I love Scott Brick!!) and started listening to it. 

I now have a new favorite series! I look forward to catching up on the adventures of Orphan X. 

I did receive a copy of this book for review from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press.
Was this review helpful?
"Orphan X" is definitely one of the better thrillers I've read in awhile. I managed to devour it pretty fast so I'm glad I got the chance to read it.
Was this review helpful?