Cover Image: Orphan X

Orphan X

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Member Reviews

4 stars for an unusual thriller. The book alternates between two time periods: present day and a time when Evan Smoak is adopted into the orphan program at age 12. This is a secret US government program to train assassins who can secretly kill enemies of the US, while giving the US complete denial ability.
The present day period explains that Evan has left the orphan program, but still has unlimited access to the bank accounts set up in his name under the program, a bit of a reality stretch. Evan uses his training and wealth to help others in danger. If you have ever watched The Equalizer series on tv, then you understand Evan's role in this book.
This is a fast paced thriller, as Evan confronts trained killers, every bit as deadly as he is. I read this book in 2 days.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for sending me this eBook through NetGalley.

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The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he finds himself the one who is being hunted. Lots of action.

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Having read the last two books in the series I decided to read book one to see how it all began.
It’s a nice concept for a story. Take orphans at an early age to train them as some supper villain or vigilantly. If you insist on a realistic portrayal of the endurance of the human body, then this series is not for you. Personally, I found the series an entertaining read.
In a way Orphan X is a bit more than the typical action-packed scenario where it is all action but no storyline worth presenting. Orphan X reflects to the times spend with his trainer. A replacement father figure to him. He second guesses some of his decisions and is torn between the actions to take or who to trust. Endangering people he started to care about is a constant worry.
I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.

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"...The hard part isn't turning you into a killer. The hard part is keeping you human."

He identified as - The Nowhere Man - an executioner, and terrorist, wanted for a variety of offences by a variety of nations. It was the price that Evan Smoak has to pay to back off from Orphan Program. A program of full-deniability, an antiseptic operation run off a black budget. He was a spy and fully expendable. He was trained impeccably for weapon speciality for covert operations. Until he was assigned to kill a fellow Orphan for being a traitor. He refused. As his handler, Jack Johns has to die. Jack was a father and protector to him. He grief for him.

He moved to Los Angeles and rebuilt an operational alias built with pieces of his true self. A pro bono freelancer helping others who couldn’t help themselves. He'd made an operational miscalculation, his first in eight years over a woman. Meh. Here is the climax of this story when an imposter becomes a threat to his life. I love this brilliant part. It was an adrenaline rush and action-packed which was delivered from the beginning.

I give 4.3 ⭐️. Thanks to @netgalley and the publisher for earc. Opinions are my own.


#donereading #OrphanX by #gregghurwitz #igbooks #igreads #bookstagram #goodreads #emabaca #netgalley #kindlepaperwhite #malaysiamembaca

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When I started reading this book, I thought "It will be OK". Once I got past the first chapter, I was hooked. So hooked that I read late into the night. Mystery, government assassin and helping those who have no where else to go are all components of this book. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

This starts by giving the background of where/how Evan became Orphan X. The twists and turns are marvelous and had me trying to figure out "who done it" and being so wrong. The book describes different types of ways to fight stated in the language from where they came. There are different types of guns/weapons explained and details of how Evan stays off the grid. It's the little details that gave this book such color and interest.

Be sure to start with this book as you will miss out on the foundation of the characters if you don't.

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This fast paced thriller takes Evan Smoak's origins and sets up the whole world of secret government programs and assassins that are very reminiscent of others in this genre. It's an engaging modern age spy thriller with lots of action, suspense and enough mystery to unravel throughout an extended series.

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I love Orphan X. He is a character your heart goes out to but you are a tad bit afraid of. You definitely want him on your side!

I enjoyed this very much. Cannot wait till the next in the series.

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Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Gregg Hurwitz for an ARX in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

I have been wanting to start this series for a long time and boy am I glad I did! This is a high action, race to the finish thriller that will drag you along for quite a ride. Meet Orphan X. Trained as a child to be a government assassin, you know working for the good guys. However, once the program becomes defunct, Evan Smoak goes out on his own helping every day folks who are in trouble. Call the Nowhere Man and he will rescue you. When a call comes in Evan responds, however, there is something not right. Is he being set up? Who really needs help? Most importantly, who are they trying to kill.

I love the Evan character. He is a bad ass who can get the job done, protects the innocent and has a heart of gold. The flashbacks are great to see how Evan grew up and was trained in the Orphan program. There are lots of gadgets and high tech toys that make it fun. But it is really one man’s struggle to stay alive. His skill against everyone else. I thought the pacing was great, lots of twists and turns and never knowing who to trust kept it all very exciting.

Now that I’ve started, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

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This review was originally published on I was given an ebook freely by NetGalley and the book’s publisher in return for a voluntary and honest review.

Orphan X
Book 1 in the Series
By Gregg Hurwitz

I’m familiar with Gregg Hurwitz’s work in the comic industry but this was my first time reading a novel of his. I loved it! Hurwitz knows how to grab my attention and keep it. I rushed through the book in only a couple days because I had to. It demanded to be a priority.

Evan Smoak is an orphan the US government took off the streets as a young man and trained to kill for his country. Evan as an adult does pro bono work helping people get out of danger. He finds jobs by having his past clients look for people for him. It’s a word of mouth service under his alias the Nowhere Man. We don’t learn why until later on in the book but Evan stopped working for the government. While helping his current client he discovers he’s the target.

Evan is a great character, a good guy willing to be bad for the right reasons. He lives a solitary life and learns he has to rely on others. Plenty of intriguing growth. The villains are also interesting, especially because there’s multiple layers of them. The storyline jumps around throughout the book between Evan’s training, wet work and helping the helpless.

I’m excited to have a new series to dive into and will be buying the next book in the series. I recommend it for adults looking for action and intrigue with interesting characters. There is adult language, adult situations and violence.

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I loved Evan's story in this first installation of a riveting series. This book was Bourne Identity brought to life in book format. I loved slowly learning more about Evan and his motivations and this book kept me guessing throughout. There were a few emotional parts where my heart really hurt for him, but I cant' wait to see his story continue in the next entry in this series.

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There is so much intrigue and action right from the start in this book. An underdog that becomes a hero is always a draw for me, especially in a thriller. I also enjoyed all the high-tech equipment and learning how Orphan X came to be. This is a great start to the series.

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Having read all of the latest Orphan X Books I somehow was unable to find a copy of the original so many thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for granting me a copy of this book originally published in 2016.

Knowing the back story from more recent installments there was not much that came as a surprise. While this is well written, Orphan X is a little more all over the place confronting issue upon issue, reacting without having a breath to regroup and rationalize. Not knowing who to believe and which story rang true was going to be our hero’s downfall - maybe. Not following the commandments was going to be his downfall - maybe. The introduction of other Orphans and pitting them against each other was a symphony in terror, blood and cunning. Very few, if any, do it better than Hurwitz and I was amazed as always by the attention to detail in every part of this story.

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Thank you Netgalley for the advanced readers copy in exchange for honest review.
Orphan X was a fun and exciting read. I like thrillers that easily bring me into the book like I'm watching an action flick. Definitely recommend.

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Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz was a suspenseful, fast-paced read. I enjoyed both the character work and the plot which was cinematic.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Reading a book a week is no small task. Taking on such a hefty goal means I have to be very organized in choosing my reading material. It also means that starting a new series isn't always the best idea. I simply have so many books to read that it becomes difficult to keep up with a series of books. That probably explains why I've left Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X unread for so long. His publisher sent me the first three books in his series to read and review, but I was hesitant to start the series. With seven books in total and an eighth expected next year, my curiosity got the better of me. I finally read Orphan X.

Years ago, a black ops program took children and trained them to be assassins. They became ruthless killers who could discretely take out the kind of targets that would draw too much attention to those individuals or entities that needed them to be eliminated. Evan Smoak was one of those children. The man who rescued him from his life before became a father figure to the young boy. He trained him in combat, and defense, and built a mental fortitude into the boy that would see him become a person of the shadows, the Nowhere Man.

That was all in the past. The Orphan program was discontinued. These days, Evan lives in a state of semi-retirement. Instead of taking on clients who pay, he helps only those who are desperately in need. For those most forlorn individuals, he is their last resort. He helps them out of the most hopeless situations. The only thing Evan asks for in return is that the beneficiary of his services passes his number along to the next person in need. Thus the Nowhere Man has a constant list of people to help.

Despite his best efforts, cracks are beginning to form in Evan's life. First, they arise in the form of unintended personal connections, the kind of relationships that bring deadly baggage to a man like him. Then, more alarmingly, someone begins to use his Nowhere Man services to hunt him down. Someone has figured out who he really is. They've tied him back to the discontinued Orphan project and will stop at nothing to bring him down.

On the surface, Orphan X is an exciting thriller that sees Gregg Hurwitz build his character into an impossible situation. There's only one problem, the main character just isn't that likable. I understand that Evan is an assassin, trained to operate with mechanical precision. That fits the bill for what the character requires, but it doesn't give any kind of personality for the reader to latch onto. Hurwitz attempts to give his character a moral compass by which he operates, but I just didn't buy it. This guy is a ruthless killer who has been conditioned from childhood to preserve himself no matter the cost. Flashbacks to his training and present-day interactions meant to "soften" his personality don't ring as authentic. Without a clear protagonist to root for, the thrills in the plot just don't pack much of a punch. Clearly, other readers have found more to enjoy in this series than I have, so don't take my own reaction as the final judgment on these books. There wouldn't be a long-running series if others hadn't enjoyed this one. Still, I can't see myself committing any more time to continue reading this series.

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When Evan meets Jack his life changes. When he meets Mia he is introduced to someone he wants to know. He is an Orphan though and that has rules.

He lives his life as the Nowhere Man helping those who cannot help themselves and that might just be his downfall. He is now hunted by other Orphans and his life has changed once again. Read this puzzle of a man's life and see if you can out the pieces together before him. I could not.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Evan Smoak is a twelve-year-old, made super-skilled assassin. Then she is forced to disappear living among regular people. Sorry, but I did not like the book very much.
Thanks, Netgalley for this book.

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I loved reading as I kid but struggle to find time as an adult. It’s often impossible to sit down to focus. While this book was not a favorite if still kept me entertained for the most part, I’m sure it’s not you, dear book, it’s me.

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Orphan X
Gregg Hurwitz

I LOVE the Orphan X series, unfortunately I started with book six when it was offered to me by MacMillan Audio for review and I fell in love with the complicated, flawed protagonist, Evan Smoak. So I decided the only logical thing to do would be to start from the very beginning.

Hurwitz, via his gruff and gritty, blood and bone filled, fly on the wall narrative gets down to the bare bones of his absolutely fabulous neurotic star Evan. He shows them how Evan went from abandoned orphan to the highly trained and deadly assassin known as Orphan X, detailing the brutal training, the myriad of ruthless missions to the final act of rebellion when Evan couldn’t live the lonely government hit man life anymore. And he shows Jack’s (Evan’s Orphan handler) parental role in Evan’s education, both formal and life. Then the audience gets a look at The NoWhere Man’s alter ego Evan Smoak, the LA condo owner who deals with HOAs, vexing neighbors and the beautiful single mom DA and her son who just moved in and how he manages to go from stone cold killer to normal high-rise resident in the blink of an eye. The action never stops and the battles are as bloody as they come but the bullets are all well placed and necessary. Fans of thrillers, of solitary heroes, of series like Jason Bourne, The Gray Man, Victor the Assassin, and Terminal List will not be able to put this down.

Scott Brick’s narration unlike Evan is flawless, his deep at times breathy voice is the perfect Evan and he manages to produce just the right emotion to match every scene. With a lot going on Scott keeps his voice clear and understandable and listeners will not miss a thing.

Orphan X #1 in Gregg Hurwitz’s multi-award winning Orphan X series begins the complex story of Evan Smoak, from his humble beginnings to his induction into the clandestine government run Orphan assassin program to his self-proclaimed avenger persona, The NoWhere Man.
Evan Smoak is a ghost, a well-armed, well trained, deadly ghost who for years has been successfully flying under the radar protecting the innocent and giving those with nowhere else to turn the help they need. He does this to honor Jack, his Orphan handler and the closest thing to a dad he ever had who taught Evan to kill while still keeping him human. And Evan’s done just that until now when he finds himself in the sights of a well trained killer, a killer who is maybe as well trained as he is. So now Evan has to not only protect his latest client but keep himself alive and find out who is trying to kill him and why.

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Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz is the cracking opener of the eponymous series that is several books—of varying lengths—long now, with a massive fan-following all around the world.

Evan Smoak is Orphan X, picked from an orphanage as a twelve-year-old and made into an elite, super-skilled assassin through seven years of rigorous training, by a top-secret government-sponsored programme. After a decade of numerous successful assignments, he was forced by circumstances to disappear from the shadowy world that was the only one he knew until then. He lives now under a carefully cultivated identity among normal, regular people, but is always on the alert for signs that could mean that he is compromised, and his penthouse apartment is a veritable fortress, armed with cutting-edge technology.

With plenty of time, prodigious wealth, a peculiar set of capabilities and a strong moral code, Evan has become the Nowhere Man, a messiah for people in desperate, life-or-death need, reachable through a phone number known only to the previous person helped by him. Five years and a dozen missions later, a seventeen-year-old girl seeks his help to escape the clutches of the darkness that threatens to engulf her little sister too. Evan successfully finishes the relatively easy job—for someone of his calibre—and does not expect another call for several weeks. However, his latest action as the Nowhere Man seems to have triggered a series of events that have put him in the crosshairs of some clever, ruthless people with unlimited resources, hell-bent on eliminating him. Evan suddenly finds himself more than evenly matched by his opponents, which makes him commit mistakes that he otherwise wouldn’t and ignore the commandments of his former mentor that have stood him in good stead so far. He must employ all his considerable skill and experience if he wishes to come out of the deadly conflict with his life, and that of a few innocent people, intact. Amidst the fight for survival, Evan also has to confront certain unfamiliar, delicate situations in his neighbourhood that might make things more complicated.

My first taste of this series was with Prodigal Son, the sixth novel, and that hasn’t affected the pleasure of reading Orphan X—the series starter—in any manner. Evan Smoak is quite close to a superhero—not unlike Batman—mysterious, reticent and immensely appealing, and ever ready to serve the disadvantaged. Described in exacting detail that feels a bit overdone at places, Evan’s meticulously put together home and life are captivating to read about. The characters, both the main ones and the supporting cast, are well-crafted and much interesting. The plot is on an adrenaline fuelled overdrive right from the start, interspersed with enlightening flashbacks to Evan’s formative years, until the satisfactory-but-suspenseful ending. Evan's amusing interactions with his neighbours, especially with little Peter Hall and his mother, Mia, provide nice diversion from the high-octane action. Most places in this novel need the reader to suspend disbelief and I had no trouble with that, since I picked up Orphan X for the very purpose of escaping into a fictional world.

The stylish, state-of-the-art thriller is the perfect beginning to a memorable series and I am thankful to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the review copy of Orphan X.

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