Cover Image: Orphan X

Orphan X

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Stunning Read
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. Thank you author and publisher for making this available.
Chillingly real in what could be done to a person with the wrong government in charge. The story grows with Evan from age 12 to mid 30's. Taken at this age, isolated except for his trainer and taught to be an expendable assassin.. Part of a program but always alone. Jack, his trainer, cheats in one way by trying to keep him from becoming just a killing machine. After many years and many deaths, Even rebels, deciding to do good in his own way, 1 person in trouble at a time. Hunted by everyone, there is plenty of action with disturbing turns and twists. A book to keep you reading all night long.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so great! Evan Smoke is a total beast and I can't wait to continue this amazing series. Highly recommend!!!

Was this review helpful?

I don't usually read Action Thrillers, but I wanted to try this one because I saw so many crime readers raving about this series.
And as expected, I was not disappointed!
This was fast and juicy and gave me the adrenaline punches that I didn't know were missing in my life!

Was this review helpful?

The first in the Orphan X series which lays out an exciting story line and a series that will keep the reader engaged. I have read this series out of order and each book so far can be read on its own or enjoyed as the series continuing to build upon the live of Evan Smoak. The story that built him and the story as he continues to evolve. The excitement and story will keep the reader engaged and awaiting the next book in the series. Ethan Smoak was chosen as a child to be a part of a special ops mission. He’s been specially trained- as an assassin. These days he uses his training to live under the radar, helping those in extreme and dire situations. The only payment he requires is that they 'pay if forward', so to speak, by finding someone else in need of Ethan’s specialized skills so that he can continue fulfilling his mission. However, someone has Ethan in their sights- and there is only one kind of person out there who could have located him- another Orphan. Not only has he been found, his ‘clients’ are being used as pawns to fish him out into the open… Evan’s personality is muted, as he fiercely controls all his emotions. The secondary characters provide the dramatic dialogue, while Evan internalizes and reminds himself of how to respond to complex situations. There is no reliance on gimmicks, no slick polish or shine, the dialogue is sparse, to the point, without a lot of time spent on descriptive text. The story moves at an incredibly swift pace, formatted almost like long form vignettes. It was a unique presentation, for sure, but it also helped to create a tense, suspenseful atmosphere, adding just the right amount of poignancy to the story, allowing me to fall under Ethan’s spell. I found myself cheering him on, developing a connection to him, caring about what may happen to him.

Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley.

Was this review helpful?

I started this series out of order (mistake on my part), but the best way to describe the book/series is to compare it with the Jason Bourne series, or the Jack Reacher series. I initially wanted to liken Evan Smoak to a cross between Jason Bourne and MacGyver, but Evan never needs to jury-rig a solution because he has all the gear. Evan Smoak is a shadow operative that has all the skills and all the high-tech gear imaginable, and the ethics and morals to use it all for good. The characters come to life with glimpses into their formative years. The action is incredibly fast-paced; it hooks you in at the beginning and holds you until the end. I love this series!

Was this review helpful?

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz
Orphan X #1

Grabbed in the first chapter and held firmly till the bitter end…this book was unputdownable! The first chapter introduces 12-year-old Evan and the man who will train him. In the next chapter much has happened and Evan is in his mid-thirties with a whole lot of living that has happened that I wanted to know about. The introduction to the series was superb with flashbacks and snippets that fleshed out Evan illuminating his past and ultimately creating a very compelling story.

What I liked:
* Evan Smoak: orphan, determined, intelligent, professional, skilled, lethal, forged in fire, potential to grow, uses his skills to right wrongs, lives by a set of commandments, intriguing, a bit Zen and a whole lot more that I eagerly wait to learn about
* Jack Johns: one of Evan’s trainers, teacher, protector, handler, and a father-figure of sorts
* Mia: neighbor, single parent, attorney - prosecutor, widow, potential friend-love interest for Evan
* Peter: adopted son of Mia, active, aware, intelligent, livewire, may reach a part of Evan that has been submerged over time
* Tommy: arms procurer and provider of arms and other items for the government and for Evan…intriguing person that may show up in future books
* The flashbacks that gave hints to Evan’s life
* The Nowhere Man idea that provides unlimited opportunities for Evan to right wrongs
* The Commandments – had to look them up then copy and paste into a document to refer back to throughout my reading – would love to see them on a page in each of the books to refer to when I forget what they are ;)
* The various training techniques: pain tolerance, meditation, shooting, martial arts, defense-offense, etc
* Being reminded of other characters similar to but not quite like Evan
* Morena: seventeen-year-old who called the Nowhere Man to help save her eleven-year-old sister
* Memo Vasquez: good father to Isa, in a jam, hopes the Nowhere Man will help
* The twists and turns and surprises that popped up making me wonder who might/might not be good/bad
* Feeling I was there with Evan from beginning to end
* The rather surprising conclusion
* Knowing that I will read the next book in the series…soon

What I didn’t like
* That a government would choose to use orphans to create expendable assassins…and wondering if in fact this might exist in the world
* Thinking about how difficult Evan’s life must have been…
* The people and events that I was meant not to like

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Definitely

Note: Having read books 3, 4, and 6 of the series but never having read book 1…I had to request a copy to read/review to find out how Evan’s series began. Definitely a series I hope to eventually read all of!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Minotaur Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars

Was this review helpful?

I first read Orphan X four years ago, having bought it in paperback, and liked but didn’t love it - unfortunately this reread appears to have deleted my original review from Goodreads, which is strange not to mention annoying - but I remember getting irritated by all the vodka and gun name-dropping.
I subsequently read and loved the next five books, and am eagerly awaiting Book 7, Dark Horse, which is out in February (sadly it never came up on our region’s NetGalley) so when this came up I decided I was up for a reread - rather than just reposting my old review. I enjoyed it a lot more this time round and am going to bump my rating up a star.

Evan Smoak lives alone in his luxury apartment, guarding his privacy and security jealously, which allows him to perform the impossible rescues of people in serious trouble that give his life meaning.
Recruited from an orphanage at age twelve, Evan entered a top secret training programme to turn him into a completely deniable super-assassin for the US government. Tired of the killing, he got out, and eases his conscience by saving those who have no one to turn to, as The Nowhere Man, but now someone wants him dead, and doesn’t mind using innocents to get to him…

This has an intriguing if preposterous premise, lots of action, and appealingly noble lead character and lots of fun support characters - I can’t believe it hasn’t been made into a movie yet. Evan is like a one-man A-team, with endless gadgets, weapons and fancy technology to solve every problem. His background has scarred him but meeting feisty assistant DA Mia and her awkward but lovable son Peter bring him back to humanity. I had forgotten most of the plot so got to enjoy the twists all over again, and now that I know the character, the problems I had with it first time round no longer bothered me. I recommend this series to anyone who loves OTT thrillers - 4.5 rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the past-publication review copy.

Was this review helpful?

Phenomenal book. The characters were well developed and engaging. This is a quick read and introduces the reader into a new world. Loved reading it.

Was this review helpful?

*4 Stars!!

Evan Smoak was chosen as a child orphan to take part in a special off the books program to become the perfect intellectual assassin. Years later the programme has disbanded and Evan has taken on a new name and mission ‘The Nowhere Man’ who people turn to for help when they’re truly desperate and have no one else to turn to. However someone knows of Evans former name Orphan X and his connection to the program and have send a team to take him out of the picture for goo. Evan has to try and stay alive whilst protecting innocents but finds its not too easy as the person following him has the same skills and training as him and is able to predict his every move before he even thinks of it.

At the start I didn’t really like the book and was having some trouble getting into it and was considering putting it down but so glad I didn’t as I would have missed out on a really good book. Overall I really enjoyed this book, I’d compare it to Hitman: Agent 47 and Jason Bourne. It was filled with action and suspense none stop. The one thing I didn’t really like was that he seemed to drink quite a lot though I suppose with a job like his I’d need a good strong drink as well!!

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for my honest review.*

Was this review helpful?

Evan Smoak is a living legend known as “The Nowhere Man.” He’s a highly skilled, trained assassin set on a new path with a new purpose, yet still as dangerous as they come. Due to the intelligent writing and intriguing premise, I was pulled into this fast-paced political thriller right from the get-go, despite it not being my typical genre of choice.

Boasting a myriad of tech gadgets, weapons and security methods (some of which went right over my head), this story contained elements reminiscent of Mission Impossible. And while Evan, himself, can be emotionally closed off, there is an underlying thread of humanity that runs through him, transforming this killer into a sort of modern-day superhero.

This is the very first novel by Gregg Hurwitz that I have read, and I am so very glad that I took a chance on both him and on Orphan X. I look forward to catching up on the subsequent novels in this series and all those that will follow.

Was this review helpful?

I wasn't sure if I would be interested in this book, even though it is a mystery. But I have to say, this book is one of the books that took me a day and a half to read, because it was that good. This man was trained to be a contract killer and instead of doing that anymore, he decides to become a person who helps people. But then things happen, and he becomes someone who is hunted.

As I was reading this, I felt sympathy for Evan, he is alone, and doesn't or can't trust people. I felt like I was walking his life with him as he tries to help people, and also tries to elude the people who are chasing him.

This book was action packed, and had a very good story line. The story line kept me on the edge of my seat! This book was excellent, and I would definitely recommend this book. This is my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

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?