Cover Image: Orphan X

Orphan X

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started out slow for me but the more i read the more i begin to enjoy it can't wait to read books 2-4 when i get to them to see what happens , with at said i would love to say thanks to Netgalley

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What a crazy fast paced thriller!!! The action was wonderful, plenty of good twists and excellent character development. I immensely enjoyed the plot to this book! I found it imaginative and refreshing. The authors writing skills really hone in on this genre and i cant wait for book 2.

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I’m so glad to have been introduced to this series.

As a child, Evan was recruited to the Orphan program; a government-backed, black-ops squad of highly trained assassins. He worked with his handler for years, and became Orphan X, one of the best in the program. Many would say top 2, along with Orphan O. But when Evan’s handler was killed in a suspected set-up, Evan went rogue. He took on his own cases, one at a time, as the Nowhere Man - a man who could help people get out of seemingly impossible situations. When a rival used one of Evan’s clients to track him down with a view to eliminating him, Evan didn’t know who to trust.

That’s the broadbrush of this first instalment of the series, a great introduction to the main characters and backstory of the Orphan Program. I was swept up in the story and couldn’t pick the baddies until Hurwitz chose to show me their identity. So that was good.

But what I liked even more was the style. Evan’s earlier career had set him up for a life of luxury - that’s how he can afford to work pro bono. And in terms of style, it’s in relation to the luxury (amongst a few other aspects) that Hurwitz gives the reader an incredible amount of detail. An over-the-top amount of detail, that for me was very engaging rather than tedious. I loved his deliberations over what exact type of rare vodka he felt like drinking after a hard day chasing down the baddies! Some of the other aspects where this came through were the descriptions of Evan’s apartment and the security measures he had put in place to keep himself safe there, and in the weaponry he used for his day job.

I can see a bit of Jason Bourne, Orphan Black and even a bit of Bond here, so if you’re a fan of any of those, you’ll probably really enjoy this book.

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Orphan X is a thriller that starts fast and keeps you riveted.
Raised to be special and have a specific skill set the Nowhere Man is somewhat of a legend. He escaped the program in which he was raised, but now he's being hunted by someone who's just as skilled.

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Evan Smoak caters to a specific type of client. Not so much the elite type, but rather the forgotten or underserved population. Those that cannot speak up or fight for themselves. Evan has a set of rules ingrained in him since early on that he operates by.

One of those rules is to always play offense, but now he’s playing defense. Evan finds himself in a dangerous situation where he is being hunted by a team of mercenaries, and they force Evan to step out of his comfort zone. Suddenly Evan realizes that his worst fears have become reality, and he is caught in a cat and mouse game with a man that is equal to himself in every measure.

Character development is an integral part of this first novel in the series. The author does a great job of providing plenty of background for Evan and other characters in the book. There are lots of plot twists that will keep you guess into throughout as Evan never fully knows who he can trust. I look forward to reading the next installment in this exciting series.

I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers and suspense. I received this as a free ARC from St. Martin’s Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was my first experience of Greg's writing.
The plotline seemed a bit similar to the tv series Dark Angel with cloning and tweaking of genes to get the ultimate superspy but as I also liked Dark Angel that's not a bad thing.
The book was a pretty quick read and enjoyable. You do need to suspend your reasoning and just enjoy the book - kind of like watching a James Bond movie.
I'm looking forward to reading the next couple of books in the series - hopefully the next one will continue where this one left off and finish that part of the story.

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I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not.

Take an orphan, rescue him from a terrible situation and teach him to become an assassin. That is the premise of Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan series. Orphan X is the first of three novels. I read Hellbent, the third book, first. It was fantastic. I wish I had read Orphan X first because the growth in the writer’s skill is quite noticeable. However, that does not diminish his first book. It is an excellent read. I say this simply because I would recommend reading the series in order. It will grow on you!

The young orphan takes a new name, Evan Smoak and a new life under the tutelage of John, a tough teacher, Evan grows into a formidable man. A confident, self-disciplined operator. A take on anyone kind of guy. He takes on the problems of people who cannot possibly fend for themselves. And he is very successful. Despite betrayal, deceit, and vengeful gangs, Evan takes them on. This book shows the many sides of Evan, the assassin, the solo operator, the man. It incorporates his vulnerabilities with his budding humanity and his strong ethics. I love his character. Gregg builds this man with love and it shows.

Having read two of the series, I will not miss the third. I already have it in hand and will be reading it next. This is a great series.

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3.5 to 4★
“As Jack used to say, The loudest sound you’ll ever hear in action is a click.”

Reading this is like reading a script for one of the big action films. A Bond, or a Die Hard, or a Mission Impossible. It’s plot, action, terror, blood and guts. A kid, an orphan, is selected and trained from the age of 8 to be a weapon (for good causes, we like to think). Jack, the recruiter, tells him.

“‘Your job is to learn a little bit about everything from people who know everything about something.’ Evan’s next years are spent doing precisely that.”

Evan. He’s given the name Evan Smoak and a list of commandments (not the usual 10, of course) to obey when carrying out assignments. I kind of liked Evan, who has built himself a fortress where he drinks extremely special vodka and keeps a precisely neat, stainless-steel penthouse apartment. Strong, practical, safe, but cold.

And that’s how Evan comes across. Strong, practical, safe, but cold. He’s been trained that way. Here’s an early session with a woman trainer.

“. . . she duct-tapes an orange over her eye, makes him tackle her and punch his thumb through it. ‘Good,’ she pants, sprawled in the dirt, her breath hot against his neck.‘Now stir your thumb. Curl it like a fishing hook. And pull out what you can.’ While he does, she screams and thrashes. He stops, mortified. Her one bare eye glares up at him. ‘You think it’ll be calm?’”

NO, MA’AM! Calm is not a word that ever comes up. I’m fine with the action and the mysteriousness of the Orphan program. Evan helps people in dire straits, for whom he is their last resort, and he commits himself fully to saving them with whatever means he has. And boy, does he have some means at hand!

The technological tricks are fascinating, but I did find them a bit too convenient. Whenever there was a problem, there seemed to be exactly the right piece of esoteric equipment in a pocket of his cargo pants – and I don’t mean a piece of rope like MacGyver would carry. I mean a sophisticated gadget like a heat-seeking missile. (Okay, I made that up. But you get the idea.)

Don’t get me wrong – the gadgets are great! Remember Q in the Bond stories? Well, it’s like he has Q in his pocket (or in one of his many secret escape vehicles or safe places). Fun but a bit over the top for me.

We’re told he is not an expert but then he hacks into systems all over the world, reroutes phones, bank accounts, etc. These aren’t spoilers – they come early in the book.

His access to police -

“Evan wasn’t a master hacker by any stretch of the imagination, but he’d made his way unattended into various cruisers and uploaded a piece of reverse SSH code into their laptops, leaving a virtual back door open for himself.”

And wouldn’t you like to hack into Costco?

“The phone number of the sender Evan sourced to a batch of prepaid phones bulk-sold to Costco last year. A simple bit of reverse-proxy code let him slip behind Costco’s firewall,”

But, there’s plenty of action, a few good people to care about and a hero who becomes even more of an orphan as the story progresses. And for those who want to know what kind of blood-and-guts action there is, here’s an example (that doesn’t spoil the story).

“The fist came in lazy and offline. Evan saw the angles with perfect clarity—a double-hand deflection, gooseneck the wrist, shatter the bone and rake the elbow tendons, then a chicken-wing arm control for the takedown, his knee crushing Johnny’s floating rib upon impact with the floor.”

He does warm up during the course of the book and starts to question what he does and why and how. Could be an interesting guy to follow.

Recommended for those who like this kind of breathless gallivanting and dodging bullets and calculating force and trajectory stuff. I believe it’s a series of 5 books. Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy. This was published in 2016, but there are more out there now and more to come!

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Wow! 5 Stars!! What a fun book, wild ride and exciting new character. Thank you to #netgalley, #gregghurwitz, and #minotaurbooks for allowing me to read this novel in return for my honest review. The story of Evan Smoak grips you from page 1 and doesn’t let go until the very last page is turned. It is very clear that the author has taken great care in both creating a likeable character that the reader enjoys meeting, as well as investing the appropriate time researching Black Ops—making Evan Smoak believable. I burned through this suspenseful novel as well as subsequent Evan Smoak stories, and I can hardly wait for the new adventure due our January 2019.

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Through a series of flashbacks, we see 12-year-old Evan Smoak inducted into the Orphan program. In this highly covert, government-funded program the Orphans become some of the best assassins in the world. Years later Evan has gone underground. No longer an agent he becomes the Nowhere Man, a moniker he obtains due to the number those in need call, 1-855-2-NOWHERE. With his skills, Evan can help those with no other recourse. Ones in dire straights with no way of improving their situation. Defending his latest client becomes difficult as Evan learns his cover is no longer intact, and those from his past are out to kill him.

As I started Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz, I was a little unsure what to expect. Then on page one, there is an acknowledgment "to all the bad boys and girls, rulebreakers, and vigilantes --- for being so wicked that they're good." One of the greatest I have seen. Vigilante stories attract me. Taking an impressive skill set that can harm and using it to help is, well, the stuff of superheroes. And something I can get behind.

Evan's handler Jack gives him harsh training to make him the best of his field. Slowly we observe Jack's relationship with Evan goes deeper than the job. Procedures, or commandments, taught to Evan include never let an innocent be harmed. One thing other Orphans don't seem to mind. Jack often tells Evan the hardest part is keeping him human, implying Jack cares he stay that way. Which validates that Evan would choose the path he did after going underground. You can't help but root for him and worry for him. Even hope the brief connections he makes with those outside his job will lead to a personal connection. The author does an excellent job of making Evan sympathetic.

Orphan X delivers on the suspense. Whether coming from the tension of his missions or the fear Evan will be found by those seeking to harm him, this story is a page-turner. There is action, and subterfuge, and even a bit of a twist I did not see coming.

If I were to mention anything slightly negative, and this is minor, I am lost in the fight scenes sometimes. Specific style names about fighting techniques get lost on me. Usually, I gain definition through context. A fight is a fight. I retain the overall events, but the specific descriptors don't help me much.

I finished Orphan X and immediately started Nowhere Man. I am fully rooted in Evan Smoak's world and cannot wait to see what happens next. I was granted an ARC copy of this book by St. Martin's Press through NetGalley for my honest opinion. I encourage every reader to reach their own conclusions.

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This is a book for all Jack Reacher fans. The hero is a well trained operative who has left a covert government service to become a knight is shining armor to those who think they have nowhere else to go. The action is fast paced and believeable and the human interactions are realistic. Thouroughly enjoyable.

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Evan Smoak is a one man A-Team. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, the Nowhere Man can help. Smoak is a former assassin, trained from childhood in a secret government program called Orphan. When his former and current life collide, Smoak must turn the tables on other Orphans who are on his trail. This is a rip roaring, non-stop adventure. Looking forward to digging into the sequel.

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This is my first Gregg Hurwitz book and I'm looking forward to reading his other novels. Orphan X was fast paced with a really likeable character, Evan Smoak. However, as a woman who is not into all the technical info about guns and fighting moves I found that I was skimming over a lot in the fight scenes. With that said I will still read the second book in the series as it ended with me being very curious as to what is going to happen in the next book. You won't go wrong in reading this one if you want an action packed thriller.

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I was wowed by this story! It was very thrilling and edge-of-the-seat exciting.

I really like Evan. He is a great character and is quite selfless.

If you like a headstrong alpha who will take in the world for anyone in need, then this story is for you.

I’m off to read the next book, Nowhere Man.

Will you read this?

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I'll start off by saying that the spy and assassin genre is normally not one I would gravitate toward. I downloaded it and it took me a bit to read it. I must admit, however, when I read the cover for the book, it got me a wee bit interested. I wanted to know more.

It starts off with Evan Smoak, our assassin gone good, as a twelve year old being taken away from a foster home of unwanted, thrown away children. After giving the black ops program, the middle so to speak, he had enough money to disappear and he did. Under the guise of being an industrial cleaning supply import and export, in the first few pages, his "pretend" life is shown and the quirky residents of Castle Heights . We have the gruff old lady from 6G, the widowed mom in 12B, the security guard who would rather watch the Lakers, and a host of others which rounds out a very interesting conglomerate of people - a melting pot of busy bodies.

Evan redesigned his life to be the voice of help on the other end of his RoamZone. He answers every call with a "Do you need my help?" He asks for no payment except to pass on his phone number to the next person. He's known as the Nowhere Man.

His home is a fortress, many thousands going in to make it secure and safe and anonymous to who he is. Making amends and trying to be the type of person his "handle" cum father would have wanted him to be.

His latest phone call is a sex trafficking call. A girl calls afraid of her pimp's interest in her eleven year old sister. Evan does what assassins do, but in doing so, lays himself open for the company who has been searching for him for the last seven years.

Dealing with the death of his handler, his attraction to the widowed mom in 12B (who also happens to be a district attorney), he finds himself either getting out of the game or being pulled back in.

Loved it. It was written very well and I have enjoyed the whole series.

I have been given a copy of this book by Netgalley for a honest and unbiased review.

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This was a fun, fast paced, and suspensful novel. I'm looking forward to reading more about Orphan X!

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ORPHAN X

A covert government program was formed by taking young orphans and developing them into professional assassins. Orphan X is one of these trained killers.

With the eventual disbandment of the program, Orphan X, aka Evan Smoak, is left with a particular set of skills which he puts to good use as the Nowhere Man - vigilante justice. Only the most desperate receive the benefit of his services. Normal in appearance to his everyday acquaintances, he leads a highly secretive and carefully constructed undercover life.

After many successful operations, one of his missions starts to feel off kilter to him, and things go awry. And now he is being hunted.

I like James Bond. Jason Bourne and Dirty Harry. Jack Reacher, Arthur Bishop and all the rest. So I enjoyed this and I thought it was good. I plan on continuing with the series.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Gregg Hurwitz, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I loved the book. It was hard to put down, except for a couple of places with long battle descriptions. Those were very detailed and way too detailed for my taste. But otherwise I liked the intrigue, and the main character was great. The ending is satisfying, but there is more. I am definitely going to read the next book in the series.

I received a free digital copy of the book from NetGalley

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Best read sequentially, but that’s just my opinion, Orphan X, The Nowhere Man and Hellbent. Great gobs of action and a killer plot. Everything included, the improbable to the impossible and the just plain ridiculous. Such are the liberties allowed fiction writers. Even so this is a tough book to put down as it draws you into the plot to the point you feel you are a sideline observer. Combine all the traits of all the superheroes you can think of and you have the main character. Proficient in karate, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Aikido, Shaolin Kung Fu and monopoly this kid can do it all. Leap across oceans, evaporate at will, see through brick walls and seesaw by himself. It is a superb thriller if over the top at times and no hesitation recommending this.

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I was hesitant to start this book. After reading the title I just wasn’t sure what to expect. I finished the first chapter and all I could ask myself was where has Evan Smoak been all of my life, and why am I just now starting this series? This is a book that will make you tell your kids, good luck with dinner, Momma is busy reading! I am going to book two now!

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