By Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak #1
Publisher: St Martin's Press/Minotaur
Publication Date: 1/19/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
Top Books of 2016
"Orphan X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget!" -Tess Gerritsen
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's no legend.
Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He's also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets---i.e. assassins. He was Orphan X. Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear.
Now, however, someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training. Someone who knows Orphan X. Someone who is getting closer and closer. And will exploit Evan's weakness---his work as The Nowhere Man---to find him and eliminate him. Grabbing the reader from the very first page, Orphan X is a masterful thriller, the first in Gregg Hurwitz's electrifying new series featuring Evan Smoak.
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press/ Minotaur and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Classic. Bold. Innovative. Action-Packed Adventure. Explosive. Suspenseful. Impressive. Non-Stop thrills. Electrifying. My New Hero!
Loved the author's note: “To all the bad boys and girls, rule breakers and vigilantes, for being so wicked that they’re good.”
For centuries, notable orphans and foundlings include world leaders, celebrated writers, entertainers, figures in science and business, as well as innumerable fictional characters in literature and comics. We love and root for them.
However, wait until you meet Gregg Hurwitz’s latest new hero and series, (Evan Smoak #1) ORPHAN X.
Strikingly different and unconventional. Fearless. Daring. Courageous. First Class! Yes, it is worthy of all the hype, and the movie deal with possible Bradley Cooper (which is no surprise)! Think, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), a CIA assassin in the action spy thriller film by Robert Ludlum.
An orphan represents the powerlessness of a childhood. At the same time, many literary orphans are resilient characters, who despite their relative lack of power, find the emotional resources to beat the odds, and make their way in the world. Resilient, ten-fold!
Orphan X The new 2016 Super Star. Up there with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, David Baldacci’s Will Robie, James Bond, and the "best of the best". High-octane thriller!
Evan Smoak is a twelve- year- old boy, from East Baltimore, an orphan, the smallest of the kids, the last one picked for sports. It was only through a savage set of challenges that he found his way into this seat (with Jack, the Mystery Man); that he’d managed to get himself chosen. He destination is unknown. However, anything is better than the present.
A top-secret government operation, The Orphan Program, trained by the US military as killers. Mission: to assassinate government’s designated enemies. He is trained, skilled, intelligent, and resourceful.
Now, left with no handler, no contacts inside the government, no nation that wasn’t actively hunting him, even the one he served. He was in a word, untethered. He recalls Jack’s voice, “Get over yourself, son. There is no emotion more useless than self-pity.”
Evan moves to LA, getting away from DC, an operational alias built with pieces of his true self. A cover. He stayed mission ready, kept fit, and trained. He never knew who would come looking. He stayed alert, vigilant, kept his ear to the ground to listen for underworld tremors. Word had filtered back to him, the Orphan Program had been dismantled, the operators scattered to the four winds. He had not learned the fate of the other Orphans; however, he imagined they sold their specialized services to the highest bidder, or had retired to a beach in a quiet corner of the world. Neither option appealed to him.
He decides to put his training to personal use. A pro-bono freelancer, helping others who could not help themselves. Evan is flying solo—with the perks at his fingertips. A dangerous past, highly trained skills, and resources. Nowhere Man. A personal mission--to help those with nowhere else to turn.
The Tenth Commandment loomed above all else. Never let an innocent die.
A man with a dangerous past. A savior of the victims, innocent ones—from corruption to sex slaves, while saving himself. However, he may be targeted and these people are no slouches. Someone knows him. Someone wants him eliminated.
A James Bond / Jason Bourne type-thriller; the adventure, sex, action, adrenaline-fueled and as an added bonus, the psychological side--emotional human dynamics, making for an absorbing page-turner.
Entertaining! Skillfully crafted, twist and turns, with a great cast of well-developed secondary characters and an unstoppable main protagonist.
Hurwitz’s most exhilarating book yet! Super star “author” and “new hero” will be at the top of book and movie lists, for years to come. Can’t wait for Evan Smoak #2 - his next adventure.
Loved this recent review quote by Patrick Anderson Washington Post 1/6/2016. Sums up the novel, perfectly:
“It’s a strong story, one that allows for an abundance of conflict and suspense, but Hurwitz’s work is especially striking in the level of detail he lavishes on people, weapons, food, drink, sex, violence and just about everything else. I’ve always thought that one reason for Tom Clancy’s success was the endless detail he provided about military hardware, and that the James Bond novels benefited from the loving attention Ian Fleming devoted to the martinis, expensive cars and gorgeous women he so admired. Hurwitz outdoes both writers in intricate descriptions.”
Feb 2016 Indie Next List
Buy the Book
“This isn't simply Hurwitz's 'best thriller yet' or 'a terrific new thriller'-Orphan X is an order-of-magnitude leap into stardom. It's the most exciting thriller I've read since The Bourne Identity. Fans of Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Jason Bourne will LOVE Evan Smoak, and the deadly, secret world of the Orphan Program. A new thriller superstar is born!” ―Robert Crais
“What is Orphan X? A thrill-a-minute read with twists and turns galore. I'm looking forward to Evan Smoak's next adventure.” ―Phillip Margolin
“Orphan X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget!” ―Tess Gerritsen
“Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X is his best yet -- a real celebration of all the strengths he brings to a thriller.” ―Lee Child
“From the explosive opening where a boy begins his dramatic transformation, Orphan X blows the doors off most thrillers I've read and catapults the readers on a cat-and-mouse chase that feels like a missile launch. Brilliantly conceived and plotted, his character Evan Smoak, Orphan X, deserves his own niche in the thriller hero hall of fame. Read this book. You will thank me later.” ―David Baldacci
“Orphan X is the most exciting new series character since Jack Reacher. And Reacher would love this guy. A page-turning masterpiece of suspense enriched by compassion and insight.” ―Jonathan Kellerman
“Exciting and mind blowing! A perfect mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher, ex operative Evan Smoak turns on the action and shows off all the right moves as he sets out to help the downtrodden, and perhaps save his own humanity along the way.” ―Lisa Gardner
About the Author
Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 thrillers, including the upcoming ORPHAN X. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 25 languages.
He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles. Website Twitter
E X C I T I N G N E W S !!!
FEBRUARY 09, 2015 10:43am PT by Borys Kit, Rebecca Ford
Bradley Cooper in Talks to Tackle 'Orphan X' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)
The studio is in negotiations to pick up the movie rights for Cooper to produce and possibly star.Warner Bros. is keeping itself in the Bradley Cooper business.
Hot off the huge success of his film American Sniper, Warners is in negotiations to pick up the movie rights to Orphan X, an upcoming book by Gregg Hurwitz, for Cooper to produce and possibly star in. Todd Phillips, Cooper's partner at their untitled Warners-based shingle, will also produce.
Hurwitz will pen the adaptation.
The thriller centers on a man named Evan Smoak. He's called a "Nowhere Man," and he helps others, sometimes through violent means. A job draws him into a world of human slavery, engineered by a detective of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Read more The Making of 'American Sniper
The book will be published by MacMillan in February 2016.
Hurwitz is an accomplished author and comic book writer. His previous works include Don't Look Back, Tell No Lies and The Survivor and he also wrote for both Marvel and DC on comics featuring Wolverine, Punisher and Batman.
He has also worked in Hollywood, having sold a spec script titled Expulsion to Warner Bros. in 2010 and serving as a writer/consulting producer on the ABC series V.
Cooper's latest work, American Sniper, was a breakout hit when it opened in January and has earned over $361 million worldwide. It also garnered six Oscar nominations, including best picture and a best actor nom for Cooper, who portrays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Cooper was also a producer on the movie, having picked up the movie rights to Kyle's memoir in 2012.
Cooper, who recently wrapped work on the untitled John Wells project and the Hawaii-set untitled Cameron Crowe project, is next producing, with Phillips, Arms and the Dudes, which is to star Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Jesse Ehrman and Julia Spiro will oversee for the studio. Read More