Length 427 pages
Series Evan Smoak #1
My Copy provided by the publisher
A clandestine government agency targets pre-teens on the edges of society to take part in the Orphan program - a program designed to turn these young people from wayward and down on their luck individuals to merciless killing machines on command.
The concept of the Orphan program is excellent, brutal, and black ops believable. Author Greg Hurwitz has, with Orpahn X, written a fast paced action thriller that never lets up, all the while steadily developing his protagonist into a likable and well rounded character; flaws and all.
Orphan X picks up with Evan Smoak, now out on his own following the demise of Orphan program working as a self funded vigilante. Wanting to use his expertise to help those in need, rather than murdering for hire, Evan (known as Orphan X) relies on a unique method of picking his assignments; they pick him. After each mission he tells the person he helped to pass his number on to someone in need. Only once, then forget about him.
The snag in Orphan X is that Evan receives two calls in close succession, the second prior to completing his current mission. Red flags abound and soon Evan is fighting for his life and those he's sworn to protect.
What I really liked about this book was the constant guessing game. The motive for the dual call hides behind a veil of mystery for the better part of the book, which at times was frustrating but trust me, it's well worth the wait. Evan's backstory and current day-to-day life are fleshed out among the ever present action in a way that doesn't slow the story down, rather humanizing the vigilante giving the book an added layer of depth.
As the first book in a new series, Orphan X has loads of potential. I'll be fast tracking the next read, The Nowhere Man for sure.
3.5 / 5