Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Orphan X #3


Rate this book
To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to Jack Johns he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top-secret government programme and trained to become a lethal weapon. By Jack. And yet for all the dangerous skill he instilled in his young charge, Jack Jones cared for Evan like a son.

But Jack knew too much about a programme that had gone rotten - he was a loose end that needed to be dealt with. But if you go after the only person who ever treated him like a human being, you can guarantee that the Nowhere Man will be coming for you. Hellbent on making things right . . .

With Hellbent, Gregg Hurwitz raises the bar again with a masterclass in hi-octane thriller writing.

406 pages, Hardcover

First published January 30, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gregg Andrew Hurwitz

160 books5,537 followers
Gregg Hurwitz is the critically acclaimed, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of 20 novels, including OUT OF THE DARK (2019). His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 30 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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9,987 (53%)
4 stars
6,956 (37%)
3 stars
1,508 (8%)
2 stars
149 (<1%)
1 star
47 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,705 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
794 reviews12.4k followers
November 20, 2020
“Vanishing was easier when you already didn’t exist.”

Hellbent is a fast-paced page-turner about Orphan X’s next mission to protect a 16-year-old girl from being killed by a group of highly-skilled assassins.

Book #3 finds former secret government assassin Evan Smoak, a.k.a. Orphan X, taking a 16-year-old former Orphan in training under his wing. Having to care for the vulnerable teen brings out many suppressed emotions and forces him to embrace his human side, making him a prime target to those who are hunting him.

I ate this book up! I got sucked in right away and could not put it down. After not loving book #2, I wasn’t that excited to read Hellbent. The ending of Book #2 convinced me to continue with this series, and I am glad that I did. What I loved most about this book was Evan’s relationship with Joey. Their older brother/younger sister dynamic helped him develop as a character and exposed a different layer of Evan than the previous books in the series.

Like Book #2, the ending of this book made me want to grab the next book in the series. I am now half-way through Book #4 and consider myself obsessed with this series!
Profile Image for Julie .
4,029 reviews58.9k followers
March 14, 2019
Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz is a 2018 Minotaur publication.


This special number will connect you to The Nowhere Man- a man who helps those who require specialized assistance and have no other recourse.

However, the Nowhere Man also happens to be Orphan X- aka- Evan Smoak. At age twelve, Evan was plucked from the foster care system by Jack Jones and trained to be a government assassin. But Jack is the only person in the world who ever showed Evan the slightest bit of humanity, who loved Evan like he was his own son. Now, it is Jack who is calling The Nowhere Man…

When Jack calls Evan he is in a dire situation. He orders Evan to collect a package- which turns out to be far more than Evan bargained for- a sixteen -year old girl named Joey.

Going after his arch enemy, Van Scriver, with razor sharp focus and the intense need for retribution, Evan finds Joey both a help and a hindrance, someone who pricks his stoic heart, bringing out feelings he has no name for, but who is also a liability in his plans to take out Van Scriver. If this weren’t enough suspense to keep one on edge, Evan also gets a call from a father who is afraid of losing his son to the romanticized lure of gang membership.

I have been dying to get back to this series. The second installment was very creative and entertaining, but, this third chapter in the series, settles in with some very poignant and tender moments and passages, amid some very intense action scenes and white- knuckle suspense.

There is a lot going on here, so beware starting this one if have things you need to get done. The chapters are short, which only compounded the problem, because it was just too tempting to read ‘just one more chapter’.

This is only the third book in the series, but I can see the advance planning, which is working out beautifully. The series has had some wobbly moments here and there, but I see it improving, getting stronger, with smarter, polished, and more complex plots. I can’t wait to unlock more Orphan X secrets, as the stakes are getting higher and higher, and maybe I’m looking forward to indulging my little crush on Evan Smoak!!

This is an outstanding addition to the series- Can’t wait to read book four!!
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,070 reviews3,614 followers
September 17, 2020
Could the most lethal human weapon have a softer side? Well...I think we’re about to discover the answer!

Evan was once a professional assassin, handled by his mentor, Jack Jones. Choosing to put that life behind him, Evan went rogue from the “program.” That decision put his life in imminent danger, as those in charge needed to clean up loose ends. But who exactly is in charge of tidying things up? And what other name is on the dirty laundry list?

After a bit of a slow start, the tension increased with the turn of each page. Soon I found myself flipping pages as fast as I could. I love how we’re privy to seeing every side of Evan. His take-no-prisoners tough persona, as well as his longing to have a real home and maybe someone to care for.

By the end, (and yes, another cliffhanger that leaves you reaching for the next) I was feeling all five stars!

A buddy binge read with Susanne that we both loved! We are already reaching for book four Out of the Dark.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
October 25, 2018
When I finished Hellbent , the third book in Gregg Hurwitz's fantastic series featuring rogue government assassin Evan Smoak, I got to thinking. You literally could spend the entire year reading books in different series, between YA, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, even romance. It certainly would make things easier in terms of figuring out what your next book to read should be!!

There really are some amazing series out there, and this one is no exception.

When Evan Smoak (not his real name) was young, a man rescued him from a troubled life and he trained Evan how to kill. He was part of a fully deniable black program buried deep inside the Department of Defense, becoming Orphan X, "an expendable assassin who went where the U.S. government would not and did what the U.S. government could not."

But eight years ago, Evan went rogue from the program and became the Nowhere Man, the last resort for a person in desperate trouble. No one knows who the Nowhere Man is, but they know if they call him, he will help rescue them from a seemingly helpless situation.

"Evan had simply stepped off the grid, keeping only the operational alias he'd earned in the shadow service, a name spoken in hushed tones in the back rooms of intel agencies the world over."

Jack Johns was the man who brought Evan into the program, and he was the man who helped Evan remain human despite the things he had to do, the things he saw. Essentially, Jack has been the only father Evan has known, and when Jack calls him out of the blue one night, they both know his time is running out. One of Evan's fellow Orphans, Charles Van Sciver, is now in charge of wiping out any traces of the former program, and he's hellbent on finding Evan to enact some deep-seated revenge, so he strikes at Jack in an effort to get to Evan. Jack sends Evan on one last mission, to rescue his last protegé before she falls into Van Sciver's clutches.

What Evan finds is not what he is expecting, and this recruit leaves him with his hands full. He's bound and determined to make those who hurt Jack pay, and he knows he must strike at Van Sciver and his cohorts—some of whom are lethal former Orphans themselves—before he becomes the next target. But he has no idea just how high up the command to wipe out the program—and him—comes from.

In the meantime, Evan must also balance his responsibility as the Nowhere Man, which leaves him with a complex and potentially dangerous mission, and he is forced to both confront the path his life has taken, and wonder if he's destined to spend the rest of his life alone. If so, is that what he deserves?

Hellbent is an excellent combination of kick-ass action, pulse-pounding suspense, and complex character development. The characters aren't one-dimensional, even the villains—you get to understand what has made them the way they are. The one thing I always have trouble keeping in mind when reading this series is that Evan seems so world-weary, so wise beyond his years, but he's only in his late 20s or early 30s at best.

While I would recommend reading this series from the start—and Orphan X is one heck of a start (see my review)—you could start with this book and not feel utterly disoriented. However, you'd definitely miss some of the nuances that make this series such a find.

We could all use a little Evan Smoak in our lives. I'm excited that the fourth book in the series is slated to be released in January—I'm finally back on track! Seriously, if you're a thriller fan and you've not dived into this series yet, take my advice. Do it.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,018 followers
February 15, 2019
Though this series is about a well-trained man who helps people who need helping while also trying to dodge another member of the Orphan program, Van Sciver, who wants him dead, it’s also about kids in foster care and the way the system fails these orphans. About not having parents or guardians who are able/alive to care for kids.

There are two stories going on here. One, Evan (Orphan X) is tasked with rescuing a package—the dying wish of his mentor, Jack Johns. And two, a man calls saying his son is being recruited by the notorious MS13 gang, which is terrifying on the news in real life and terrifying as described in this novel. He wants Evan to rescue his son before he commits murder and there is no going back. Evan against the entire MS13 gang. Why not?

As with the previous Orphan X books, lots of exciting scenes involving guns and hand-to-hand combat fill the novel. I think I ultimately liked this book best of the three because it wasn’t just all thrills. There was more heart in this novel than the others. If you like the Mission Impossible movies, you’d like Hellbent.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this novel.

For more reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,605 reviews24.8k followers
April 2, 2018
Gregg Hurwitz gives us another adrenaline fuelled thrill ride of an adventure in the third of the Orphan X thriller series with a wide and diverse collection of characters. The resourceful Evan Smoak finds himself on an emotional search for vengeance aided by others and still finds time to be the Nowhere Man, helping a man by taking on a ruthless LA gang. Orphan Y, Charles Van Sciver, is now the Head of the Orphan programme, he and other shadowy government forces are determined to get to and eliminate Evan, and all the other orphans no longer in the fold of the official programme. Evan gets a call from Jack Johns, his beloved father figure, mentor and handler, who helped to raise him as more than a mindless assassin, asking him to collect a package. Sciver has targeted Johns as a means to get to Evan, Evan is horrified at the killing of Jack, feeling desperate guilt and a sense of a responsibility. The package turns out to be ex-orphan, 16 year old girl, rootless and problematic Joey, who has him scrambling to cope but he is determined to protect and guide her. Joey is a fearsome and gifted computer hacker whose talents complement Evan and help him on the path to gaining revenge. She is the trigger for Evan to reflect on himself and what he has become, adding more emotional depth to his character. Hurwitz is on great form in this action packed thriller, with great characterisation, wonderful and compelling plotting, in a complex story with non stop tension and suspense. An entertaining series that I have loved reading. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
815 reviews1,874 followers
September 14, 2020

This was another wild ride with Evan Smoak!

Otherwise none as Orphan X or the Nowhere Man. We get two adventures in this one and Evan shows that he has a heart and his moral compass shines. This might be my favorite in the series so far!

Super entertaining and fast paced with some shockers and edge of your seat suspense. This was so much fun to read and understand more about Evan. Great character development and a riveting plot. A whole lot of action and more good vs evil missions. There is even a chapter dedicated to its own little locked room mystery!

High five to the author!!

Library loan for me.
Profile Image for PattyMacDotComma.
1,435 reviews813 followers
January 10, 2019
‘Can you hack it?’
She kept her head lowered, her fingers moving. ‘I’m gonna pretend you didn’t ask me that.’
He cast an eye toward the facility’s front door. ‘The cops are gonna be here soon.’
she said, ‘then it’s a good thing I’m fast.’

This one kept me enthusiastic all the way through. I like the returning characters and the new ones. There’s still some grim stuff, but not quite so much spelled out (or maybe I just got good at skimming, but I don’t think so).

The conversation above is Evan Smoakes (the Nowhere Man) and Joey, his 16-year-old offsider of sorts, who has somehow ended up in his care. I think these books are better read in order, but I have to say, if I hadn’t heard how much the series improved, I probably wouldn’t have continued. I’m glad I did.

“Evan’s scuffed knuckles, a fetching post-fight shade of eggplant, ledged the steering wheel. His nose was freshly broken, leaking a trickle of crimson. Nothing bad, more a shifting along old fault lines.”

We know Evan is a killer, trained in some kind of special government program where he was taken as a young orphan and brought up learning all the intricacies of self-defence, weapons and munitions, hiding in plain sight, and a lot of computer skills. He’s also had some kind of relationship with Mia and her young son down the hall. A bit of romance that he can’t afford, given his lifestyle. But she and Peter are pretty good at spotting his various war wounds. And he still wishes he could maybe have a normal life. If only.

Joey, the fast worker in the opening quote, was a newly-recruited orphan whose training was interrupted, and she really IS a computer-hacking whizz. She’s pretty hard-bitten for 16 and has good reason to be.

Evan is completely out of his depth dealing with her, since his only real understanding of family was with Jack, his handler who raised him and treated him like a son. It’s the closest Evan’s come to having a parent. But the raising involved all the martial arts, how to get forged papers, how to travel the world and kill people without being discovered.

“Jack had trained him for so many contingencies, had made him lethal and worldly and cultured. But not domestic.”

So, out of his depth. We meet up with the worst of the baddies from the previous books. Van Sciver is in charge of eradicating any trace of the orphan program, particularly wiping Orphan X, Evan Smoakes, off the face of the earth.

As well as Joey, who’s both a help and a teen-aged hindrance, we also meet a whole new bunch of delightful drug runners from El Salvador.

“The tattoos were overwhelming. Pentagrams and names of the dear departed. Crossbones, grenades, dice, daggers, machetes. And words—words in place of eyebrows, blue letters staining lips, nicknames rendered across throats in Old English letters. Other tattoos coded for crimes the men had committed—rape, murder, kidnapping. Their rap sheets, inked right on their faces.”

Then there was this guy!

“It was his eyes. They were solid black. . . . The man had tattooed the whites of his eyes.”

ACK! Is that even possible? I enjoyed reading how our intrepid heroes (I include Joey) deal with so many enemies. Evan has a habit of counting the people he needs to eliminate, counting his bullets, and then keeping score as the story progresses.

We just know he can’t possibly have enough ammunition to win the day – it isn’t humanly possible. Is it? Read it and see! As for me, I’m waiting for the next book.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.

#Hellbent #NetGalley
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,227 reviews2,058 followers
February 13, 2018
Book three and Evan has returned home to his specialist vodka and his living wall of herbs, both of which I find hilarious in a man who does what this one does for a living. Anyway I am accustomed to it now and it does not detract from the rest of this fantastic book!

In Hellbent the action starts on page one and continues pretty solidly throughout the book. A new character called Joey is introduced who turns out to have some very useful skills and ends up partnering Evan in a quest for revenge. Of course a lot of it is very far fetched but it is fun and it is exciting and it is exactly what you want from a book like this.

Highly recommended for fans of the genre and I can't wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,347 reviews4,864 followers
November 24, 2021

3.5 stars

In this 3rd book in the "Orphan X" series, Evan Smoak - also known as Orphan X - is out to avenge the death of his mentor Jack Johns. When Evan was twelve, Jack took him from an orphanage and put him in a super-secret Department of Defense black-ops program - a scheme designed to turn orphans into highly skilled assassins. The children were stripped of their names and designated alphabetically: Orphan A, Orphan B, Orphan C....and so on.

Jack was like a father to Evan, and made sure the boy kept his humanity while he learned to kill.

Orphan X got his first mission at nineteen, and eliminated many targets after that. Finally, burnt out, Evan left the program and set himself up as 'The Nowhere Man' - a good samaritan who helps people in desperate trouble.

However, no one is allowed to leave the Orphan Program. If a member opts out, the program director - Charles Van Sciver, also known as Orphan Y - sends a hitman (or hitteam) after the deserter.

Thus, killers have been after Evan for years, but his secret apartment is a fortress and he's taken elaborate measures to protect himself. (These measures are fully described in the first book, Orphan X.)

Van Sciver, who's been continually frustrated by Evan, has even more incentive to murder him now - reasons that extend high in government circles. So Orphan Y decides to get to Evan through Jack Johns. Van Sciver, who has phenomenal data-mining capabilities, locates Jack and kidnaps him. This leads to Jack's death - and the terrible scene is shown to Evan via phone. Of course Orphan X now has to go after the director, which will (presumably) bring Evan out into the open.

As events unfold Evan becomes the reluctant guardian of a feisty sixteen-year-old girl named Joey. Joey flunked out of the Orphan Program and is in Van Sciver's sights. So Evan has to protect the girl while he goes after the director.

Van Sciver and his team take a two-pronged approach to finding Orphan X: they locate and torture people who might have information about Evan; and they kidnap a youngster that left the Orphan Program - hoping Evan will try to rescue him. Orphan X is a very resourceful guy though, and Van Sciver's crew suffers loss after loss. Moreover, Joey is a talented computer hacker and programmer, and she sets up a sophisticated data mining system of her own.....one that helps Evan trace his enemies.

Joey is an interesting character. She's a lonely, troubled girl with fierce fighting skills, but no idea what to do outside the Orphan Program. Evan tries to be supportive, but he doesn't know how to deal with teenage girls. Still - as long as Joey has her special shoebox, a case of Red Bull, and plenty of Twizzlers - she's willing to help Evan.

As the story proceeds, Van Sciver pursues his mission to kill Evan and all other fugitive Orphans; Evan goes after Van Sciver; there's plenty of death and destruction. You get the idea.

As all this is happening, Orphan X gets a call on the RoamZone phone used to contact 'The Nowhere Man.' A Los Angeles resident named Benito Orellana needs help. His son Xavier is about to be initiated into the Mara Salvatrucha gang and Benito begs Evan to get the young man out of the gang's clutches. Evan agrees to help, and engages with the gang's vicious thugs.

All this frenetic activity leads to a violent and dramatic climax; a satisfying finale; and (I think) a lead-in to book four.

Additional protagonists that add interest to the story include: Prosecutor Mia Hall - Evan's downstairs neighbor who'd probably like to be more than friends; Peter Hall - Mia's young son, who sends messages to Evan via kite; and Candy McClure - an Orphan who uses her sex appeal for deadly purposes.

Other characters are David Smith - an Orphan boy who's being hidden; Freeway - leader of the Mara Salavatrucha who's had his eyeballs tattooed black; Tommy - a fantastic gunsmith; Jonathan Bennett - a powerful government official; and more.

Hellbent is a good book, full of action and excitement. It can be read as a standalone but I'd strongly advise reading Orphan X first.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Gregg Hurwitz), and the publisher (Minotaur Books) for a copy of the book.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
September 28, 2020
Holla! Evan Smoak is back and this time he’s not going it alone!

In “Hellbent” the third book in the “Orphan X” series, Evan is tasked with obtaining a package and that package is more precious than Evan could ever dream. Turns out it’s Joey, a teenage girl who failed out of the program that Evan escaped from long ago. Now it’s up to him to save her and himself from Orphan Y, also known as Charles Van Sciver, who has been tasked with wiping out all other orphans.

Of course, Evan and Joey have their work cut out for them. If they’re going to defeat Orphan Y, they have to learn to trust each other first.

Are you excited yet? Is your heart pounding in your throat? It should be! This installment hit all the right notes. It was thrilling, pulse pounding, sentimental and sweet.

I simply adored the character of Joey Morales and loved that she brought out a softer side of Evan Smoak. I loved the idea of the student becoming the teacher and hope that this storyline continues to develop.

This was an amazing buddy read with Kaceey. We both loved this addition to the series and can’t wait to continue the journey with Evan Smoak.

Published on Goodreads on 9.26.20.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,205 reviews926 followers
February 6, 2023
the setup…
Years ago, Evan Smoak broke with the Orphan X program and transformed himself into the Nowhere Man. As that persona, he helps innocents who are in desperate need of help, contacting him on a special line dedicated for that purpose. The next voice he hears on the line, however, has his blood run cold because it’s his former mentor, Jack Johns, the man who brought him into the program, trained him and later facilitated his escape out of its clutches. There’s no time left for Jack as government forces close in on him (and ultimately Evan) but he leaves him with a mission: locate and protect his last recruit. Evan is in a race against time and his nemesis Charles Van Sciver, Orphan Y, who is the new head of the program out to find and destroy old rogue members.

the heart of the story…
By now, I’ve formed an expectation that Evan is almost superhuman, able to extricate himself out of every situation but he’s up against powerful resources that are teamed with Van Sciver. The search for Jack’s protégé was fascinating because the clues weren’t easy to uncover but their discoveries were a journey through Evan and Jack’s relationship, revealing even more about this enigmatic man. But this time, it all felt different, as if Evan and Van Sciver were headed towards some sort of showdown. And, the addition of the protégé (who shall remain nameless) added an exceptional level of intrigue and partnership. I was a bit confused in the beginning but at almost the halfway point, this became “un-put-downable.”

the narration…
Scott Brick continues to just sound and feel right in his storytelling approach and how he gives voice to Evan. He’s now who I hear for this series.

the bottom line…
I was expecting just another game of cat and mouse between Van Sciver and Evan but this was so much more. There’s a human side of the Nowhere Man unleashed for the first time and this was no longer a game without skin in it. He’s also doing all of this while helping out another innocent and that project felt hopeless. The culmination of it all was explosive and spectacular, beyond my imagination. I literally couldn’t stop listening until I got to a good place. That reveal at the end? Perfect setup for the next books. 4.5 stars

Posted on Blue Mood Café
Profile Image for Kat (Books are Comfort Food).
235 reviews242 followers
March 20, 2022
The third book in the series is just as riveting as the other two. However, I really love this one because Evan is growing and learning how to be more human; giving more of himself. This installment, Evan is seeking justice. And I was rooting for him in every stepI.
won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away. A new character is introduced in this book and I loved the addition. It has all the same cat and mouse changes and there were several times, I forgot to breathe. I love all the action and high-tech gadgets and computer systems.

The ending was fantastic!

I am still loving this series and I’m continuing to book 4. So happy I found this series.

Note: This series is available on Kindle Unlimited, which I’m grateful for.
Profile Image for Jenny.
103 reviews70 followers
March 24, 2023
To all the thriller fan out there, here is one that’ll make your heart pulse in a good way.

Evan Smoak, a highly trained former assassin (sort of for assassin) decided to leave the program he was in behind, his choice has come back to him and they will not let go. This time the people from his former program, led by Van Sciver murdered the only person who has ever cared for him, and now, he also wont let go until he gets revenge on everyone involve.

Evan’s journey is about to get very busy as he takes care of a ‘’package’’Jack left for him all the while being the No Where Man and handling matters with Van Sciver.

Our MC wont have time to catch a breath, he will find himself bending the rules, facing many emotions that’ll put him more in touch with his human side. This novel is fast-paced, full of tension with short chapters, you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
Profile Image for Lisa.
753 reviews
August 5, 2022
❤️ Love ❤️ Love ❤️ this series this time around Even Snoak has to find Joey a 16 year old girl who. Is a runaway she was in the same programme as Even (aka orphan X] but someone is trying to kill her Joey is a bit brazen but X has to find the package , Joey doesn’t know what she is talking about, eventually Evan gets it out of her.

They live by commandments that they go by but someone is right behind them to get to the truth which puts Evans life in danger as well.
This was a fast paced thriller the 3rd in this series well written , compelling I could not put this down I have already got my name down for book 4 in this series it’s action packed & never lets up from beginning to end a must read, you may want to start by reading book one as you need to read these in order the first book Orphan X is a winner 5 exciting ⭐️
Profile Image for Terence M - [back to abnormal].
502 reviews174 followers
April 13, 2022
A 5 Stars stunner! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ - Second Time Around!
More to come :)

The following rating and comments relate to my FIRST hearing of this book: 08/05/2019
Another 5 Stars stunner! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Reviews for this and its 5 Stars predecessor will follow, eventually!! 😎
I am resisting very strongly the urge to start the next book in the “Orphan X” (Evan Smoak) series “Out of the Dark” immediately.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
August 22, 2022
Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for getting me into this awesome series by Greg Hurwitz. “Hellbent” continues Evan Smoak’s amazing and increasingly destructive life after he receives a call from his mentor and father figure, asking for help. But is it too late for Jack to be saved? Swirling at the middle of all the madness as usual is Orphan Y, Evan’s nemesis from the boy’s home, who just can’t seem to let go of his bone to pick with Evan, no matter how many people are killed along the way. Evan Smoak has been taught to repress emotion his entire life and Hurwitz shines in the moments where feeling forces itself to the surface, in that oh so painful phone call saying goodbye, when he’s forced to question what he’s doing and whether he should continue on his path.

Complicating things is the mission Jack sends him on, who, let’s just say is a handful in her on right. Joey’s intrusion into his life forces Evan to question his rigid boundaries, as well as how life could have diverged for him if he had been able to stop at sixteen. It’s the really cool emotional meat of Evan Smoak that I love reading, so this was an especially cool development.

And of course, the further along we go, the deeper the rabbit hole goes. There were some tantalizing peeks at what is to come, how far the conspiracy leads, and what may be in store for Orphan X in the future. I know I can’t wait for the next book!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews201 followers
April 11, 2022
A cool, calm and ruthless killer with a pot plant called Vera and a living herb wall in his home to flavour and garnish dishes. Gold. Absolute gold. Another action packed thriller with lots of shooting, maiming and garnishing. I think one of the elements that really appeals to me is the internal conflict Evan faces as he goes on his vigilante rampages. You feel compassion for him and hope for a good redemption arc but also want him to commit murder most foul. It's a confusing mix. Loved this one!
Profile Image for Maureen Carden.
280 reviews70 followers
January 30, 2018
It is scorched earth time for Evan Smoak. He was originally known as Orphan X from his time as a deep black government assassin trained from childhood in the Orphan program. Later Smoak became known as The Nowhere Man, helping people who have nowhere else to turn. But now Smoak is out for revenge on his own account, in scorched earth revenge seeking the death of the twenty-five men who were involved in the death of Smoak’s beloved mentor, Jack Johns. A sort of perverse 47 Ronin.
Johns has contacted Smoak minutes before his death by the hand of Charles Van Scriver who has taken over the Orphan program for his own aims. Orphan X has played the great white whale to Van Scriver’s Ahab, but this time Van Scriver has the highest backing and he can’t let Orphan X outsmart him again.
To add to Smoak’s grief and anger, Jacks has left Evan a present in the form of a sixteen year old runaway from Van Scriver’s personally run Orphan program. To add to Smoak’s revenge he must keep the runaway, Joey Morales, alive with the goal of saving her from the Orphan program.
The excitement starts from page one and just keeps on building. Evan is used to flying solo, this time he has to accept the aid of a friend and from his temporary ward.
Hurwitz’s usual smooth writing is in evidence along with his intricate plotting and fascinating characterizations. This book is not all action; there are themes of redemption, sacrifice, and forgiveness.
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,178 reviews617 followers
November 21, 2021
Another high-octane thriller with non-stop action as Evan Smoak, Orphan X, forms an unlikely alliance, takes on an entire savage street gang, and attempts to annihilate those from the secret government Orphan program, who are out to assassinate him for knowing too much about the program.

It's also good to see Evan's softer side come to light in this novel and for him to think about what he’s given up to become what he is. Previously, despite his work as the Nowhere Man helping those with no one else to turn to, he has maintained a hardened shell with only a soft spot for his Aloe Vera plant and more lately Rachel, a single mom and her son Peter who live down the hall from his apartment. But courtesy of his mentor Jack Johns, the man who was like a father to him, he’s been given responsibility for someone else and that’s something Evan is not at all used to dealing with.

Hurwitz comes up with so many inventive ways for Evan to escape from dire situations and kill those who would kill him in this book that it’s a wonder he has any new ways left to put Evan in danger for the rest of the series. But I’m sure he has and I look forward to reading them.
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,641 reviews557 followers
February 3, 2018
Gregg Hurwitz is one of my all-time favourite authors and a go to author if I need little sleep as a result of not being able to put his book down. Hellbent is the third book in his "Orphan X" series and it is definitely one of those books. Tons of fun and a page-turning, exciting thriller!
In Hellbent we learn more about Evan Smoak (Orphan X) and what makes him tick. We see a side of him that is vulnerable and uncertain.
This novel picks up after "The Nowhere Man" left off with Van Sciver still on the hunt for X. His next move is to kidnap and kill X's mentor, Jack Jones. Jack leaves a cryptic note for X instructing him to pick up a package which happens to be a teenage girl named Joey who was discharged from Orphan training and is now in danger of being eliminated by Van Sciver as well.
Gregg Hurwitz has created a masterful and memorable character in Evan Smoak. I enjoyed his interaction with Joey and the other fascinating characters he came in contact with.
An exceptional ending that leaves us wanting more.
The author fails to disappoint and I can hardly wait to read his next thriller starring Evan Smoak.
I truly loved this novel!

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Josh.
1,636 reviews148 followers
August 4, 2018
Hellbent sees Evan Smoak (aka Orphan X, aka The Nowhere Man) embark on a rage fueled quest for revenge as he fights his way through a haze of corporate killers in search of the man responsible for murdering his mentor, Jack Johns.

The third installment in the Orphan X series is pure adrenaline with action scenes aplenty. However, there's a lot of character development / growth in Evan as he progressively establishes relationships and expands his silo'd inner circle.

Hellbent works both as a standalone and as part of the broader Orphan X story-line serving as both an entry point into the three novel series to date and as a continuity of Evans' fight against the Orphan program.

My rating; 4/5 stars. The Orphan X books are my favorite action thriller series right night now and Hellbent continues where Orphan X and The Nowhere Man left off.
Profile Image for Sean Peters.
663 reviews121 followers
June 11, 2020
A Great author, A great Character, great book, again so nearly a five star.

They called him Orphan X, Evan Smoak, The Nowhere Man he used to be a government secret weapon.

Then he ran and became the man you call on when you've nowhere else to turn too, The Nowhere Man.

This time it's a teenage runaway called Joey.

Like Evan she's no innocent: she was brought up inside the same programme that raised him.

Now Evan must find Joey before those hunting her do.

Which is where the trouble begins.

Because this might not be about Joey at all.

And if it's not, then it must be about Evan.

But finding out why could kill them both ...

But this time, the voice on the other end is Jack Johns, the man who raised and trained him, the only father Evan has ever known. Secret government forces are busy trying to scrub the remaining assets and traces of the Orphan Program and they have finally tracked down Jack. With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: find and protect his last protégé and recruit for the program.

But Evan isn't the only one after this last Orphan - the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, is mustering all the assets at his disposal to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect Joey.

A plucky great character in this book is the young Joey, adds a great touch to this story adds humour and chaos to the well organised life of Evan Smoak, but they do make a great team.

Orphan chasing Orphan, but more do you need to make an exciting story, more Orphans!

Action, pace, humour as usual. Great four star book
Profile Image for Gary.
2,619 reviews370 followers
March 14, 2018
This is the 3rd book in the 'Orphan X' series by author Gregg Hurwitz.
Evan Smoak was Orphan X, taken from a group home at twelve, he was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets, assassins. He left the program, disappearing using the skills he had learnt to reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.
This book is full of action and suspense and the excitement builds and builds to the very end of the book. I enjoyed this one even more than the 1st and that is no easy feat. Looking forward to more in this series as well as catching up on other books by this author.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Penguin UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Marialyce .
1,983 reviews716 followers
February 14, 2019
4.5 this series just keeps on getting better stars

Well, Mr Hurwitz, you have done it again! You have made me quite happy that Evan Smoek has again been a character who is beyond brave, totally bad ass, and loyal. He is a protagonist I so enjoy and never disappointing.

In this action packed, hold your breath thriller, Evan tackles those who wish with glee to see his demise. If you have been following Evan and his escapades, you know that he was once part of an elite and deeply secret unit buried within the government and these elites were called orphans. Their job could be anything and their assignments often included death and destruction. They were at the beck and call of where they were needed around the world or around the corner. Nothing was too difficult or too dangerous for the trained assassins of the orphan unit.

However, Evan is a wanted man. He is wanted by the new leader of the Orphans, Van Sciver, who along with his underlings will do anything to draw Evan out into the open. They capture Evan's mentor, Jack Jones, the man who raised him, who loved him, and who made him into Orphan X. “Jack had taught him this along with so much else. How to find peace. How to embody stillness. How to punch an eskrima dagger between the fourth and fifth ribs, angling up at the heart.”

Even watches as they place Jack into a helicopter and threaten his life unless he turns on Evan. They then place a young girl, Joey, a failed Orphan trainee, in Jack's path. She will die unless he defends her. Both Jack and Joey are plants intended to make the elimination of Evan a fait accompli.

Evan, now finds himself with a partner of sorts. He is a lone wolf but there is something about Joey that opens a door inside of him. He sees himself as he once was in her and as the story continues his bond with Joey grows stronger. Meanwhile, he, and now she, are hunted. They are liabilities, liabilities which need to be eliminated.

Evan learns more about those who are after him and how high up the orders are coming from that demand his demise. Will Evan be able to once again beat the odds and succeed where everything is ever so stacked against him?

Told with tons of action, and page turning events that we, who have read the previous books, have come to love, this book is definitely recommended. Getting better with each book, Gregg Hurwitz has made us cheer for Evan and hope that he once again is able to help those in need and succeed over the evil he has encountered.

Thanks to Gregg Hurwitz, (can't wait to read the next book in this series) Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this heart pounding book.
4,883 reviews54 followers
January 8, 2018
Super Secret Agent Orphan X is free from the agency, but someone is trying to kill him. He picks up another orphan, and tries to start a relationship with his neighbor.

Not bad, never seems real, though.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,133 reviews200 followers
May 27, 2018
After a fair start, the story wanders too much. Should have been edited shorter. Narrator Scott Brick adds little more than his tiresome inflections. 4 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Howard.
1,182 reviews73 followers
June 27, 2022
5 Stars for Hellbent: Orphan X, Book 3 (audiobook) by Gregg Hurwitz read by Scott Brick.

The series keeps getting better. Orphan X has a side kick this time and he actually explores some emotions. Don’t worry he’s still killing lots of bad guys and saving the innocent.
Profile Image for Dave.
3,014 reviews334 followers
July 10, 2018
When you find yourself ripping through all three books 📚 in a series in five days, the author might just be onto something. And, Indeed, with the Orphan X series, Hurwitz has managed to deliver three solid, action-packed thrillers one right after the other and his writing appears to be getting tighter with each new novel in the series.

If you are just finding this series with Hellbent, you will discover that The Nowhere Man was one of the so-called “Orphans” - men and women discovered at early teenage years and trained to become invincible assassins/ black ops operators par excellence. Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, Left the program, going rogue, underground, lending his awesome services to those in need of help, asking only that they repay him by giving his number to someone else in need of help, paying it forward so to speak. He has amassed a limitless supply of funds in secret accounts, safe houses, and a bat cave like condo in a tower where he pretends to be Bruce Wayne while secretly leading a double life, saving the day.

This novel doesn’t focus on helping others so much as it is an all-out battle with other all-powerful multi-talented Orphans to try to save the youngest newest Orphan. It’s sort of a battle between the super-powered mutants in the tv series Heroes.

It is action-packed from beginning to end, hard to put down, and just really a ton of find to read. There are lots of thrillers out there, but this one is really well done.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Profile Image for Eric.
401 reviews31 followers
March 10, 2018
Hellbent is the third installment of the Evan Smoak Orphan series and again, for modern thrillers, Gregg Hurwitz does not disappoint. Hellbent begins right after the ending of The Nowhere Man and to be fair to other readers, to offer too many details will only provide spoilers.

Hurwitz brings back other familiar characters and introduces a new one which adds to the layers of the novel.

Hurwitz again puts his main character into situations where the reader will wonder how Smoak will safely emerge.

Of the thriller series this reader has read, the Orphan series is one of the most enjoyable series to read.

Highly recommended.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,705 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.