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Orphan X

(Orphan X #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  33,681 ratings  ·  3,442 reviews
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. Cho
Kindle Edition, 367 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Melliott I read Boy Nobody--after I read this I'll get back to you. They DO sound a lot alike. I decided to read this because Robert Crais recommended it.
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,681 ratings  ·  3,442 reviews

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Jennifer Masterson
5 HUGE Stars! Believe the hype on this one!!! Orphan X is phenomenal! This is a crazy fast paced thriller! The story grabbed me from the very start and never let go!

Evan Smoak is taken out of a bad life in Baltimore at the young age of 12 and he is taken to DC where he is trained in a secret Government program to be an assassin. He is mentored by a man named Jack, who becomes a father figure to him. When this program is disbanded, Evan moves to California where he chooses to use these skills an
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: overdrive
Sleek, Shiny, and Explosive!

Orphan X is an action-packed thriller about a former government assassin turned do-gooder assassin who becomes the target in another assassin’s end game.

Evan Smoak is a former assassin with a heart of gold. Once part of The Orphan program, an elite, secretive government run assassin training program, the former cold-blooded killer now uses his skills to help those in need. But when he receives a suspicious request for help, he pushes his instincts aside leading him i
For the first 100 or so pages I was seriously debating giving up on this book. I found Evan Smoak pretentious with his drinking only vodka that has been made from four varieties of French wheat and distilled nine times, micro oxygenated and charcoal-filtered. Really! On page 33 when he tops his delicately seared ahi steak with a garnish of parsley I went back to read the reviews and found many, many people raving about the book and giving it five stars. They couldn't all be wrong so I ploughed o ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz is a 2016 Minotaur publication.

Spare, but very potent thriller!

The Nowhere Man- He’s the guy you call when you are desperate- very desperate- life and death desperate- with no other recourse.

Some call him a legend…

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
Larry H
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy freaking crap. This book absolutely rocked—every heart-racing, pulse-pounding second!

When Evan Smoak (not his real name) was young, a man rescued him from a troubled life. The man became a surrogate father to Evan, training him in every imaginable form of self-defense, weaponry, and intelligence. In short, he trained Evan how to kill, as part of an off-the-books program called the Orphan Program, which took children from difficult life situations and taught them to be employed as assassins.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I know, I know! I’m late to the party reading this book!🙋🏻‍♀️

Silly me… I thought it was just another political thriller - my least favorite!🙄 But I was sooooo wrong! Gregg Hurwitz creates a recipe not only for an incredible lead character but for a franchise series just itching to be made into a movie.

Here’s the recipe: Add one part Bourne Identity to one part Mission Impossible. Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker. Garnish with both Jack Reacher and Superman and voila, 🧚🏼 you now have Orp
An update to say this series keeps getting better, and the most recent book, Into the Fire just got a 4.5~5★ from me!

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,
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't think of anything special about this story.

An off-books black op program takes children and trains them to be assassins, they grow up and perform their missions, and then the program ends.

It was hard to know Evan Smoak. He's mechanical, ever on edge, aware of his surroundings. He turns his skills toward helping those in need, but it still involves killing people. And even with all his training and experience, someone manages to find him, manipulate him, and come very close to killing him
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
If you’re looking for a thriller that has you furiously flipping pages, look no further. Evan Smoak was chosen as a child to be Orphan X, and was trained as an assassin for the government. The program is eventually shut down but Evan has a soft spot for desperate people who need help but have nowhere to turn. Working within a set of commandments that guide his actions, and with an incredible set of skills and resources, he works as a vigilante fighting for justice. All he asks of those he helps ...more
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan)

Thanks to my GR friends who recommended this one!

Super addictive with plenty of action and edge of your seat suspense.

Its the first in a series of six, so I'm happy to read them all....

Evan Smoak is such an awesome character. He reminds me of a super hero type. And I'd love to have the # to his black phone! He is always ready to rescue.

If you like action packed chapters, cat and mouse chases, characters to care and root for, and a bad a** on a mission, then this is for you!!

Marialyce, your revie
Blake Crouch
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evan Smoak is the best new series protagonist since Jack Reacher. I engulfed this book and cannot wait for the sequel! A total master class of thriller writing.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
After a slow start, this picks up into a worthwhile listen. While I like the character, I could do with less violence. 7 of 10 stars
Susanne  Strong
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddy-read
Captivating, Controlled, Compelling.

A Thrill Ride a Minute, “Orphan X” will make your heart beat faster than taking a spin on your Peloton!

Evan Smoak is “The Nowhere Man.” He’s a myth - no one knows who he is though everyone is looking for him. Once an undercover government agent, he went underground ages ago putting his unique skills to good use, helping those who can’t help themselves.

After helping someone he only asks one thing, that they pass his number onto someone else in need.

Linda Wells
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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, he can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he’s not just a 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. Pulled from a foster home by the US government when he was a boy, he was raised and trained to be part of a covert operation design
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Evan Smoak was part of the government's black ops 'Orphan Program', which recruited children and trained them to be world class assassins.

The Orphans learned how to use weapons of all kinds, became skilled in a variety of martial arts, were taught to blot out pain, became experts in surveillance and bugging, and so on. Dubbed 'Orphan X' Evan eventually carried out many killings assigned by his handler/father figure Jack Johns - who raised and trained Evan from a young age.

After Jack is killed in
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, give-aways
Just amazing!! One of the best spy/mystery thrillers I've read in awhile. I'm not sure how Mr. Hurwitz hasn't been on my radar before now, but I will definitely be reading more!

The tension in this story starts strong and continues building without a moment to slow down. Just when you have caught your breath, a new threat manifests. The characters are all non-typical and I enjoyed seeing our hero Evan struggle with following either his "commandments" or his morals. The conclusion was totally unex
Feb 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, publishers, if you print a quote from Robert Crais on the front cover: "the most exciting thriller since The Bourne Identity", you have only yourself to blame that The Bourne Identity is the standard a reader expects you to deliver against. I read The Bourne Identity. I loved The Bourne Identity. Orphan X? it's no The Bourne Identity.

In the interest of full disclosure, I abandoned Orphan X on page 40. For a contemporary novel of 354 pages that sells itself as a thriller, 10%+ is plenty long
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
U.S. Governmental Black Ops soldier goes rogue.
Uses his substantial training in taking up a new hobby... vigilante.

Some character development along the way with a nice twisting story line.
This book is the first in a series( I do not like series) but the cliff-hanger is actually a rather small one so that this would have worked well as a stand alone.

For me, it is reminiscent of 1970's/1980's Executioner Series written by Don Pendleton.
Orphan X is updated with the newer weaponry and electronics
Sean Peters
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Gregg Hurwitz is an author that I have been meaning to read for a while, an author on my radar with books that I have been recommended and seen some great reviews. So I went for the Orphan books knowing this would be my type of book. I was right !

Gregg Hurwitz brings us a cracking novel with a great character Evan Smoak, adopted as a child by a shadowy figure called Jack and trained to be an assassin as part of a secret US government scheme. Known as Orphan X meaning there were at least 23 other
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2017
As long as you are prepared to accept that this is a totally over the top “boys own adventure” then it’s a lot of fun! It has elements of Oceans 11, James Bond and Marvel superhero comics fused together to make the world that is Evan Smoak’s.

Evan is part of the ‘Orphan’ program, taken from the mean streets as a youngster and trained to be a first class fighter and assassin. One with refined tastes in interior design, vodka and freshly prepared gourmet food as well as the best weapons, internet
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers-us
I knew of Gregg Hurwitz through a couple of his classy Harlen Coben style thrillers, read years ago and have had my eye on this series for a while.
Orphan X is a slick, well written American thriller that reads like a slick, well made American tv mini series.
Evan Smoak, our hero, is an assassin .......... but that’s ok because he only assassinates really bad people!
He at first seems to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum with his compulsive tidiness, obsession with the most expensive brands,
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
Oh this book was a lot of fun! I listened to the audio version of this as I was unable to read actual words due to debilitating morning sickness, and the narration was absolutely fantastic!

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Brought up as a child in the "Orphan Program", Evan has some killer James Bond/Jason Bourne skills. Since the orphan program was disbanded, he uses these skills to help people in need. People in extremely desperate situations. Unfortunately someone is tracking him... Someone as d
Orphan X is a roller coaster of an action thriller that grabs you and only lets up when you reach the end. It centres on Evan Smoak, picked up as a youngster and trained to be an assassin on a off the book programme run by the government. He was named Orphan X and he left the operation. He has now evolved into someone who only does good, the iconic Nowhere Man. He uses this persona to aid those who are in the greatest need of his help utilising his unique set of skills and resources. However, al ...more
Judy D Collins
Top 50 Books of 2016!

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 r
Denise Mullins
Feb 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy thrillers that have 15 page fight scenes full of carefully explained martial arts moves and weaponry, this book is for you. If you enjoy a protagonist who lives in an ultra-hip penthouse suite with poured concrete and gleaming stainless appliances while he sips rare imported vodka and nibbles organic masterpieces that he prepared, this book is for you. If the addition of a ditzy single mom DA neighbor with an adorable but ADHD son who will add complications to the plot is your cup o ...more
Theresa Alan
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this novel is good—a man trained to become an assassin in an elite, off-the-records program—uses his expertise and wealth to help people with nowhere else to turn.

It was like watching a super hero movie—I just had to decide, sure, I’ll pretend that’s plausible. It’s a little Batman meets James Bond—lots of special weapons and security measures that us normal folks will never encounter outside of books and movies.

I had some trouble envisioning the fight scenes, but I liked the fas
Andrew Smith
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I’m late to the party with this one. Just about every thriller reader I know has read, and loved, this story. I’ve previously picked up a few of the author’s books and I know he’s a competent scribbler, so I’m not sure what’s kept me away so long. Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and I can confirm what everyone else already knows: it’s a winner.

There are gazillions of reviews on this site alone so I won’t delve to deep into ‘what happened’ territory. Suffice to say, a young boy is adopted into a
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Believe the hype about this one Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz is really good full of intrigue & government conspiracy's there wasn't anything i didn't like about this kept me turning the pages was full of suspense & intrigue.

as a boy he was chosen then taken from an orphanage he called home, raised& trainedas part of a top secret programme he was sent to the worst places in the world to do things his government denied any knowledge of.

Then he broke away with the programme, using everything he learne
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 thrilling stars

If you are looking for something that will have you rapidly turning pages, spending your day and part of your night reading a most enticing thriller, than this book is for you.

Evan Smoak is quite a guy. He has a multitude of skills and is on a mission to help those who have no where to turn. He takes on people who find themselves at the ends of their ropes, thrown into despair, with no hope in sight, and provides them with a way to find their life once again.

Evan is powerful,
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in 2012 I read my one and only Greg Hurwitz book 'They're watching' which I loved and rated 5 stars and writing in my review that I intended to read lots more of his books. So it is surprising that I have left it over 3 years before I decided to read the next one.
'Orphan X' is the first book in a new series of books that features Evan Smoak, a man with a dangerous past who helps the desperate people who have nowhere else to turn. Evan Smoak is taken at the age of 12 and trained in a secret
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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,

Other books in the series

Orphan X (6 books)
  • The Nowhere Man (Orphan X, #2)
  • Hellbent (Orphan X, #3)
  • Out of the Dark (Orphan X, #4)
  • Into the Fire (Orphan X, #5)
  • Prodigal Son (Orphan X, #6)

Articles featuring this book

His Favorite Books About Assassins: Rogue agents and lone gunmen abound in these deadly picks and in Orphan X, a new thriller series with a lethal...
13 likes · 27 comments
“A guy can love a million women. But a man, a man loves one woman a million ways.” 25 likes
“Respect for women is essential,” Jack tells him. “Women’s rights and economic development within a country are highly correlated. Treating women properly is not just a moral position—which it is—or an American value—which it is. It’s a strategic imperative, and you will always, always lead by example in this regard.” 13 likes
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