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Orphan X

(Orphan X #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  41,652 ratings  ·  4,138 reviews
Who is Orphan X?

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 not merely 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
Kindle Edition, 367 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Ramon Jones This is no YA book. There's cursing, sex, and a whole lot of violence. It is an adult thriller.…moreThis is no YA book. There's cursing, sex, and a whole lot of violence. It is an adult thriller.(less)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  41,652 ratings  ·  4,138 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 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
Orphan X (Book 1)
Gregg Hurwitz (Author), Scott Brick (Narrator)

Evan Smoak may look unremarkable, just an ordinary man that wouldn't attract attention, but there is nothing ordinary about him. From the time he was "adopted" by Jack when he was twelve, he's been trained as an assassin, trained to accept that he will always be alone, that he has a single purpose, and that he must always follow the rules that Jack laid out to him.

Jack's been gone for awhile and Evan has gone rogue from the organizat
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
Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)
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
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
Pre-teen orphan Evan was recruited by a unverified US government Black Ops and trained as an elite assassin; many years letter after going rogue and leaving he is living a secret life as a protector of the weak whilst living in a secure apartment community. His latest case however goes awry when he finds himself and his client under sniper fire! As his once non-existent personal life interferes with now frenzied vigilante life, can Evan stay on the ball?

A page turning read that shows off Hurwitz
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
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.
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orphan X is the type of book where an unassuming dude with a particular set of skills does a shoulder roll from one room to another to avoid a spray of bullets. Seeing as how my tumbling days are behind me now that I’ve started receiving mail from the AARP (seriously tho, why???), I like to live vicariously through this type of character from time to time.

Published in 2016, Orphan X lays the groundwork for a series that is now six books long and, from what I hear, just keeps getting better. I g
Holly  B

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.
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
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,
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
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.

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
the setup…
Evan Smoak is The Nowhere Man, literally. He’s the product of a mysterious elite training program where young orphans are selected to leave their lives, undergo rigorous development for life and emerge as lethal assassins. It purportedly is part of a secret government initiative but Evan later had reason to question its mission. He was known as Orphan X before he decided to leave the program and learned that wasn’t a possibility, forcing him to take extreme measures to disappear and cl
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
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
Richard (on hiatus)
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,
Kat (Books are Comfort Food)
Mar 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022

I loved this book! Cat and mouse the entire way and there were times I forgot to breathe. This is my first read by this author and I’m glad I am late to the party so I can binge the additional books in the story.

The Nowhere Man is who you call when you are in trouble. Evan, at a young age was recruited into a special program to right wrongs and even the score for people in trouble. He learns many things from fighting to internal control. He also Lear s a set of commandments that govern him. The
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
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
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
Evan Smoak. Impressive character. Impressive skills. A thoroughly original concept right here!

I am not meant to compare Orphan X to Jack Reacher, really I'm not, but my father who also loves to read told me, 'Suz, I think Evan Smoak is better. More advanced, technically better, a better hero'. Or words to that effect. 'I think Reacher has had his day.' Or words to that effect.

It's true, when you think of it, Lee Child has had many Reacher instalments, but I still love them. Orphan X is an amazin
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
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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 (8 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)
  • Dark Horse (Orphan X, #7)
  • The Last Orphan (Orphan X #8)

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.” 34 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.” 16 likes
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