Review: Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz, read by Scott Brick
Orphan X is my first book from the New York Times best-selling thriller writer Gregg Hurwitz and It is a fantastic narrative experience, in part to the brilliant writing and part to the phenomenal performance delivered by the great Scott Brick.
The story follows Evan Smoak a.k.a The Nowhere Man. He is a skilled assassin trained in the, now defunct, off the books, Orphan program. Evan uses his knowledge, resources and talents to help desperate people that have nowhere else to turn, to find solutions for their, seemingly, unsolvable problems.
The action moves back and forth between present days, where we see The Nowhere Man as he helps the needy, to his late teens as he is initiated and trained in the dark arts of covert operations and assassination by his mentor, a character that I liked and cared for instantly.
After the Orphan program was shut down, Evan Smoak had to go into hiding for many years and at a later date decided to undertake the above mentioned activity. But, he didn’t realize that there were others that had something else in mind for him and now, his life is in peril, putting his entire existence as The Nowhere Man at risk. That’s all I’ll tell you about the plot, if you want more, just read Orphan X.
Evan Smoak became one of my favorite thriller characters, alongside Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp and Gabriel Allon. He is OCD, anti-social, a control freak, he can be faster and deadlier then all four folks mentioned above and has a very endearing need to help other human beings. There were lots of great characters on both sides of the fence, with some really well developed female protagonists. When I say ”well developed” I mean it as in, vivid and likable feminine presence. I loved Evan’s main residence, his relationship with his neighbors and the breakneck speed with which the story moves along. At the end, you’ll beg Gregg Hurwitz to write faster the next book in this extremely promising new thrilling series.
Until the next one, I’ll move backwards through Gregg’s works because I understand that there are many other great books for years ago.
Scott Brick is the narrator of choice for almost all Gregg Hurwitz’s thrillers and he delivers a stellar performance in Orphan X. The entire book is filled with anxiety, tension, urgency, drama and paranoia. Scott will make you feel and live all of them. I found myself holding my breath, feeling anxious and at some points scared. I felt sad and angry, I smiled and almost cried… Orphan X is definitely better experienced as an audiobook, in the detriment of its paperback or Kindle Edition.
I understand that the rights for a movie adaptation of Orphan X were purchased by Warner Bros, with Bradley Cooper as Evan Smoak, i can’t wait to see it, especially since Mr. Hurwitz will write the script. Can we please have Scott Brick dub Bradley Coopen in English? I’m joking, I think.. 🙂
Anyway, if you like thrillers, if you like The Bourne Identity, One Shot, The English Spy and American Assassin, you’ll love what Gregg Hurwitz has done with Orphan X. I listened to the entire audiobook over the weekend, late into the night and picked it up again early Sunday morning.
Written by: Gregg Hurwitz
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
Series: Evan Smoak, Book 1
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
About Gregg Hurwitz
Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 thrillers, most recently, ORPHAN X. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 27 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.
About Scott Brick
The poorest-kept secret in the entertainment industry is that actors write their own bios. It’s true, and they’re almost always self-serving, and every time I’ve written one myself it’s always made me embarrassed. I solved that problem by getting someone else to write this one for me!
Actor, screenwriter and audiobook narrator, Scott Brick definitely gives new meaning to a hyphenate career with credits in film, television, stage and radio.
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 listener from the beginning, Orphan X is a masterful thriller, the first in Gregg Hurwitz’s electrifying new series featuring Evan Smoak.
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