Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: Orphan X #2
Published: January 17th, 2017
Reviewed: April 4th, 2017
Tags: Thriller | Suspense | Mystery | Action | Hero | Hitman
Recommended to: Fans of assassin-type Thrillers, start-to-finish suspense, weaponry, great hand-to-hand scenes
Content warning: Violence
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Note after the last page: I’m fucking exhausted. And completely in love…
I will auto-buy every book in this series until it’s done. (Which I hope isn’t for a long time!)
If you haven’t read Orphan X (#1) but plan to, do not read on. Spoilers are inevitable.
Woah. You guys. I don’t even know where to start. I’ll most likely edit/ add to this review later because I’ve been up most of the night & my brain is half-frazzled. I picked up the first book in this series by chance. I was in a bookstore, and well, I never leave empty handed. Orphan X was brilliant, The Nowhere Man was out-fucking-standing.
Evan, picked up when he was a youngster and drafted into a program that produces highly skilled killing machines, opted to get out, disappear, and create a life where he could provide a service to those who need it the most. Not only does he face dangerous situations whilst trying to help people, he also has the new head of the Orphan program, Van Sciver, focusing entirely on bringing him down. Armed with extensive resources and fellow Orphans to unleash upon Evan, he’s a foe that doesn’t seem to go away.
In The Nowhere Man, Evan faces Van Sciver & his band of psychopaths, Rene & his collection of killers, a mini-fortress, deadly weather, snipers, being drugged, a shock collar, the guilt of not reaching those he intended to save, and a heartbreaking past he relives every day. Did I mention being locked within an impenetrable translucent box while a swarm of vultures circled him, excited for revenge? Busy boy.
This instalment of the series introduces a newbie antagonist, Rene. A scarily, powerful man, who whoopsie-daisies his way into the Orphan Program mess for a substantial payday. Once he discovers just who Evan is, he changes the direction of his plan and the ex-Orphan’s fate.
I’ve got to say, this character and his posse were surprising in how effective they were in keeping Evan prisoner. They say a relatable adversary in fiction makes them all the more gripping, I agree. I understood why Rene did what he did. It didn’t make him less than a freaky dick, though. *Hums the chorus of Queen’s Who Wants To Live Forever*
Speaking of dicks. A new, ruthless, Orphan appears in The Nowhere Man. He doesn’t have as much page time as other characters but he certainly made an impression. He also paved the way for a previously introduced Orphan to show a little humanity. Candy. At the end of Orphan X, it did stick in my mind to feel sorry for her, that heightened with this. I shouldn’t have liked her, but I did. Her charisma jumps off the pages and I’m definitely a fan of the witty banter.
Confession: I thought if she and Evan had a certain scene (😼) together it would be show-stoppingly hot, with potential laugh-out-loud moments. I know, I know, but what about Mia? He had an in the moment bump & grind in Orphan X ⎯let the man live!
Now, the man. Could it be that women everywhere are swooning over a fictional character? They did it with itchy palms guy and twinkly-skin guy etc. Why not Evan? Because he is a serious badass and worthy of such adoration.
One thing that separates him from the other Orphans is that he had Jack as a mentor. Among many invaluable things, he instilled into Evan the importance of hanging onto his humanity.
‘The hard part is keeping you human.’
Evan works through an internal battle, part of which has stemmed from his childhood. His vulnerability in this was a kicker and made him all the more endearing. I could go on about all that, but that’ll push the Spoiler boundaries, or make you think it’s a cry fest. It isn’t, it’s valuable to the storyline of Evan’s journey that just keeps getting better and better. As well as his conscious, the RoamZone phone plays its leading part, of course. On the other end, this time is a character pleading with Evan to understand their situation and help… It also acts as a reminder to Evan that he has a female in the midst of being trafficked that he needs to save.
His skills need a mention. Evan’s quick and clever thinking. The writing of his skills needs a mention. The action scenes are just flat-out brilliant. That Evan takes a kickin’ often adds to the sinking feeling throughout of ‘How the hell is he going to get out of this!’ It also highlights his mortality, which can be questionable in some characters of these types of reads. Y’know what I mean, someone gets beaten and shot to a pulp, rests, then taa-daa! They’re moonwalking the next morning. No, poor Evan carries his injuries through. Unless he dies, of course. *Looks up & whistles*
From a plush prison with a creepy lab to a snowy valley decorated with snipers, Evan has his work cut out for him trying to escape his temporary home.
His herb wall gets a mention. I really want one.
I definitely would recommend giving the series a try. The suspense is built, and written, so well! You’re gripped until the last moments, hoping like hell for more pages. I loved the plot, the intellect, the characters, the energy, everything. I’m already in the process of adding all of the author’s work to my wishlists.
I googled if Doritos were flammable.