• Orphan X

  • Evan Smoak, Book 1
  • By: Gregg Hurwitz
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (23,720 ratings)

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Orphan X

By: Gregg Hurwitz
Narrated by: Scott Brick
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Publisher's Summary

“Brilliantly conceived and plotted... Read this book. You’ll thank me later.” - David Baldacci

The first in the international bestselling series!

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.

“Excellent...A smart, stylish, state-of-the-art thriller...might give Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books a run for their money.” - The Washington Post

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 an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: An assassin. Evan was Orphan X - until he broke with the program and used everything he learned to disappear. But now someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training who will exploit Evan’s secret new identity as the Nowhere Man to eliminate him.

“Hurwitz melds nonstop action and high-tech gadgetry...in this excellent series opener.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

©2016 Gregg Hurwitz (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"The most exciting thriller I've read since The Bourne Identity. Fans of Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Jason Bourne will LOVE Evan Smoak. A new thriller superstar is born!" (Robert Crais)
" Orphan X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget!" (Tess Gerritsen)

Featured Article: 10 Thrilling Spy Book Series for Espionage Lovers


Action, thrills, and edge-of-your-seat moments are things you can usually count on from spy book series. And having them narrated to you, with all the breathless intensity the plots require, makes espionage books a must in audiobook format. If you’re looking for some adventure in your life via catching some spies—or being a spy!—here are 10 thrilling espionage books for your spy-loving heart.

What listeners say about Orphan X

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Excellent Distraction

I've recently gone through several suspense/thriller type books lately that had good reviews and found them to be completely dissatisfying with unreliable characters, messy plot holes, and lazy writing. As such, I've been skirting away from this genre for a bit. However, this book had such high ratings, I was curious to give it a go even though suspense and thrillers aren't usually my go-to reading for a distraction. In my experience, most of the most popular writers of this genre tend to write protagonists with egos that make them absolutely hateful to me. Evan Smoak, while certainly not humble, maintained enough humanity to make me like him and want to root for him.

The story is good. The writer clearly did his homework in the research department. There was one technology the writer included with microchips the size of sand particles that were activated by digestive juices and I thought that it sounded absurd and made-up only to find from a google search that such technology does actually exist and even operates in the way the author described. It gave me a lot more respect for the author and for the plot. An author that takes care with the research definitely shows in the writing and it went a long way in making the story more enjoyable for me.

The story has a lot of graphic violence in it. If you're sensitive to high body counts and violence, this won't be the book for you. However, somehow it did not seem to be gratuitous as it was definitely all in the interest of furthering the plot and creating suspense.

Perhaps the ending wrapped up slightly more "happily ever after" than I had anticipated but I didn't feel dissatisfied with the ending. One of my pet peeves is a story that ends without wrapping up all the story lines and this book accomplished that wrap up without having to drag us along through excess fluff to accomplish it.

While suspense and thriller isn't my usual cup of tea, I definitely will be checking out this author again. And, I must admit, I found myself getting excited and having a hard time hitting the pause button during the height of the action in this book. As far as suspense and thrillers go, this is one of the best I've read.

315 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

This is my favorite of Hurwitz’s books that I’ve read. Within the usual need to suspend disbelief required of action thrillers, the characters feel real and Evan Smoak emerges as a hero to invest in. His commitment to help those in genuine trouble with all the skills needed to succeed makes for exciting reading when he takes on some really really dangerous opponents owning the same skills. What adds the human dimension is the supporting cast of his neighbors in his apartment building who only know him as an importer of industrial cleaning supplies and expect him to act as a normal neighbor should - attending owners association meetings and watching kids in an emergency. This adds a messiness to his life that is not entirely unwelcome, but his previous experience has never prepared him for. His advice to a neighbor child being victimized by a school bully (take out his knees) causes a big problem with the mom and school.

The central conflict Evan needs to solve is who is after his latest client. Nothing seems to add up but he can’t quite figure out why. Distracted by the above mentioned messiness, he struggles to maintain an emotionless detachment using his 10 Commandments that govern all decision making. The most sacred of the commandments, “Never let an innocent die”, is in jeopardy as danger comes from multiple directions, placing multiple innocents in danger at once – how to choose who to save? How this plays out is both exciting and emotionally satisfying. I don’t get invested in too many character series, but this is one I am eager to revisit.

184 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Masterpiece of suspense! Magnificant!!

The day will come when Evan Smoak, Orphan X, reaches the same level of recognition and following as Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher, Jack Ryan, Jonathan Quinn, and Jason Bourne. Orphan X is that good and Evan Smoak has the same potential as those characters. Gregg Hurwitz's concept is new and different, even unique. Orphan X is the start of a new series.

This wonderful novel was narrated by Scott Brick who is the best. His narration is, as always, flawless.

VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Orphan X is a must listen.

123 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stellar Start to a Masterful New Series

This is among the best thrillers I've ever read!!! It hooked me from the very start and didn't let go... Finished it in one sitting even though that meant losing a night of sleep... Simply couldn't put it down... The hero is unique and will be mentioned in the same breath as genre icons and stalwarts immediately.... The pace and plot are simply excellent. The characters are drawn w/ magnificent clarity and effortlessly have you invested from the outset. It's a wonderful adventure fraught w/ superior intensity, great introspection, and deft and timely action... There's some aptly placed and clever humor to go along w/ this total package as well... Put simply it is an outstanding work that will appeal to any reader, especially those enjoying the mystery thriller genre... The narration surpasses excellent as usual and makes the total experience one to inspire awe in the reader... I'd give it 6* if allowed... This series will be talked about and enjoyed by all, and is certainly worth the credit and a sleepless night...

122 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Smarter than Reacher, deadlier then Bourne

If you could sum up Orphan X in three words, what would they be?

Thrilling, Entertaining, Awesome

Who was your favorite character and why?

Orphan X, he is smart, OCD, antisocial and yet amazing

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, lots...

Any additional comments?

Amazing performance by Scott Brick

51 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripping from the beginning to the very las word.

This is one of those books that leaves you wanting more. Evan Smoak is a bad ass hero... you cannot help being drawn in and wanting more. More of what has shaped his life, more of his continuing efforts and more of what lays in his future. This is a page turner, you will find it difficult to put this book down.

45 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Super Heroes Always Have The Same Weakness

Spiderman, Superman, The Gray Man, Mitch Rapp, John Rain and now Orphan X. How do you defeat the undefeated? Well if they are good heroes, they all have the same weakness, innocent people. Superman will eat kryptonite to spare human life. Orphan X is the latest hero in the thriller category.

I just don't find it remotely viable. His tradecraft and surveillance technology is superior to any government's. He is a Bond like character, able not just to defeat any equally equpped super enemy, but several at the same time.

That said, if you like these types of fantasies you will love Orphan X.

42 people found this helpful

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!

There are no words to express the enjoyment I got in listening to this book! The details and action are wonderful. You go boy!

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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hurwitz and brick, perfect

I loved it missed several days of my life just listening. but the house is clean. loved all the twists and playing with technology. great hero. here's hoping Evan comes back in another story.

41 people found this helpful

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Five star worthy

The theme is different than most of the books that interest me. I dont normally choose cloak and dagger. But I was hooked almost immediately. I say"almost" because I had to read chapters 1 and 2 twice to get the rhythm of the story. I finished the entire book within 2 days! I rarely give 5-star ratings. This book was worth it. Great story, super action, likeable characters and a very easy-to-listen-to narrator!

30 people found this helpful