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review 2018-01-30 10:01
HellBent
Hellbent (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

Series: Orphan X #3

By: Greg Hurwitz

ISBN: 1250119170

Publisher:  Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 1/30/2018 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars  

 

Evan Smoak, an unstoppable government assassin gone rogue returns in Gregg Hurwitz #1 international bestselling Orphan X series, HELLBENT – from revenge, bullets, and vodka his most emotional and personal yet; a riveting non-stop action thriller. 

Picking up from The Nowhere Man #2.0 Smoak is more than a legend. He is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. 

A dangerous past. Well-equipped and trained. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and prepared as part of the Orphan Program. Evan was Orphan X. An expendable assassin who went where the U.S. Government would not and did what they could not.

Jack had fought for Evan to stay human even while teaching him to be a killer. He broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. Eight years ago he had gone rogue. 

He helped the desperate with no place to turn. People suffering at the hands of unrepentant and vicious abusers. Now every incoming call comes to 1.855.2-Nowhere. Then it emerged through the receiver of the RoamZone. 

He always answers: “Do you need my help?”

 

 

A post shared by Judith D. Collins (@judithdcollins) on Jan 29, 2018 at 4:20am PST




This time, the voice on the other end was familiar. Jack Johns. Jack was the one who had plucked Evan from foster home to the inside the Department of Defense. He was the only father he had ever know. If he was calling this line, he must be in mortal danger. Indicating he must be up against what other might consider world-destroying trouble. An emotional call. 

Hurwitz cranks up the intensity, with Van Sciver, using all the assets to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect. 

His top priority is to stamp out wayward Orphans. Anyone who has retired. Anyone who had not made the cut. Anyone who had tested questionable for compliance. The only Orphan who had ever gone rogue. The best way is to go after his handler. 

Jack gives Evan a final mission. 

Would a long-buried secret from Jack’s past lead him to Van Sciver? Hurting Jack Johns would hurt Orphan X. The Commandments. A girl. Joey. The package. Can she help? A sixteen- year-old?

Evan is determined to put a bullet through Van Sciver’s skull after his beloved father figure dies. Their history stretched back to three decades to a boys’ home in East Baltimore. Van Sciver held the keys to the kingdom and Evan was the fugitive. 

“Jack had taught Evan that the hard part wasn’t being a killer. It was staying human. He was superb at the former. And growing proficient at the latter. “

A superbly created series. Highly entertaining! Fans will delight. Will there be another upcoming book in the series? We can only hope. 

Read My Reviews:
Orphan X #1 
Buy a Bullet #1.5
Nowhere Man #2.0

A special thank you to St. Martins Press and #NetGalley for an early reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/29/Hellbent
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review 2018-01-23 02:34
Evan Smoak's middle name might as well be Adrenaline
Orphan X: A Novel (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

Wow. Just wow.

 

I firmly believe, and have said so repeatedly here, that it's not the novelty of an idea that makes a book worth reading, it's the execution. But for some reason, because I've seen/read this story (at least what one can tell from the blurb) so many times, I put off reading it. That was stupid. There's a reason some stories, some ideas are told so many times: when done well, they are great.

 

That's what we've got here. Evan Smoak is an Orphan (he's also an orphan, but that's not all that important). From a pretty young age, he's been trained as an off-the-books special operative for the US government, with a tie to only his handler. No other connection whatsoever to any covert agency, budget, oversight. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that, right? At some point he runs into another Orphan and is struck by the differences between the two -- clearly, Evan's training involved the cultivation of a conscience and a modicum of ethics. This splash of humanity gets this human weapon into trouble and he leaves the program.

 

But it's not like he's got a backup plan for his life, he's trained for only one thing, so he becomes The Nowhere Man. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him...maybe you can hire, well, the A-Team. Because The Nowhere Man can't be hired. If he helps you, all he asks is that you find someone else in trouble and give them his phone number. Evan goes on for some time like this, helping people who can't help themselves, getting some justice for those who are let down by the system, etc.

Until one day, things go pear-shaped when meeting a new client, and suddenly Evan finds himself (for the first time in his life) the hunted.

 

About the same time that his professional career is blowing up (almost literally), he finds himself having a personal life. Until now, Evan's lived a pretty monkish life -- free from personal ties, anyway. A lonely existence to be sure. and he starts to have friends? Not surprisingly, at all, this adds some complications to his already pretty complicated week.

 

This is an exciting read, fast-paced, energetic, incredibly violent -- the fight scenes are great. This is essentially a Jason Statham movie in text form (although Statham always looks like someone who could star in an action flick and Evan doesn't). It's fun, it's impossible to take seriously, (but I can't imagine that Hurwitz expects anyone to). Evan's The Punisher without the anger, The Equalizer without the age, Jason Bourne without the memory issues, James Bond without the government backing/British accent, John Wick without the dog or criminal record.

 

Okay, it's clear I don't know what to say about Orphan X at this point . . . this is a fun read, I'm glad I finally got around to it, and I'm looking forward to the sequels. If you like action flicks, give it a shot.

 

2018 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/01/22/orphan-x-by-gregg-hurwitz
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text 2017-10-25 20:54
Audible 2 for 1 Sale Pile
Evanly Choirs - Roger Clark,Rhys Bowen
Evan Help Us - Roger Clark,Rhys Bowen

Tiresome bunch of choices this go round but I did manage to find two that I wouldn't mind having in my permanent library. 

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text 2017-08-13 23:04
Thriller mit Held
Projekt Orphan (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurw... Projekt Orphan (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

Even Smoak ist eine Art Superheld - er wurde top ausgebildet, hat es aber geschafft seine Menschlickeit zu bewahren - und hilft jetzt jenen, die Hilfe brauchen.
Der Größte Teil des Buches handelt davon, wie er versucht aus dem Gefängnis auszubrechen - um noch rechtzeitig das letzte Opfer der Mädchenhändlerbande zu retten.

In der Mitte gibt es einen Hänger, im Großen und Ganzen ist es dem Autor aber auch gelungen, Spannung aufzubauen.
Mir persönlich hat der Gefängnisausbruch einen viel zu großen Anteil im Buch eingenommen - und mir ist ein bisschen zu viel "Superhelden"-Getue enthalten - aber dennoch einmal ein etwas anderer Thriller.

Der Schreibstil ist gut - man kann das Buch flüssig lesen.

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review 2017-07-24 17:16
Beasts of Burden
Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged I... Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In #0 (Beasts of Burden Vol. 1) - Evan Dorkin,Sarah Dyer,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden - Neighborhood Watch - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers #1 (Beasts of Burden Vol. 1) - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden Hellboy One-Shot Comic - Mike Mignola

In the film 101 Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita howl for help once their puppies have been stolen.  It is an interesting concept, this use of howling and work because any dog owner can believe it.  Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson start their excellent series about a group of dogs the same way.  The dogs of Burden, however, do so to call on the help of a wise dog.

 

                Wise Dog = Merlin or Gandalf, he is an English Sheep Dog after all.

 

                In Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites (the first four issues as well as a short story) chronicle the beginning adventures of Ace, Jack, Whitey, Rex, Pugsley, and their cat friend Orphan.   The story starts as the friends with the help of the Wise Dog, investigate why Jack’s dog house is haunted. 

 

                Apparently, Burden is the Sunnydale of the dog world because there is quite a bunch of weird things going on. 

 

                 Over the course of the first volume, the group of friends becomes wise dogs in training, guardians of the area, tasked to protect it.  Like most fiction involving super hero teens, owners (the de facto parents) are largely absent and a dog owner sometimes wonders what is going on with these people.  Yet, despite that wobble (and necessary plot hole.  To be fair, owners do make some appearances), the series is pretty darn good.

 

                In part, this is due to the dogs and cats remaining dogs and cats.  It is also because of the strength of the storytelling.  Animal Rites is in many ways, an origin sequence.  But the stories are heartfelt, and while not having the lecture footnotes of Atwood’s Angel Catbird series, the stories do comment on how we treat animals and each other in the world. 

 

                At first, the group is seeming to be entirely male, but female characters in the form of a dog and a cat are added.  In many ways, too, the dogs act like their respective breeds (though my Dobie was braver than Rex).  This isn’t a story for children, there is death of some pets (but not of the major characters), and the dogs sometimes are a bit, well, fierce.  It would be fair to say that the series is in part horror story from a dog point of view.  It actually remembers me a bit of Wayne Smith’s Thor.

 

                The issue Neighborhood Watch contains stories that are referred to in the later part of animal rites.  Included are a story about a chicken stealing goblin and a flock of strange sheep.  Honesty, the sheep story is one of the spookiest I’ve read in a long time.

 

                Hunters and Gatherers and Issue #0 seem to occur after Animal Rites.  Issue) details the story of one the cat characters in greater detail.  It is also a story about family.  IN the closing panels, you can easily see why the series has won awards.  Hunters is an adventure tale that does seem to change Watership Down in part.  The crossover with Hellboy is also very good, making Pugsley more than simply a downer.  It was both funny and touching.

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