An engaging dark fic in which Stiles is imprisoned with Peter while Chris stands guard.
The Orphan Next Door by Alisha Star is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited reading time. Ms. Star has delivered a well-written book. The characters are engaging and fun to read. Emily aged out of the foster system and is living on the streets when she wins the lottery. Grant is Emily's new neighbor. Their story is full of drama, suspense, action and sizzle. I enjoyed reading The Orphan Next Door and would happily read more from Alisha Star in the future. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book that I received from Bookfunnel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This was such an exhilarating read and a book that really is so different from anything else in the YA genre right now; I read this in its entirety during one day of the '24in48' Readathon this weekend, I absolutely couldn't put it down.
Set at the dawn of World War 2, Sarah has just witnessed her mother's murder, after fleeing their home because of Jewish round-ups, and somehow lands in the care of a British spy, Captain Floyd. He takes her under his wing, who realizes that her long blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes, make her look less like the Jew that she is, and more like the Aryan Elite that makes her a perfect infiltrate at the Rothenstadt boarding school, an academy for Nazi general's daughters. Now under a new identity as Ursula Haller, Sarah is suddenly on a mission to gather secrets from within, and she is thrown among the wolves where some of the nastiest discipline happens in the name of the Fuhrer.
Every day, it feels like there's a danger of her identity being discovered, and even her recurrent nightmares threaten to give her away; throughout the book she has them, and she also continuously 'speaks' to her 'Mutti' for strength, although she has passed away. You constantly get the feeling it's very difficult knowing how hard it is to get through each day without a person to confide in, with no one to trust.
The entire book is built around the character Sarah/Ursula, and author Matt Killeen depicts a young teen who has to be very strong, makes hard decisions, has to be very brave, and at times, wishes she could just break down, and in many ways, is still so so immature. I would imagine this to be the way it was for many children forced to grow up in war time (regardless of circumstance).
While I don't know how many readers will go into this with extreme detail of World War 2 (being from Britain, having a WW2-obsessed dad I know plenty, believe me), I had SO much anxiety for Sarah throughout the book. I couldn't trust a single, sodding character! I fully realize that this is YA, and Killeen wasn't about to turn this any scarier, but it did get me wondering how much worse things could have turned... There's a lot more war left, after the point the book ended too! More adventures for this spy?
I'm going to say immediately that it will be definitely be in contention for a top ten spot for me this year. Any book that sucks me back into a time period where you think about how your very existence could be always in questionable danger, makes such a mark on me, and I hope others reading really felt that too. It made such a change to read a novel about this era for this age group. Put it on your TBR, everyone!!!
Series: Orphan X #3
By: Greg Hurwitz
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 1/30/2018
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?”
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.
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.