As a boy, Evan Smoak was pulled out of a foster home and trained in an off-the-books operation known as the Orphan Program. He was a government assassin, perhaps the best, known to a few insiders as Orphan X. He eventually broke with the Program and adopted a new name—The Nowhere Man—and a new mission, helping the most desperate in their times of trouble. But the highest power in the country has made him a tempting offer—in exchange for an unofficial pardon, he must stop his clandestine activities as The Nowhere Man. Now Evan has to do the one thing he’s least equipped to do—live a normal life.
But then he gets a call for help from the one person he never expected. A woman claiming to have given him up for adoption, a woman he never knew—his mother. Her unlikely request: help Andrew Duran—a man whose life has gone off the rails, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, bringing him to the deadly attention of very powerful figures. Now a brutal brother & sister assassination team are after him and with no one to turn to, and no safe place to hide, Evan is Duran’s only option. But when the hidden cabal catches on to what Evan is doing, everything he’s fought for is on the line—including his own life.
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Goodreads’ Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
How could I not have known about the Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz before now? I have been missing out on the action-packed techno-thriller of my dreams, and it’s time to rectify that situation.
What I Love
I always enjoy cool and scary technology and the people who know how to create it and use it. In this regard, Prodigal Son does not disappoint with its military-grade drones that have been programmed to make ethical decisions. How scary is that?
My favorite character, Josephine “Joey,” knows her way around a computer and is a freshman in college at the tender age of 16. Like Orphan X, Joey was in the foster system until she was offered a position in the same program that rescued Evan from foster care. She is smart, sassy, and is every inch the sixteen-year-old who acts like she’s 25. And, she makes the perfect partner for her intricately layered father-figure and guardian, Evan.
Evan and Joey are both merely sublime in their development. Though both are extraordinary, their very human flaws and proclivities make them feel as real as my next-door neighbors. They are sympathetic, engaging, and part of a more in-depth emotional story running alongside the mystery plot. This layer with the powerful theme of family and family ties brings this story to a whole new level in techno-thrillers—a mix of stories that will have me coming back every time.
I also love the respect toward women and the empowerment of women shown so overtly through the novel with Evan and how he treats the female characters. He is a knight in shining armor when the situation calls for it. Add to that a female president, an ultra-smart Joey, and a kickass Candy, and you have a cast of female characters that are enviable in all the right ways.
Lastly, I enjoyed the fight scenes, and I don’t think I have ever said that before. Evan is an inventive and creative fighter that demanded I not speed through those scenes and instead stop, slow down, and admire his ingenuity as he took on impossible odds and won.
To Read or Not to Read
Yes, you should read this book, but be warned, you are going to want to stop everything and read the rest of the books in the series, as I do.