Orphan X (#6)
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Thrillers / Suspense
Forced into retirement, Evan Smoak gets an urgent request for help from someone he didn't even suspect existed—in the latest in the New York Times bestselling Orphan X series
Evan Smoak—a former government assassin who turned to helping the most
desperate in their times of trouble—has retired. In exchange for an
unofficial pardon, he's agreed to stop his clandestine activities as The
Nowhere Man. Struggling to learn how to live a normal life, everything
that he thought he knew is called into question when he gets a call for
help from the one person he never thought he'd hear from—the woman who
originally gave him up for adoption.
Her unlikely request: help for another orphan from the foster home he grew up in. Agreeing to help would put his deal, and his life, in danger.
Andre, Evan's fellow foster child, is struggling to stay afloat and get his own life back together. In doing his low-level job, he's unwittingly become the target of two top-level assassins who will go to any lengths to get rid of him. With nowhere to turn, and no safe place to hide, Evan is his only option. But if Evan returns to his role as The Nowhere Man, he puts his own life in mortal jeopardy.
Prodigal Son is the Sixth installment in author Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X series. 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. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.
Evan has to be careful. He's been advised by the President that in order to receive a pardon for his previous actions, he needs to stay out of the public eye. Failure to do so could lead to severe consequences. For Evan, retirement isn't something he can put a finger on. The Nowhere Man can't just pick up and retire when there's people who desperately need his help. He has his 16-year old protege Joey to watch over who is growing up quickly. He has friends like Mia and Peter Hall who are in his life whether he likes it or not. While he can't tell Mia what exactly he does for a living, she knows that he saved her life.
When a woman claiming to be Evan’s mother calls him up on his RoamZone, he finds himself yanked into a mission that will drag him back to the most intimate memories of his past and propel him forward into a threat that reaches the highest levels of power. Evan's first point of business is to uncover who the woman is that claims she's his mother with a trip to Venezuela. After a quick trip to Venezuela, Evan's world is broken to learn that Veronica LeGrande really is his mother. But questions need to be answered.
Veronica tells Evan that she has a job for him. His name is Andrew Duran, and he is in serious trouble. Andrew is a down on his luck man with an ex-wife and daughter who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up at the top of the list for a pair of assassins. When he witnesses a man being assassinated, the assassins want to make sure he doesn't talk to the wrong person. A person like Evan. Andrew isn’t someone new to Evan. He’s Evan’s orphan brother. Andrew had high hopes of getting out of the Group home as desperately as Evan and Charles Van Shiver.
This book is steep in Military, political, technological action thriller. Add in a pair of assassins who just happened to be brother and sister, and you have all sorts of danger for Evan to deal with. Add in a mentally unstable rocket scientist, literally, and you have drones that are as small as bees targeting specific targets. In one way, Evan has been able to escape just about anything the author and his enemies have thrown at him. Can he escape his own past?
I like that Evan has moved beyond his hatred for Candy McClure. I think that along with Joey, they make a brilliant team. Joey, I think, needs her own series sometime soon. I think that there is enough interesting in seeing what this 16-year-old brilliant hacker and Orphan drop out can do without Evan around. The ending of this story is straight up shocking. It might be the first actual real cliffhanger ending of this entire series. Could this be the ending to Evan's journey? Unfortunately for me, I've been reading these books after they've already been released so I know that there's another book in the workings. In this case, I am biting the side of my mouth hoping that the author comes back and fixes what he broke.