Hellbent

Hellbent

To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to Jack Johns he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top-secret government programme and trained to become a lethal weapon. By Jack. And yet for all the dangerous skill he instilled in his young charge, Jack Jones cared for Evan like a son.But Jack knew too much about...

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Title:Hellbent
Author:Gregg Hurwitz
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Hellbent Reviews

  • Phrynne

    Book three and Evan has returned home to his specialist vodka and his living wall of herbs, both of which I find hilarious in a man who does what this one does for a living. Anyway I am accustomed to it now and it does not detract from the rest of this fantastic book!

    In

    the action starts on page one and continues pretty solidly throughout the book. A new character called Joey is introduced who turns out to have some very useful skills and ends up partnering Evan in a quest for revenge.

    Book three and Evan has returned home to his specialist vodka and his living wall of herbs, both of which I find hilarious in a man who does what this one does for a living. Anyway I am accustomed to it now and it does not detract from the rest of this fantastic book!

    In

    the action starts on page one and continues pretty solidly throughout the book. A new character called Joey is introduced who turns out to have some very useful skills and ends up partnering Evan in a quest for revenge. Of course a lot of it is very far fetched but it is fun and it is exciting and it is exactly what you want from a book like this.

    Highly recommended for fans of the genre and I can't wait for the next one!

  • Wendy

    Gregg Hurwitz is one of my all-time favourite authors and a go to author if I need little sleep as a result of not being able to put his book down. Hellbent is the third book in his "Orphan X" series and it is definitely one of those books. Tons of fun and a page-turning, exciting thriller!

    In Hellbent we learn more about Evan Smoak (Orphan X) and what makes him tick. We see a side of him that is vulnerable and uncertain.

    This novel picks up after "The Nowhere Man" left off with Van Sciver still

    Gregg Hurwitz is one of my all-time favourite authors and a go to author if I need little sleep as a result of not being able to put his book down. Hellbent is the third book in his "Orphan X" series and it is definitely one of those books. Tons of fun and a page-turning, exciting thriller!

    In Hellbent we learn more about Evan Smoak (Orphan X) and what makes him tick. We see a side of him that is vulnerable and uncertain.

    This novel picks up after "The Nowhere Man" left off with Van Sciver still on the hunt for X. His next move is to kidnap and kill X's mentor, Jack Jones. Jack leaves a cryptic note for X instructing him to pick up a package which happens to be a teenage girl named Joey who was discharged from Orphan training and is now in danger of being eliminated by Van Sciver as well.

    Gregg Hurwitz has created a masterful and memorable character in Evan Smoak. I enjoyed his interaction with Joey and the other fascinating characters he came in contact with.

    An exceptional ending that leaves us wanting more.

    The author fails to disappoint and I can hardly wait to read his next thriller starring Evan Smoak.

    I truly loved this novel!

    Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  • Theresa Alan

    Though this series is about a well-trained man who helps people who need helping while also trying to dodge another member of the Orphan program, Van Sciver, who wants him dead, it’s also about kids in foster care and the way the system fails these orphans. About not having parents or guardians who are able/alive to care for kids.

    There are two stories going on here. One, Evan (Orphan X) is tasked with rescuing a package—the dying wish of his mentor, Jack Johns. And two, a man calls saying his s

    Though this series is about a well-trained man who helps people who need helping while also trying to dodge another member of the Orphan program, Van Sciver, who wants him dead, it’s also about kids in foster care and the way the system fails these orphans. About not having parents or guardians who are able/alive to care for kids.

    There are two stories going on here. One, Evan (Orphan X) is tasked with rescuing a package—the dying wish of his mentor, Jack Johns. And two, a man calls saying his son is being recruited by the notorious M13 gang, which is terrifying on the news in real life and terrifying as described in this novel. He wants Evan to rescue his son before he commits murder and there is no going back. Evan against the entire M13 gang. Why not?

    As with the previous Orphan X books, lots of exciting scenes involving guns and hand-to-hand combat fill the novel. I think I ultimately liked this book best of the three because it wasn’t just all thrills. There was more heart in this novel than the others. If you like the Mission Impossible movies, you’d like Hellbent.

    Thanks so much to NetGalley and to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this novel.

    For more reviews, please visit:

  • Larry H

    When I finished

    , the third book in Gregg Hurwitz's fantastic series featuring rogue government assassin Evan Smoak, I got to thinking. You literally could spend the entire year reading books in different series, between YA, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, even romance. It certainly would make things easier in terms of figuring out what your next book to read should be!!

    There really are some amazing series out there, and this one is no exception.

    When Evan Smoak (not his

    When I finished

    , the third book in Gregg Hurwitz's fantastic series featuring rogue government assassin Evan Smoak, I got to thinking. You literally could spend the entire year reading books in different series, between YA, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, even romance. It certainly would make things easier in terms of figuring out what your next book to read should be!!

    There really are some amazing series out there, and this one is no exception.

    When Evan Smoak (not his real name) was young, a man rescued him from a troubled life and he trained Evan how to kill. He was part of a fully deniable black program buried deep inside the Department of Defense, becoming Orphan X, "an expendable assassin who went where the U.S. government would not and did what the U.S. government could not."

    But eight years ago, Evan went rogue from the program and became the Nowhere Man, the last resort for a person in desperate trouble. No one knows who the Nowhere Man is, but they know if they call him, he will help rescue them from a seemingly helpless situation.

    "Evan had simply stepped off the grid, keeping only the operational alias he'd earned in the shadow service, a name spoken in hushed tones in the back rooms of intel agencies the world over."

    Jack Johns was the man who brought Evan into the program, and he was the man who helped Evan remain human despite the things he had to do, the things he saw. Essentially, Jack has been the only father Evan has known, and when Jack calls him out of the blue one night, they both know his time is running out. One of Evan's fellow Orphans, Charles Van Sciver, is now in charge of wiping out any traces of the former program, and he's hellbent on finding Evan to enact some deep-seated revenge, so he strikes at Jack in an effort to get to Evan. Jack sends Evan on one last mission, to rescue his last protegé before she falls into Van Sciver's clutches.

    What Evan finds is not what he is expecting, and this recruit leaves him with his hands full. He's bound and determined to make those who hurt Jack pay, and he knows he must strike at Van Sciver and his cohorts—some of whom are lethal former Orphans themselves—before he becomes the next target. But he has no idea just how high up the command to wipe out the program—and him—comes from.

    In the meantime, Evan must also balance his responsibility as the Nowhere Man, which leaves him with a complex and potentially dangerous mission, and he is forced to both confront the path his life has taken, and wonder if he's destined to spend the rest of his life alone. If so, is that what he deserves?

    is an excellent combination of kick-ass action, pulse-pounding suspense, and complex character development. The characters aren't one-dimensional, even the villains—you get to understand what has made them the way they are. The one thing I always have trouble keeping in mind when reading this series is that Evan seems so world-weary, so wise beyond his years, but he's only in his late 20s or early 30s at best.

    While I would recommend reading this series from the start—and

    is one heck of a start (

    )—you could start with this book and not feel utterly disoriented. However, you'd definitely miss some of the nuances that make this series such a find.

    We could all use a little Evan Smoak in our lives. I'm excited that the fourth book in the series is slated to be released in January—I'm finally back on track! Seriously, if you're a thriller fan and you've not dived into this series yet, take my advice. Do it.

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

  • Maureen Carden

    It is scorched earth time for Evan Smoak. He was originally known as Orphan X from his time as a deep black government assassin trained from childhood in the Orphan program. Later Smoak became known as The Nowhere Man, helping people who have nowhere else to turn. But now Smoak is out for revenge on his own account, in scorched earth revenge seeking the death of the twenty-five men who were involved in the death of Smoak’s beloved mentor, Jack Johns. A sort of perverse 47 Ronin.

    Johns has contac

    It is scorched earth time for Evan Smoak. He was originally known as Orphan X from his time as a deep black government assassin trained from childhood in the Orphan program. Later Smoak became known as The Nowhere Man, helping people who have nowhere else to turn. But now Smoak is out for revenge on his own account, in scorched earth revenge seeking the death of the twenty-five men who were involved in the death of Smoak’s beloved mentor, Jack Johns. A sort of perverse 47 Ronin.

    Johns has contacted Smoak minutes before his death by the hand of Charles Van Scriver who has taken over the Orphan program for his own aims. Orphan X has played the great white whale to Van Scriver’s Ahab, but this time Van Scriver has the highest backing and he can’t let Orphan X outsmart him again.

    To add to Smoak’s grief and anger, Jacks has left Evan a present in the form of a sixteen year old runaway from Van Scriver’s personally run Orphan program. To add to Smoak’s revenge he must keep the runaway, Joey Morales, alive with the goal of saving her from the Orphan program.

    The excitement starts from page one and just keeps on building. Evan is used to flying solo, this time he has to accept the aid of a friend and from his temporary ward.

    Hurwitz’s usual smooth writing is in evidence along with his intricate plotting and fascinating characterizations. This book is not all action; there are themes of redemption, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of a fair and honest review.

  • Gary

    This is the 3rd book in the 'Orphan X' series by author Gregg Hurwitz.

    Evan Smoak was Orphan X, taken from a group home at twelve, he was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets, assassins. He left the program, disappearing using the skills he had learnt to reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

    This book is full of action and suspense and the excitement builds and builds to the very end of the book. I enjoyed thi

    This is the 3rd book in the 'Orphan X' series by author Gregg Hurwitz.

    Evan Smoak was Orphan X, taken from a group home at twelve, he was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets, assassins. He left the program, disappearing using the skills he had learnt to reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

    This book is full of action and suspense and the excitement builds and builds to the very end of the book. I enjoyed this one even more than the 1st and that is no easy feat. Looking forward to more in this series as well as catching up on other books by this author.

    I would like to thank Net Galley and Penguin UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Paromjit

    Gregg Hurwitz gives us another adrenaline fuelled thrill ride of an adventure in the third of the Orphan X thriller series with a wide and diverse collection of characters. The resourceful Evan Smoak finds himself on an emotional search for vengeance aided by others and still finds time to be the Nowhere Man, helping a man by taking on a ruthless LA gang. Orphan Y, Charles Van Sciver, is now the Head of the Orphan programme, he and other shadowy government forces are determined to get to and eli

    Gregg Hurwitz gives us another adrenaline fuelled thrill ride of an adventure in the third of the Orphan X thriller series with a wide and diverse collection of characters. The resourceful Evan Smoak finds himself on an emotional search for vengeance aided by others and still finds time to be the Nowhere Man, helping a man by taking on a ruthless LA gang. Orphan Y, Charles Van Sciver, is now the Head of the Orphan programme, he and other shadowy government forces are determined to get to and eliminate Evan, and all the other orphans no longer in the fold of the official programme. Evan gets a call from Jack Johns, his beloved father figure, mentor and handler, who helped to raise him as more than a mindless assassin, asking him to collect a package. Sciver has targeted Johns as a means to get to Evan, Evan is horrified at the killing of Jack, feeling desperate guilt and a sense of a responsibility. The package turns out to be ex-orphan, 16 year old girl, rootless and problematic Joey, who has him scrambling to cope but he is determined to protect and guide her. Joey is a fearsome and gifted computer hacker whose talents complement Evan and help him on the path to gaining revenge. She is the trigger for Evan to reflect on himself and what he has become, adding more emotional depth to his character. Hurwitz is on great form in this action packed thriller, with great characterisation, wonderful and compelling plotting, in a complex story with non stop tension and suspense. An entertaining series that I have loved reading. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  • Josh

    Hellbent sees Evan Smoak (aka Orphan X, aka The Nowhere Man) embark on a rage fueled quest for revenge as he fights his way through a haze of corporate killers in search of the man responsible for murdering his mentor, Jack Johns.

    The third installment in the Orphan X series is pure adrenaline with action scenes aplenty. However, there's a lot of character development / growth in Evan as he progressively establishes relationships and expands his silo'd inner circle.

    Hellbent works both as a standa

    Hellbent sees Evan Smoak (aka Orphan X, aka The Nowhere Man) embark on a rage fueled quest for revenge as he fights his way through a haze of corporate killers in search of the man responsible for murdering his mentor, Jack Johns.

    The third installment in the Orphan X series is pure adrenaline with action scenes aplenty. However, there's a lot of character development / growth in Evan as he progressively establishes relationships and expands his silo'd inner circle.

    Hellbent works both as a standalone and as part of the broader Orphan X story-line serving as both an entry point into the three novel series to date and as a continuity of Evans' fight against the Orphan program.

    My rating; 4/5 stars. The Orphan X books are my favorite action thriller series right night now and Hellbent continues where Orphan X and The Nowhere Man left off.

  • Barbara

    In this addition to the "Orphan X" series, Evan Smoak - also known as Orphan X - is out to avenge the death of his mentor Jack Johns. When Evan was twelve, Jack took him from an orphanage and put him in a super-secret Department of Defense black-ops program - a scheme designed to turn orphans into highly skilled assassins. The children were stripped of their names and designated alphabetically: Orphan A, Orphan B, Orphan C....and so on.

    Jack was like a father to Evan, and made sure the

    In this addition to the "Orphan X" series, Evan Smoak - also known as Orphan X - is out to avenge the death of his mentor Jack Johns. When Evan was twelve, Jack took him from an orphanage and put him in a super-secret Department of Defense black-ops program - a scheme designed to turn orphans into highly skilled assassins. The children were stripped of their names and designated alphabetically: Orphan A, Orphan B, Orphan C....and so on.

    Jack was like a father to Evan, and made sure the boy kept his humanity while he learned to kill. Orphan X got his first mission at nineteen, and eliminated many targets after that. Finally, burnt out, Evan left the program and set himself up as 'The Nowhere Man' - a good samaritan who helps people in desperate trouble.

    However, no one is allowed to leave the Orphan Program. If a member opts out, the program director - Charles Van Sciver, also known as Orphan Y - sends a hitman (or hitteam) after the deserter. Thus, killers have been after Evan for years, but his secret apartment is a fortress and he's taken elaborate measures to protect himself. (These measures are fully described in the first book,

    .)

    Van Sciver, who's been continually frustrated by Evan, has even more incentive to murder him now - reasons that extend high in government circles. So Orphan Y decides to get to Evan through Jack Johns. Van Sciver, who has phenomenal data-mining capabilities, locates Jack and kidnaps him. This leads to Jack's death - and the terrible scene is shown to Evan via phone. Of course Orphan X now has to go after the director, which will (presumably) bring Evan out into the open.

    As events unfold Evan becomes the reluctant guardian of a feisty sixteen-year-old girl named Joey. Joey flunked out of the Orphan Program and is in Van Sciver's sights. So Evan has to protect the girl while he goes after the director.

    Van Sciver and his team take a two-pronged approach to finding Orphan X: they locate and torture people who might have information about Evan; and they kidnap a youngster that left the Orphan Program - hoping Evan will try to rescue him. Orphan X is a very resourceful guy though, and Van Sciver's crew suffers loss after loss. Moreover, Joey is a talented computer hacker and programmer, and she sets up a sophisticated data mining system of her own.....one that helps Evan trace his enemies.

    Joey is an interesting character. She's a lonely, troubled girl with fierce fighting skills, but no idea what to do outside the Orphan Program. Evan tries to be supportive, but he doesn't know how to deal with teenage girls. Still - as long as Joey has her special shoebox, a case of Red Bull, and plenty of Twizzlers - she's willing to help Evan.

    As the story proceeds, Van Sciver pursues his mission to kill Evan and all other fugitive Orphans; Evan goes after Van Sciver; there's plenty of death and destruction. You get the idea.

    As all this is happening, Orphan X gets a call on the RoamZone phone used to contact 'The Nowhere Man.' A Los Angeles resident named Benito Orellana needs help. His son Xavier is about to be initiated into the Mara Salvatrucha gang and Benito begs Evan to get the young man out of the gang's clutches. Evan agrees to help, and engages with the gang's vicious thugs.

    All this frenetic activity leads to a violent and dramatic climax; a satisfying finale; and (I think) a lead-in to book four.

    Additional characters that add interest to the story include: Prosecutor Mia Hall - Evan's downstairs neighbor who'd probably like to be more than friends; Peter Hall - Mia's young son, who sends messages to Evan via kite; Candy McClure - an Orphan who uses her sex appeal for deadly purposes; David Smith - an Orphan boy who's being hidden; Freeway - leader of the Mara Salavatrucha who's had his eyeballs tattooed black; Tommy - a fantastic gunsmith; Jonathan Bennett - a powerful government official; and more.

    Hellbent is a good book, full of action and excitement. It can be read as a standalone but I'd strongly advise reading

    first.

    Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Gregg Hurwitz), and the publisher (Minotaur Books) for a copy of the book.

    You can follow my reviews at

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