Book review: Orphan X
The day after we got back from our amazing trip of a lifetime to Dubai, ten-year-old D flew over the handlebars of his bike and snapped his wrist. Cue a trip to A&E, an overnight stay in hospital, and an operation on his arm the following day. So a lot of waiting with a very well-behaved patient (happy with his gadget, the TV and his book). But I had just finished my own book... so what to do?
Of course - pop down to the on-site shop and see what delights they had in store. I picked out Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz. Evan Smoak was an orphan, living in difficult conditions and without a family in an orphanage. Taken from there by a mysterious man, who became his father figure and mentor, Evan was trained in a top-secret government programme. Taught by masters in martial arts, weapons and combat techniques, he became proficient in all of them. His job was to do things for the government that they denied ever happened.
Then he left the programme, and used his skills to vanish and to help others. Never taking payment, he set out to rescue people from impossible situations and help them start a new life. But now someone is after him. Someone who knows Evan's past and believes that the boy once known as Orphan X must die.
This is a brilliantly-written book, full of suspense and twists and turns. The descriptions of people and places are excellent, giving the reader a really clear picture of what is happening. Of course, any modern-day secret agent has their own gadgets - and there are great details of these thrown in. The book is fast-paced, and hard to put down, and I really loved it. The humour in the normal hum-drum life in his apartment block adds to the human dimension - the committee arguing about what drinks to set out in the lobby, whilst Evan has a network of secret facilities, weapons, escape routes and vehicles dotted around, and is being hunted down whilst trying to save the innocents.
On the front cover of this book is a quote from David Baldacci - "Read this book. You will thank me later." And I couldn't agree more!
The best thing about this book? It's just part one of a series... and I cannot wait for the next one!
Orphan X is published by Penguin books, and more information is available from their website.