Saturday, February 08, 2020

Review: Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz (audio)

Title: Into the Fire
Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: Orphan X, #5
Narrator: Scott Brick
Published: January 2020, Brilliance Audio / Minotaur Books
Length: 11 hours 58 minutes / 400 pages
Source: Audio via Brilliance Audio / Print - ARC Paperback via Kaye Publicity

The New York Times bestselling Orphan X returns—facing his own uncertain future and undertaking one last mission.

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was trained as an off-the-books government assassin: Orphan X. After breaking with the Program, he reinvented himself as The Nowhere Man, a figure shrouded in shadows who helps the truly desperate. But the government didn’t let go of him easily, sending their best to hunt him down and eliminate him. All of them failed. With his deadliest enemies behind him, Evan is facing a new challenge—what is he going to do now that no one is after him?

Max Merriweather is at the end of his rope. Separated from the woman he loves and barely scraping by, Max is a disappointment to everyone in his life. Then his very successful cousin Grant is brutally murdered. Two months before, Grant left Max an envelope with instructions to take it to a reporter if anything happened to him. Now the reporter is missing and Max’s apartment is ransacked. A man at the end of his rope, he calls The Nowhere Man.

With mixed feelings, Evan takes on this mission, easily finding the men who are after Max and executing a plan to keep him safe. But it isn’t as obvious as it seems—and Evan finds himself enmeshed in one of the most challenging missions of his life, one that he can’t survive on his own. With the help of Joey Morales, a genius-level hacker and the last Orphan recruited into the Program, and the brilliant, off-the-books gunsmith, Tommy Stojack, Orphan X once more heads…Into the Fire.

My thoughts: This is the 5th book in Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X series. I decided to jump in at book 5 because of a number of reasons - it's a thriller and I love thrillers; it's part of a series and I love series; and I've heard good things about this series. Luckily, I felt there was enough backstory to give me an idea of Evan Smoak's character to keep me from being totally lost.

Now, if you have been following me for any length of time, you know my stand on series. I prefer, when at all possible, to read them in order. But, I've come to realize that that is not always a reality and so I've taken to jumping in wherever I am presented in the series to see if I even like the books and then I decide if going back is worth it. I find that with most series now-a-days, the authors make each book stand on their own because not everyone will read each book and this way you can pick up any book and still understand what is going on. 

That is what I found with Into the Fire. There was just enough backstory that I felt I got a feel for Evan Smoak, but not so much that those who have read the series in it's entirety would feel as if everything from the previous books have been repeated. It definitely left me wanting to know more...which is a good sign.

This book is non-stop action. Evan Smoak, also known as The Nowhere Man - something I would know why if I read the earlier books - kills bad guys and is the one you call when you desperately need help. He seems to get himself into some pretty bad situations and it definitely leaves you on the edge of your seat as you wonder if he will be able to get himself out. 

I loved how Gregg Hurwitz get you to sympathize with the characters. I really felt for Max Merriweather. He just can't seem to catch a break and the more you learn about him, the more you feel for him. I also liked Evan and Joey and the dog. 

I think this is a series I will go back and start from the beginning, when I have the time. I'm not sure what will come next as the ending seems like to could go in a new direction or it could be the end??? Either way, I'm glad I gave this book a try. Sometimes it's good to jump in to something new.

Audio thoughts: This book is intense and listening to it made it all the more so. This is the first time I've listened to Scott Brick narrate a book and I thought he did a great job. He infused the right amount of tension and suspense into his voice as needed and his pacing and intonation were spot on. I think if I decide to go back and read the earlier books, I will do so as audiobooks and I'm happy to see that Scott Brick is the narrator - you know how I feel about consistency with narrators in a series!

Books in this series:

     1.  Orphan X
     1.5  Buy a Bullet
     2.  The Nowhere Man
     3.  Hellbent
     3.5  The Intern
     4.  Out of the Dark
     5.  Into the Fire 



  1. I've enjoyed the books I have listened to where Scott Brick narrated

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I've listened from the beginning and love the character as well as the narrator.


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