Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Review: Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz

Into the Fire (Orphan X, Book #5)
by Gregg Hurwitz
Release Date: January 28th 2020
2020 Minotaur Books
Kindle Edition; 400 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250120458
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

5 / 5 Stars

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
Into the Fire is the fifth book in the Orphan X series and while it looks to be the final book in the series, the ending gives me hope there is more to come as this has become one of my favourite suspense series out there.  Evan Smoak, known to others as The Nowhere Man, helps those who desperately need help but can't turn to the police for various reasons or just can't find a way out of a really desperate situation.  Once part of a super-secret espionage system, he has broken free and destroyed the system and those hunting him, leaving him to do one last mission before finally retiring and attempting to live a normal life.

I am such a huge fan of Evan, and not just because he can do all of these super cool manoeuvres in some pretty dangerous situations, but because of his struggle with trying to be human.  For such a long time he was just a killing machine, but life had shown him there was more to it and he was woefully unprepared and untrained for living it.  Watching him awkwardly go through social situations is heart-breaking and emotional at the same time, and you just have to root for the guy, hoping he will one day learn how to interact with other people, and feel comfortable doing it.  Perhaps one day he can let down his guard. I have loved going through every step of it with him.

That being said, I also love the hard-core part of Evan, the man who gets things done and knows his job like no one else.  His missions have gotten more complicated throughout the series, but they have also introduced him to some pretty interesting people, like Joey, the computer genius who appears in this book, thank goodness.  And as Evan is thrown into one situation after another, each one proving to be more challenging than he thought, Joey was right there helping him get through the technological side to his espionage.  And what a ride it was!!  I have learned with these books you can not lower your guard for a moment; as soon as one thing ends, there is something else waiting in the wings, but the author also manages to throw in some humour and other interesting tidbits along the way.  I mean, the scene where Evan gets attached to his anti-gravity bed by his boots was priceless and I couldn't stop chuckling; it definitely makes him more human and endears him to the reader as even a perfect fighting machine makes mistakes.  And then the dog.  Oh my, the dog!!!  I won't say any more but thank you for allowing Evan to rescue that fighting pup, and giving it to Joey was perfect.  It made my day!! If I hadn't been  a huge fan of Evan before, that would definitely have done it for me.  

Which brings me to the action in this book. Non-stop.  The action is fast-paced, gripping, and intense. Having read all the previous books in this series, I knew better than to think the job would be simple, but it was definitely a lot more complicated than even I would have thought.  And I have to give this author huge credit for his surprise endings as there were two huge surprises in this one.  One I absolutely did not see coming, but one which gives me hope of another book.  

Into The Fire was another great entry into a fabulous series.  Evan is tested to his limits in this one, especially after he suffers a serious concussion, and the action is intense. However, the author does manage to capture Evan's humanity and there are definitely some humerous moments in here too.  While it's not absolutely necessary to have read the previous books in order to understand this book, I do highly recommend you start with the first one as it definitely gives you a better understanding of the Orphan X program and some of things with which Evan previously dealt.  And it will give you a better understanding of Evan.  Highly, highly recommend this book and series. 


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