“Out of the Dark” is part of the “Orphan X” series, but it starts with a flash back that introduces Evan and details the relationship between Evan Smoak, Orphan X, and Jack. This gives new readers any needed background and adds new insight for fans of the series.
Evan had no idea why his first mission was so important to Jonathan Bennett, now president of The United States. Evan is one person, a representative of the children who had had been taken from foster homes, trained, indoctrinated, and spend their existence serving their country. Bennett is the president of The United States with unlimited power and resources. Ending Jonathan Bennett will be the ultimate Nowhere Man mission. However, killing the president is going to be a lot of work. Whether Evan is successful or fails, nothing will ever be the same for him again.
Intertwined story lines also include, Mia Hall with her nine-year old son, Peter, and someone else who needs Evan’s help, someone alone and desperate. Trevon Gaines walks from the bus stop to Mama’s place. He opens the door to find that everything and everyone he has known is gone, dead in a vicious bloodbath. He is alone and scared. 1-855-2-NOWHERE rings, and Evan answers. Now he is “The Nowhere Man,” called by someone in desperate need of his help, lending his services to a truly frantic young man, to someone who has nowhere else to turn.
Hurwitz transitions seamlessly between the multiple storylines, and readers easily get a feel for the complex plot details and the multi-faceted characters. They all have neighbors, acquaintances, everyday chores, responsibilities, and tasks that make them familiar and human. Readers also watch Evan changing, opening up to the world and all that is in it. He juggles personal issues and his professional life. Little everyday details bring Evan back to reality, and in his next life, he vows he will be a Starbucks barista.
Exacting descriptions allow readers to picture the participants:
“He was built like an anvil, a whisper over five-nine, broadened with veiny, bulging muscle.
“The park bench by the artificial pond looked like a movie prop, set at an artful slant beneath a Rockwellian maple tree.
And to anticipate what will come:
Evan said, “I’ve killed generals. I’ve killed foreign ministers. I’ve killed captains of industry.” The voice came back, calm as ever. “But you’ve never killed the president of the United States.” Evan said “Not yet,” and severed the connection.
The details of the storyline are impeccably accurate. The equipment details are so specific and authentic that if one wants to buy a Santa Cruz Slasher sticker, some reinforced luggage, a RoamZone or expensive wine and vodka, all of Orphan X’s favorites are just a click away. Of course, the Tesla incident is every owner’s nightmare.
Hurwitz is a master storyteller and in true Hurwitz style, the surprise ending is intricate and startling. I received a copy of “Out of the Dark” from Gregg Hurwitz, Minotaur Books, and Net Galley. It is an understatement to say that it is compelling and action-packed. This is a book that grabs readers right from the start and never lets go.
For those who want a preview, here is the link to the prologue and the first few chapters. http://bit.ly/OutoftheDarkexcerpt