After the intense excitement of the two books I wrote about last week, I turned the dial down a bit! I finished two books, about which I will tell you more in a minute. They were both very different but also enjoyable in their own way.
I have already read some of the books in the Orphan X series, but my library’s ebook selection doesn’t seem to have all of them. Author Greg Andrew Hurwitz has said that this book, Into the Fire (Orphan X #05), will be the last in the series – well, we shall see.
First of all, here is the blurb:
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.
And here is my quick review on Goodreads:
This was a good, gripping and exciting read. I have read others in the series and enjoyed them all, you just have to take them with a pinch of salt and not take them too seriously!
With this book, you almost have three tales wrapped up in one – I won’t say any more about that as it would give too much away, but be prepared for the tension to keep being ratcheted up, over and over again.
This is supposed to be the final part of the series, but with a hero like this, can an author resist writing more?
Perhaps it is all Smoak and mirrors!
After this book I had a previously reserved one waiting for me in my library account: C J Box’s Long Range (Joe Pickett #20). I have now read all of this series, except for one that I am trying to track down – the library ebook service seems to have overlooked it. Anyway, this is the blurb:
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett must investigate an attempted murder–a crime committed from a confoundingly long distance.
When Joe Pickett is asked to join the rescue efforts for the victim of a startling grizzly attack, he reluctantly leaves his district behind. One survivor of the grizzly’s rampage tells a bizarre story, but just as Joe begins to suspect the attack is not what it seems, he is brought home by an emergency on his own turf. Someone has targeted a prominent local judge, shooting at him from a seemingly impossible distance. While the judge was not hit, his wife is severely wounded, and it is up to Joe to find answers–and the shooter.
The search for the would-be assassin becomes personal when Joe’s best friend, Nate Romanowski –just as he’s adjusting to the arrival of his first child–falls under suspicion for the crime. It’s a race against the clock as Joe tries to clear Nate’s name and identify the real shooter, all while deciphering the grizzly encounter. Beset by threats both man-made and natural, the two men must go to great lengths to keep their loved ones safe.
I read this book very quickly and came to this verdict:
Sometimes I wonder why I read this series. After all, I live in a small town in the UK. I hate the idea of hunting and am not an outdoors kind of person, being bedridden with illness. But maybe these things are exactly why I read Joe Pickett.
He comes across as a decent character – honest, caring and a man who loves his family. His wife works in a library and uses her research skills to help him solve crimes. How could I not love her, as a former librarian myself? The wonderful descriptions of the landscape and animals that live in it are so compelling to someone whose view of the world is circumscribed by the boundaries of bedroom walls and a window frame.
I read tons of fantasy and SF, so while this book series may be more real to some readers who live in the USA, to me it is as magical or alien as those genres. After all, I don’t tend to balk at swords or giant axes, or flinch at light sabres!
This particular episode in the series was not one of the best, however. I felt that the parts about the grizzly bear were unnecessary padding, although the main plot was better. I wonder how long Box intends to carry on the series – after all, Joe is now in his fifties and is definitely showing his age…
Right, so that’s all for this week’s Reading Roundup.
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,