I had done that thing, you know the thing that really you shouldn’t do as a reviewer. I’d read some tweets about the latest Greg Hurwitz book, people seemed to be overwhelmed with praise for his latest book. Even though I tried to block out the praise and euphoria, I still couldn’t help myself. I went out and bought “Hellbent”, the latest Greg Hurwitz book that all of twitter was raving about.
Now I was in a dilemma, twitter fans talking about the book but I had not even started the second “Evan Smoak” book called “Nowhere Man”.
I knew that one of my rules is to read a book series from start to finish, rather than dipping in and out. So I got back to “Nowhere Man” hoping that it would still be a good read and worthy of the Orphan X book rating. See HERE.
So you finished “Nowhere Man”
I finished the “Nowhere Man” book and was pleasantly surprised that it had a great ending that lead straight into the third book in the “Evan Smoak” series. As I mentioned in the review the book was good, very good but not as good as “Orphan X”. Maybe my mind was already getting prepared for this third book, due to the twitter reviews, the retweets, the anticipation, could the third book in the series live up to the hype.
Is “Hellbent” a good book?
There is a short answer to this question, YES, YES, YES. If “Orphan X” was the book to hook all readers of Jack Reacher novels into the series, then the “Nowhere Man” was a kind of middle story carrying on the journey for the fans. This third book blows you out the water, flips you around onto your back and then the ending, slaps you in the face just for good measure.
“Nowhere Man” had you scared for Evan, how was he going to get out the situation he was in, the helper becoming the person who needed the help. The odds were stacked high against Evan, but not nearly as high as in the book “Hellbent”. We get the full picture, all bells and whistles of it, conspiracy, government, family, revenge, you name it, it is in this book.
So what was so good about this book?
By now after the second book “Nowhere Man” we have got used to Evan Smoak, trying to live a normal life in his apartment but also helping out people in distress. Not unlike Jack Reacher, but younger and probably with a lot more skills at his disposal, which he really needs, as people are trying to find him and kill him.
The opening of this book is brilliant, from the start there is a casual apartment chat with Evan’s love interest, straight (I mean straight) into a kidnap situation with his one and only mentor. The story then unfolds into such an amazing plot that we have to give Greg Hurwitz a pat on the back, he really utilises his skill full writing to create a bleak picture of Evan’s future. There are so many nice touches, Evan having to leave his so called “normal life”, bringing in additional characters to help assist him and a baddie that is truly bad.
I think this is the one thing that kept me so hooked into the book, Evan trying to understand “normal life” and human feelings as well as having to avenge a friends’ death and look out for people calling him for help on his emergency phone. He really is torn throughout the plot, on one hand trying to do the right thing, on the other hand wanting to gain a personal revenge. To have three rogue Orphans after him as well as twenty five trained operatives, you know the stakes are really high, how can he possibly survive this?
With the intensity that Greg Hurwitz writes, you can start to feel a little out of breath whilst reading this book. There is one scene in the book, where Evan has to challenge a terrible gang leader in a ruined Church, just to protect an innocent. The scene layouts with descriptive writing and characterisations are so on point that you sense the loneliness Evan is feeling against the force of this whole army.
The main reason you start to feel out of breath, is you are not fully sure if the main character really wants to live or is going to stay alive. Most books like Jack Reacher, you kind of know that the main hero will live, fights are easily won and there are no wounds to the Hero at all.
Here though, you go through lots of Evans emotions, how should he act, will he gain revenge and what will that hold for his future? When you through into the mix a baddie like the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, (you can practically feel the hate oozing out of him towards Evan) you are then caught in the whirlwind of Evan’s survival world. Cue lots of fight scenes, last minute ingenuity, grit and determination, family bonds of love and trust plus an ending that leads into book number four I have to rate this as one of, if not the BEST book of 2018 so far……..
UK – BUY “HELLBENT” HERE!
USA – BUY “HELLBENT” HERE!
Let me know what you think in the comments.