Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Book Review: Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X #6)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful character development…
Cons: …At the expense of pacing at times
The Bottom Line:
Evan meets his mom
The characters are strong here
Thrills suffer a bit

Will Orphan X’s Retirement Last?

The previous book in the Orphan X series ended with a couple of shifts for the character.  I knew one wouldn’t last, but I was very curious to see how the other would play out in Prodigal Son.

When this book opens, it’s been a couple of weeks since Evan Smoak, aka Orphan X, agreed to go into retirement.  However, he is struggling.  He has nothing to fill his days, and he is missing the rush of his off the books assignments to help others in need.

Not that his phone has stayed silent.  The woman, Veronica, claiming to be his mother continues to call him.  He finally decides to go investigate.  How can it hurt?

Veronica asks Evan to help out a man named Andrew Duran who is in hiding for his life.  He’s still not certain he wants to return to his life of helping people given what that would mean for him personally, but he begins to poke around in Andrew’s life to try to find him and find out what kind of danger he’s in.  Can he help?  And what does having Veronica in his life mean for him?

If you aren’t familiar with this series, I don’t recommend you start here.  There is lots of background you’ll need to fully understand and enjoy what unfolds in this book.  Yes, there is enough background given so you will follow what happens, but it won’t be nearly as rich.

Because this book is all about character.  Each book in the series does a great job of developing Evan, and this one is no exception.  Since he is dealing with a part of his past he thought he would never get answers to, he really has to face some of his own behaviors and lack of ability to form relationships.  Of course, this also means he is growing in his relationships to the other characters, which is a great thing as well.  I love the supporting players, so seeing Evan building stronger relationships is another reason I read this series.

Unfortunately, all of this character growth came at the expense of plot.  Yes, there is a plot, but it isn’t as thrilling as the best books in this series.  When author Gregg Hurwitz is at his best, he is giving us heart stopping plots with the character development.  This book has a good plot, but it isn’t as strong as some of the others.  At times, the story gets bogged down in details, too.  Don’t misunderstand, we do get some great action sequences, and some creepy moments.  It’s just spread out a bit more than normal.

And don’t misunderstand me.  I enjoyed this book.  I just didn’t think it quite match Gregg’s normal excellent standards.

Since this is a thriller, it has the higher level of language and violence to go along with it.  Know that before you pick up this book.

Having said all of that, it is going to be a very very long wait until the next book comes out.  I need to know what happens next and I need it now.

Fans of the series will be glad they picked up Prodigal Son.  If you haven’t yet met Orphan X, you really need to fix that today.  This is an excellent thriller series.

Catch all of Orphan X’s adventures.

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