The Orphan X series started in 2016 and has grown to include 8 books and 4 short stories, with a ninth book on its way. If you want to read all the Orphan X books in order, you will find all the details on this page!
The Orphan X series tells the tale of Evan Smoak, a very skilled man who has become a freelance assassin, resulting in him becoming a vigilante of sorts. After every successful job, he tells the person to give someone else needing help his phone number. Think of it like a light mixture of Batman and the Equalizer rolled into one story.
Like his current life, his beginning years weren’t very normal either. After being plucked from a group home at the tender age of twelve, Evan was put into the Orphan Program. In this program, they trained orphans to become assassins, and Evan was known as “Orphan X” under the program until he broke away from the program and disappeared.
To add to his troubles, others from the same program are after him. Of course, he can’t let this stand and has to figure out why and keep himself alive simultaneously.
At one point, there was supposed to be a movie about the Orphan X series. Warner Brothers had initially bought the film rights, only to let the rights expire at some point. Big names were reportedly involved in this film that eventually never was created. There are rumors that someone else has gotten the rights to develop a series based on Orphan X books, but only time will tell if this is more than just a rumor.
The author of this book is Gregg Hurwitz. He has had several bestselling novels, reaching the number 1 spot on the New York Times. His novels are so prolific that they have been published in 33 languages.
Many of his books fall into the thriller genre. Since this is the case, it makes sense that he is the Co-President of the International Thriller Writers or ITW. Why wouldn’t such a huge thriller writer be the co-head of such an institution? It makes sense to us when you think about it.
He also has many other writing credits and shows no sign of stopping. With 8 books and 4 novellas already published in the Orphan X book series and a ninth book on its way, it’s the right time to start reading the series and dive into the world of assassins and espionage!
All The Orphan X Books in Order (2023):
The first book in the series, Orphan X, tells the story of Evan Smoak, a man with a problematic past. When he was young, he was taken into this program, where they trained orphans to become deadly assassins. Was that legal? No, but this program operated as if it didn’t exist.
Evan ended up being known as “Orphan X” and worked as an assassin for his handlers until he finally broke away from the program. He used those same skills that were taught to him to vanish from sight. Since then, Evan has been working as a free agent known as The Nowhere Man to help people who desperately need it.
Sadly, for Evan, our pasts always come knocking, eventually. Someone with skills that rival his own is coming after him. Not only could this person expose Evan’s identity as the Nowhere Man, but it could also cost him his life.
1.5. Buy A Bullet (2016) – Short Story
Buy A Bullet is a short story set around when Evan first took up the mantle of Nowhere Man. After leaving the program that gave him the name Orphan X, he finds himself lost until he creates The Nowhere Man identity, a free agent who can help people.
Evan’s first job under his Nowhere Man persona occurs in Northern California. While getting some gear, he sees a young woman at a coffee shop. This is no ordinary young woman. She is someone who lives a very tragic existence because she remains under the control of a dangerous man who brutalizes her daily.
The woman needs help to get out of this man’s control, and the only man who can do this is the Nowhere Man, who has the exact skills to do it.
The Nowhere Man is the second book in the Orphan X book series. After leaving the secret program that took him from a children’s home as a child, he has been working under the name Nowhere Man. Nowhere Man is a free agent who helps people, but what happens when Evan is the one who needs the help?
After being drugged and kidnapped, Evan wakes up in a room that is, of course, locked. He has no idea where he is or who took him captive in the first place! Naturally, Evan is eager to escape. However, when he gets a call for help, Evan ends up with even more on his plate.
If anyone can escape such a situation and save another person in the process, it’s the Nowhere Man. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but Evan is no stranger to difficulties in life.
The third entry in Orphan X books in order, HellBent, shows Evan wanting to desperately put his past behind him. However, every time he tries, his past seems to come knocking. This time, it comes knocking in the form of a man named Jack Johns, with whom Evan has a complicated history.
Jack was the one who brought him into the program and trained him to be a killer. Despite this, Jack viewed Evan as a son, and Evan felt the same way about Jack. He was the only father Evan ever knew, so when Jack Johns reaches out to him for help, he can’t help but accept.
There is an attempt to wipe all traces of the Orphan Program from existence, which includes the trained assets and Jack himself. After finding Jack, Evan is given a job to find Jack’s last recruit in the program and protect them with his life.
3.5. The Intern (2018) – Short Story
The Intern is the second short story in the Orphan X book series, but don’t let the fact that it’s a short story deter you from reading it. This short story tells of one of Evan’s many jobs during his time working as The Nowhere Man. Through this persona, he can help others and make a difference, this particular job being no different.
The job requires Evan to help a young summer intern for a tabloid news site that has gotten way over her head. She trailed an overly aggressive reporter straight into a crime zone, which is only the start of her problems. Evan, or Nowhere Man, is the only person she can turn to.
Without his help, the summer intern would be dead, which is something Evan refuses to let happen. He will help this young woman just like he has helped hundreds of others.
Out of the Dark is another action-packed book in the Orphan X series that sees Evan’s past continuing to interfere with the new life he has made for himself. Someone has been trying to not only erase the existence of the Orphan program but also kill the Orphans and the people who trained them.
Jack John, the man who trained Evan, is killed, and Evan is on the difficult path of revenge. The man who is in his sights is none other than President Bennett, the current President of the United States of America. To stop Evan from coming after him, the President tells Orphan A to go after Evan and take him out before he can enact his revenge plan.
Evan now has to take down Orphan A to get to President Bennet and make him pay him for killing Jack. If it means making Jack’s death mean something, Evan is willing to risk it all.
The next entry in the Orphan X books in order, Into the Fire, features a new Evan. This Evan has finally escaped his past and eliminated all his past enemies. He continues to work as The Nowhere Man, trying to help people who desperately need it. One of those people goes by the name Max Merriweather.
This man is having a rough go of it financially and emotionally. After his cousin Grant is murdered, Max remembers a conversation they had just two months before his death. If anything were to happen to him, Max would take a closed envelope to a particular reporter. He tries to fulfill his cousin’s wish, no matter how strange, and discovers that that particular reporter is missing.
Max sees no choice but to reach out to The Nowhere Man. Despite his reservations, Evan accepts the job. However, when he realizes he is in over his head, he seeks a little help from allies.
5.5. The List (2020) – Short Story
The List is the title of the third short story in the Orphan X series. This short story focuses on Joey Morales, a young woman who was the last recruit in the Orphan Program. After being asked by Jack to find her, Evan continues to keep an eye on the teenager who is now attending college.
Joey’s life is going smoothly until one day, on campus, she tries to stop a fellow student from killing themselves. It fails, and through her investigation, she discovers what drove the student, Becca Morgan, to kill herself. Something is going around the school called The List, which cruelly ranks and rates women at the college based on looks and their performance in bed.
She reaches out to Evan to help her find the ones who created The List and pushed Becca to take desperate measures. Together, the two of them will expose the ones behind The List.
Prodigal Son features Evan trying to live a normal life after accepting an offer that would ensure no one came after him in return for dropping his Nowhere Man persona. It’s something they are trying to uphold desperately. When a woman reaches out to him, claiming to be his birth mother, Evan finds himself torn between what to do.
She wants Evan to help Andrew Duran, a man who ended up witnessing something he shouldn’t and now has a brother and sister killer duo after him. Evan is unsure if the woman is even telling the truth, but he finds himself ready to accept the mission.
So, despite the offer he made, Evan agrees to help keep Andrew safe and, more importantly, alive. What sounds like a simple job is anything but when Evan’s current activities become known to those who have continued to watch him very closely.
Next up on the list of Orphan X books in order is Dark Horse, focusing on Evan, who doesn’t want to take on a new mission. If you consider that he has started developing feelings for his neighbor, Mia Hall, the last thing Evan needs is more complications.
Fate has other ideas for Evan when Aragon Urrea turns to him for help when his eighteen-year-old daughter is kidnapped. He is far from the perfect man, working as a kingpin in South Texas, dealing drugs while also trying his best to help those in the area who are struggling.
The last thing Aragon wants is to seek help, but he has no other way of rescuing his daughter from the armored complex in Mexico. Evan is just as conflicted, unsure if helping the drug kingpin is the right thing to do.
The Last Orphan is the latest book in the Orphan X series that came out in February 2023. Ethan was formally a part of the Orphan Program, which took orphans and trained them to be killer assassins. Since then, he’s made a name for himself as Nowhere Man, helping people who desperately need it.
Unfortunately for Evan, the government wants to eliminate all traces of the Orphan Program and has done so by killing all the Orphans and their trainers in the program. Evan has managed to avoid them until he ends up making a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but this mistake could end up with him losing his life.
Out of nowhere, the current President decides to give him an offer. If Evan kills a rich and powerful man for her, she’ll let him live. They’ll stop going after him, and he will be free to live his life.
It’s a tempting offer, but can Evan accept it if it compromises the moral code he’s been using since becoming The Nowhere Man?
8.5. The Recital (2023) – Short Story
Breaking away from the high-octane action sequences and life-threatening stakes, The Recital is a short story that focuses on Joey Morales, the last recruit of the Orphan program.
After being rescued by Evan Smoak, she’s not trying to lead a normal life while also being a world-class hacker. However, she discovers that just like how she loves hacking, she also loves music. So, when a recital comes up, she decides to participate.
But any performance can’t be complete without some supporting family members, and for Joey, there’s no one better than Evan, her rescuer-turned-adopted uncle. She asks him to gather his friends and attend her performance, which he agrees to.
While there is a little action in this short story, it mainly focuses on what Evan would do for Joey and how Joey navigates her teenage years!
The upcoming book in the Orphan X series, Lone Wolf, focuses on Evan Smoak’s unconventional life once again. After being trained as an assassin in a top-secret facility, Evan broke away from the program and dedicated his life to helping those who are desperately struggling.
In his quest to help people, he’s destroyed crime syndicates and drug cartels, fought against the most influential people in the world, and even brought down the President. With all these high-octane missions, you’d think the next mission Evan would embark upon would be just as thrilling. However, it’s not because his next mission comes from a little girl who wants his help finding her missing dog.
Although Evan takes up this job, he soon realizes it has exploded into a big thing with higher stakes than anticipated. Not only does he have to deal with his personal struggles, he’s up against AI technocrat billionaires and a female assassin who mirrors himself.
Evan and this female assassin are evenly matched, and he has to stop her before she completes her mission and eliminates her targets!
FAQs about the Orphan X Series:
How Many Books Are There in the Orphan X series?
There are a total of 9 books, out of which 8 are published, and one is expected to be released in February 2024. There are also 4 short stories in the series!
Should I Read the Orphan X Books in Order?
Yes, you should read all the books in the Orphan X series in order. You can follow the list provided at the beginning of this article to read not only the main novels but also the short stories in the correct order to not miss out on important events.
Who is the Author of the Orphan X Series?
Gregg Hurwitz is the author of the exciting and thrilling Orphan X book series, where he has created a wide variety of fascinating characters that readers love!
Will There Be A New Book in the Orphan X Series?
A ninth book in the series, titled Lone Wolf, is all set to release in February 2024. At the moment, we don’t know if this will be the final book or if more books will follow, but I hope there will be more titles after this book is released.
And there you have it! That was the entire Orphan X series, a great thriller created by Gregg Hurwitz, who seems incapable of making a bad thriller novel. From the very beginning of the series, we find ourselves cheering Evan on and even sympathetic to his plight.
He’s worked so hard to distance himself from his complicated past, only to have that said past constantly creeping back up on him. While none of us have quite the sordid past that Evan does, we can certainly relate to wanting to put difficulties behind us and not having them constantly pop up again and again.
Like Evan, all we can do is try to face them and do our best to overcome them. The only difference is that they will be much less violent and dangerous when we face them.
Since a new book will come out in just a few months, it’s the best time to start reading the Orphan X books in order. If you know someone who is a fan of the thriller genre, share this article with them and introduce them to this fantastic series!