Top critical review
Orphan X Tries to Get in Touch With Human Feelings, Should Have Stayed Retired
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2021
If the cliffhanger ending in PRODIGAL SON actually means the end of Evan Smoak, then all I can say is, “Orphan X deserved better”. (Just like Sofia, the daughter of Evan’s half brother Andre.) In the book, Evan learns who his mother and father were, finds and protects his previously unknown half sibling, and gets in touch with his feelings of parental love for protege Joey.
Sadly, Greg Hurwitz doesn’t write well about emotions and feelings (e.g., love in its many forms). Evan’s reflections on love (especially motherly love) are confused and off the mark. They are almost always embarrassing and painful for this Orphan X fan to read. They are out of place in Evan’s character, as molded by his mentor Jack, even though Jack wanted his assassin to remain a human being.
The PRODIGAL SON plot includes several of the exciting action sequences that one expects from an Orphan X novel. Hurwitz does these extremely well. The novel also introduces a terrifying new military weapon, one controlled by artificial intelligence, that this reader fervently hopes is NOT already in development.
Orphan X fans will certainly want to read the novel, but it’s a great disappointment. Like other reviewers, I believe that Orphan X should have stayed retired. Love and happiness were never in the cards for Evan, and it’s too bad that author Hurwitz had to write PRODIGAL SON to figure that out.