My Cultural Diet

409 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
The Last Orphan by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Book Eight)

The Last Orphan by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Book Eight)

The title suggests that this is the final Orphan X novel, and if that’s the case, then the series ends on an underwhelming note. Mind you, I never read these novels expecting high art, but rather, something really entertaining — think Jason Bourne meets Burn Notice — that I can devour in a single day. (Which I did here.) To his credit, Hurwitz puts his hero, a former government assassin named Evan Smoak, through the mental and emotional ringer to honestly explore the trauma and morality of his profession. But the result is page after page of clunky, portentous dialog. Put it this way: the descriptions of Smoak’s military equipment and super-secret ninjutsu techniques are more believable and enjoyable than any “serious” dialog. Combine that with a lackluster villain who’s a thinly veiled Elon Musk (I think) and several plot threads left unresolved in order to include new ones, and I think this might be the series’ weakest book.


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