2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the first two Nowhere Man books – today I’m beyond excited to bring you the third, which is just as incredible as the earlier stories… The fourth book is coming out next month, which makes this a perfect gift series to start someone on. Just saying… (And no, I don’t get anything for saying that – the books are just that good.) Enjoy!

WOW. Just, wow. Seriously – Gregg Hurwitz has done something special with this series. Not only is each book a story that tells itself brilliantly, but the build-up between books and the layering of details and gentle unraveling of the spider’s web that underpins The Nowhere Man’s world is brilliant in its own right…

In this third book, we get some new players – major players – as well as the return of those we love, hate, and love to hate. I’ve really enjoyed watching the character development in this series. This type of assassin-thriller isn’t often heavy on character development, so it has been a beyond-pleasant surprise to see not only how Evan Smoak has evolved throughout the books, but how the supporting cast has as well – many of whom have traveled from seemingly tangential or minor supporting roles into full-blown elements of the story line(s).

In the first book, I learned that you can’t ever glance over any fact that Hurwitz throws into the mix – if it’s there, even if it seems totally throw-away, it’s there for a reason and eventually that reason will make sense. Ditto with characters and character traits, and this book really brought that to the fore in a delightful and moving way. There’s so much darkness, but always – ALWAYS – a thin ray of hope, a glimmer of the possible that’s as difficult to pin down as the Nowhere Man himself, but just as reliable. I love that – it keeps (mostly) everyone human and the books from devolving into van Sciver-like blackness or chaos…

The opening action-reveal blew my mind (as much as the closing reveal in book one), and things never slowed down for a minute from there… Evan comes full circle in this book, and it was a glorious thing to watch – painful, gut-wrenching, hilarious (wait until you get to Target, teehee), and oh-so-fragilely-human, just like real-life. Jack would be proud, and Hurwitz should be beyond pleased with himself as a result. He’s managed to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls, to tap-dance among landmines – Evan Smoak is edge-of-the-page unreal and totally believable at the same time, at his most so when he’s dealing with *normal* life or its flip-side (Evan’s version of “normal”).

It’s a brilliant series. This book could well have marked an end (in some ways it already did), but I’m cautiously optimistic that when we need him, the Nowhere Man will appear on the other end of our phones again…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley. The newest Nowhere Man book – Out of the Dark – releases on January 29, 2019, and a short story – The Intern – recently released. Check them out, you won’t be sorry!

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