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The List: An Orphan X Short Story    by Gregg Hurwitz order for
by Gregg Hurwitz
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2020 (2020)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Fans of Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X series of thrillers on steroids first met teen Joey Morales in Hellbent.

Orphan-trained as an assassin, Joey escaped the program with the help of Evan's mentor Jack. She has remarkable combat and hacking skills. Her presence in Evan's life, at times as his sidekick, has increased his humanity. He has tried to be her mentor, just as Jack was his.

Jack persuaded Joey to attend UCLA, her dog Dog at her side. After a hot yoga class, where she's disgusted and humiliated by two frat boys 'snickering and checking out her ass', Joey comes upon a very pretty young woman in great distress. Joey attempts to stop Becca Morgan's suicide and fails.

Hacking into the phone that Becca dropped, Joey finds what drove her to the brink - a spreadsheet that rates young women on campus according to appearance, sexual proclivity and positions - with comments. Joey's on the List too, though information on her is sparse.

Joey investigates the Alphas' fraternity house and meets both dicks and some decent guys. She uses her hacking skills to make the former pay, though she does it fairly, bringing their plagiarism into the open. That makes her a target, but these Alphas have no clue what Joey is capable of.

Joey makes new friends along the way and learns new things about herself as well. As always, Hurwitz gives us a very satisfying, delightfully over-the-top read in The List. Unfortunately, such lists most likely do exist. Let's hope that both young women and young men push back against them.

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