4 of 5 stars
THE NINTH ORPHAN is a slick spy thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story revolves around a secret organization, The Omega Agency, that has raised a genetically-enhanced group of orphans. From the moment they could talk, the children have been trained in all aspects of being a spy/assassin. In this Pedemont Project, no one has a name; they are referred to as a number. Nine has been the best of the best for years doing whatever his superiors have told him, but there is a crack in his perfect veneer. He wants out and that means all out war against the Omega group.
In his desperate attempt to escape the clutches of this evil group, he involves the beautiful daughter of a French politician, Isabelle Alleget. She has inadvertently photographed him in a Paris marketplace. There can be no record of him ever being there and now Nine is forced to deal with this unexpected development. And here is his conundrum--his cold and calculating mind cracks further and he cannot do what he needs to do.
The authors have done a good job of fleshing out Nine's character. He is the perfect chameleon changing disguises as easily as someone brushing their teeth although I did not find some parts believable that a ruthless assassin would cry--such a 180 degree turn in his personality didn't ring true for me. I would have also liked to be privy to the reason "why" Nine wanted out. What happened that tipped his hand after all these years? That would have helped me understand Nine's motivations better. However, despite this complaint, the story moves along like a bullet train of non-stop action. Throw in a bit of romance, a sex-driven Chinese agent and a ruthless supervisor who wants to kill Nine and you've got an enjoyable read for fans of spy/thriller stories.