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Awakened

A Novel
Narrated by: James S. Murray
Series: Awakened, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (304 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The star of truTV’s hit show Impractical Jokers - alongside veteran sci-fi and horror writer Darren Wearmouth - delivers a chilling and wickedly fun supernatural novel in the vein of The Strain, in which a beautiful new subway line in New York City unearths an ancient dark horror that threatens the city’s utter destruction and the balance of civilization itself.

After years of waiting, New York's newest subway line is finally ready, an express train that connects the city with the burgeoning communities across the Hudson River. The shining jewel of this state-of-the-art line is a breathtaking visitors’ pavilion beneath the river. Major dignitaries, including New York City’s Mayor and the President of the United States, are in attendance for the inaugural run, as the first train slowly pulls in.

Under the station’s bright ceiling lights, the shiny silver cars gleam. But as the train comes closer into view, a far different scene becomes visible.

All the train’s cars are empty. 

All the cars’ interiors are drenched in blood.

As chaos descends, all those in the pavilion scramble to get out. But the horror is only beginning. High levels of deadly methane fill the tunnels. The structure begins to flood. For those who don’t drown, choke or spark an explosion, another terrifying danger awaits - the thing that killed all those people on the train. It’s out there...and it’s coming.

There's something living beneath New York City, and it's not happy we've woken it up.

©2018 James S. Murray (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bonkers

In the best way possible, it's really two books in one. Pleasantly discovered I had 5 hours left when I glanced down to see how many minutes were left.

It throws you around a bit like Die Hard with a Vengeance... but with monsters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this, Murr....

James Murray obviously tried to create something exciting here, and while it isn't terrible for a first novel, I have to wonder if it would've been published had he not already been a celebrity.
The characters and the story itself are all versions of things that had been done many times before. I tried to get into it, but I found myself losing focus constantly.
Murr's narration seems to echo my sentiment. He reads so fast it's as if he is also bored and just wants to get through it. He also sounds like the episode of Impractical Jokers when he gets all the novacaine... he stumbles over words and sounds like he has way too much spit in his mouth. Not to mention most of the characters have the same voice, which makes the whole presentation flat.
He probably has a chance at improving his writing and adding depth to his characters, but he should get someone else to do the narration, or at least swallow the soup in his mouth before reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

decent

the story is pretty cliche. all the tropes we've seen before. Murray needs a bit more practice on his narration also. learn when to emphasize and speak without breaks and pauses.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but narrator talks really fast

This is a great story, but the author/narrator talks too fast sometimes. I get the feeling he is is trying to set a suspenseful mood for very tense scenes, but he doesn't realize that since readers don't yet know the story as well as he does as the author, those parts can be a little hard to follow. It also makes things sound a bit manic at times. He has a very nice narrating voice, but the speed detracted somewhat from the experience for me.

Of course, if you routinely listen to books on higher speeds, then I think this will be perfectly fine for you.

I will read the next one by this author--and maybe even listen to it--but I hope he slows down.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intense

Fast paced high action conspiracy that stretches far into the ages. This is one that you don’t want to miss. Well written with excellent character development.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book

I love creature horror in all mediums. This book most definitely delivered. It was pretty original and kept me interested. It's a long way from Impractical jokers for James Murray but he did a great job! I look forward to hearing/reading more.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Heather
  • Matthews, NC, United States
  • 07-09-18

Surprisingly Great!!!

This is an amazing story! I didn't want to stop listening. Way to go Mur!!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Author is an actor, please act

I'm going to buy the hard copy and read it myself but had to stop because, even though I love Murray from Impractical Jokers, he doesn't bring any life to his characters that he created. If someone is female offer French, change your tone/accent at least a bit. There was zero inflection. I was enjoying the story so I will get the book and read it myself, doing my own accents.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julia
  • Freeland, MD, United States
  • 05-21-19

Did we listen to the same book?

All these 4-5 star reviews makes me think we didn't listen to the same book. Then I saw the other reviews that matched my thoughts. The writing was okay and an interesting story but the narration was annoying. Every single sentence was emphasized. There was no "conversational tone" and just didn't flow. I may have enjoyed this book more if I read it to myself. Like others said, cliche and predictable. I half listened (annoyed by constant screaming narrator) and couldn't wait for it to end. That being said, I'd try another book from the author - but not the same narrator, please.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best book ever!

This was one of the best books I've listened to in a long while. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. James Murray is an awesome author and i can't wait to listen to any more books that he might have for audible.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig
  • 10-31-18

Unbelievably Poor

Why do some authors think they can narrate their own books? It's incredibly arrogant and such an insult to actors who have trained to do the job. The narrator here, one half of the authors, hams it up for all its worth. There's no line that he can't William Shatner, no pause he can't put in the wrong place, no accent he can't attack and leave injured on the floor and no emphasis in the wrong... place... It's dire. I'll give him props for the energy, he certainly goes for it. But, it all merges into one ear-numbing monotone.
There's the plot, which borrows so heavily from 'Aliens' that I'm amazed James Cameron hasn't been in touch. Some of the story is interesting - certainly the opening couple of chapters lead you into thinking that there's an actual story ahead. But then you hit the rest of the book and realise that you've gone past the best part.
And then there's the writing itself. No subtlety, no character development beyond people shouting at each other, backgrounds shoe-horned in at the worst time and with prose that hits you over the head to tell you what you should think of the characters.
I love me some cheese and pulpiness, but it still has to be well written and read. And this ain't that.
Despite this review, I'm not a fan of bashing books, but I've struggled to find anything good to say here. Do yourselves a favour, avoid this like the lexical plague it is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte Taylor
  • 07-31-18

Gripping read! (and listen)

If you're looking for a gripping read, look no further! It will have you hooked from start to finish. By the end you will have your questions answered and will leave you asking more! It's scary, it's gruesome, it's awesome! Thankfully we don't have long to wait for book number 2! Cannot recommend highly enough. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David Shirley
  • 07-06-19

A Cocktail of Monster Mayhem

A heady monster blend with a splash of disaster classics and a twist of X-Files-esque paranoia to taste and served with a slice of Aliens on the rim.
With so many nods to so many influences in movies and literature it's amazing James Murray hasn't developed a crick in his neck though, as a fellow fan of such genres as Murr clearly is, I appreciate the familiarity of the tale with a distinct Big Apple flavour throughout.
It's not original but its engrossing, fun and leaves you eager for another sip.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-19

WORST NARRATION EVER...

This book dissapoints on every level but mostly, especially, in the narration. The narrator (one of the authors), reads everything in this truly annoying cheery tone whether it's a character telling a joke or someoe being eviscirated bloodily, it is told in the same happy sing-song lilt. He has no concept of punctuation or drama or timing or accents...indeed every single character, male or female, has the same voice...apart from the French character who is worse.

As for plot...derivative does not begin to describe it. The characters are cut from the purest cardboard, all are walking chiches, indeed the entire book is told and voiced in cliche after cliche.

I regret wasting my credit on this.