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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 07-05-18

Candidate For Best of 2018

Awakened doesn’t waste any time. We meet a tunnel boring operator and are thrown (almost literally) into the chasm that is to be the introduction of this intense story. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but I knew within the first few pages what I was in for.

The first third of this book was really done. We meet some characters and are quickly/partially introduced to the monsters of the story. The line that the survivors and the affected take (terrorism) made perfect sense when things like Murray and Wearmouth describe aren’t supposed to exist. I particularly liked the “Jaws-like” “there is something there but we can’t see it” aspect of it. In the beginning, we’re not sure if it’s because they don’t like light or for some other reason – but it definitely adds to the tension and horror in Awakened.

This book reminded me of a few other books that I’ve read including “Hell Holes” by Donald Firesmith and “Broken Shells” by Michael Patrick Hicks. Not enough to make me dislike this book at all. I thought that they had a unique enough story that it was worth reading.

The interweaving storylines, changing of characters, and the “deep state”/conspiracy theory part of the books kept me riveted to this book. I couldn’t let it down. I ended up finishing it in a traffic jam today and I was mad that I didn’t have more story to listen to!

Overall, I thought that Awakened was an excellent book that will probably make my Best of 2018. I enjoyed it that much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good, but I'm iffy if I'll Read Book 2

Awakened takes place in a bunch of POV's, but the main characters are Mike Cafferty, President Reynolds, Diego Muñoz, Ellen Cafferty, a SWAT team member whose last name is Ducote, I believe, and a few others. The story is about how the mayor of New York, Mike Cafferty, has just completed what is known as the Z-Train, which connects New Jersey and Manhattan just below the Hudson River (I don't know New York well, so, if I'm wrong, I apologize). On its inaugural run from Jersey to New York, a hole opens up underground on the way and 99% of the people on board the train are brutally murdered by creatures that are pitch black, have a few rows of teeth, and long claws. What arrives at the station is the train with two cars with body parts everywhere. The president is rushed into the chamber where the MTA workers are, behind a thick metal door. The plan is to get the president out by submarine and, hopefully, get the survivors out alive. When the hole opened up, the level of methane poured into the open area, because that's what the creatures are used to breathing. With the oxygen depleting and the high risk of an explosion from the methane, the odds are against the characters as they come to realize what kind of situation they're really in.

This book was fun, interesting, exciting, and had a lot of gore, horror, and creepiness; my only issue is that nothing was really giving me the "WOW" factor. When I listened to this book, I thought of the movie, 'The Descent.' Now, I realize that the creatures in the film are pale, aren't as big, and don't have claws, but they were sensitive to light and did attack with their teeth. So, the book didn't have a super original idea in my opinion. Don't get me wrong; the idea of the secret society spoken about was very intriguing, but I just don't know if I'm dedicated enough to pick up the second one.

As far as storyline, I'll be giving this book a B-: passing grade with decent characters and a fun story, but it didn't wow me like it could've. And, I'll be honest: when the book started and the author said he'd be reading the book, I sighed so loudly. BUT... he actually did a decent job. I mean, besides actors that read their own memoirs, I think he was pretty solid at acting out the characters he wrote. So, I was going to give him a solid B for his performance.

Overall, good, not great, but worth checking out if you don't have a long list of books to read.

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Scooby-Doo rerun

This book reads a little better than a Scooby-Doo cartoon. I wanted to like this book because I love watching Impracticable Jokers. I would like to see them make an action comedy.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Save your credits

I powered my way through listening to this thing to the bitter end so you won't have to. Spoiler alert: it's bad. Very bad. If it were a movie, it'd be The Beast of Yucca Flats bad. I wasted a credit on it. I could have stopped part way through and gotten a refund, but I wanted to write an honest review so that all you people wouldn't waste your credits and time on it. You're welcome.

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  • Maureen H.
  • Parsippany, NJ, United States
  • 07-18-18

Impressive!!

I preordered this book forever ago and started reading the hardcover version, when I realized that I didn't want to wait until I got home from work to continue. I downloaded the audio book and I couldn't be happier with my decision.

We are huge Murr fans in my house but I was a bit apprehensive to order the book. I'm so glad I did. It is my preferred genre. It's so well-written and I didn't find it to be too predictable. I'm upset with some events, but that's a good thing. I listen to a ton of audio books and this is my favorite fiction reading yet. He is fantastic.

I would love to see a movie or series based on this.

I'm guessing that there will be at least a sequel and I can't wait for it. Well done, and thank you for a great read and performance.

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Builds

The story was slow to start, but built a ton of momentum and suspense. Despite some over-used phrases of the action/horror genre("cold steel" etc.), James Murray sank his teeth into this story and didn't let go until the end.

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Well done!

Kudos to James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth on a very suspenseful story. The narration by one of the authors was perfect. This reading made me want to be on my commute and I hated to turn the car off at the end of my drive. Thank goodness my commute was not by subway!

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Great book!

Awakened is an awesome novel. James Murray's first book is a definite winner. This sci-fi thriller will keep you at the edge of your seat. Murray does an amazing job at portraying the suspense of the story and of all the characters in the audio version. Whether you choose the hard copy or the audio version, you will not be disappointed!

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Truly entertaining

Highly recommend this book. It is dark, gruesome & enjoyable from start to finish! James Murray’s narration is well done! Very great job. DO Not BUY for the IJ laughs-this is an entirely different & still entertaining Murr!