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Awakened

A Novel
Narrated by: James S. Murray
Series: Awakened, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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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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    1 out of 5 stars
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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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book

loved it. I just wanted to keep listening to it. very good narration by James Murray. can't wait for the sequel

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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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.

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  • MRH
  • 28-04-19

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ladanza25
  • 15-01-20

Stick with it...

I love Impractical Jokers - so that is what brought me here. I will admit that in the beginning, I had to listen to this book at a slower speed because I couldn't handle how fast Murr was reading. Not to mention, he is not as eloquent a speaker as I am used to hearing on audible. However all of that aside, and after a slow start, I found myself on edge and ready to hear more. I have now downloaded the second book in the series and can't wait to hear it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 21-05-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-03-19

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 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve C.
  • 22-01-19

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 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • T. Winter
  • 11-08-18

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph Hansen
  • 03-07-18

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rome
  • 07-08-18

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • 09-07-18

Surprisingly Great!!!

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert G
  • 07-01-20

I Wanted To Love It :-(

I’m a huge fan of the tv show, so I had to buy the book. I really really wanted to love it, but I didn’t. I thought it was decent for a first book, but not that great. The writing was okay and the narration could have been a lot better. The story seemed whole, but the whole double agent stuff seemed far fetched. All in all, it was okay. I won’t be reading any sequels and won’t be recommending it to anyone.