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Summary

Penn Mitchell vanishes from the NYU campus and shows up three months later on his mother's doorstep with a book screaming to get out of his head. When the FBI discovers the novel discloses top-secret information, they bring Penn in for questioning.

The interrogation goes sideways and Penn escapes into a subterranean world he thought was a figment of his imagination, a world where the US government is hiding, and at war with, an ancient race that has existed since the dawn of time.

©2016 Jeff Bennington (P)2018 Jeff Bennington

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Teeth, telepathy and claws.

The concept of this book is such a good one: a young aspiring author is kidnapped, missing for three months, then mysteriously arrives back at his home with no memory of what had happened in the intervening time. But nightmares start him writing and he published his resulting book, Federal Underground, to great acclaim and success, a story of government complicity and betrayal of the people to an abominable alien culture living beneath the ground. When arrested and questioned by the FBI, he is astonished to learn that certain parts of his fictional story are verifiably true and not just from his immagine. Escaping, Penn is taken into the nightmare world he had thought was all in his head.

Great idea with an intriguing introduction. But then it rather falls apart. Although the writing style is good and easy to read, the book is not straightforward, with apparent side stories liberally littering the earlier parts before Penn, the author, is ever introduced. The constant switching between characters, place and time is both irritating and confusing. After Penn's escape from custody, the story line becomes more coherent, concentrating on what happened to him and what he saw. But here again, the description, though good, for some reason did not conjure up a coherent picture for this reader apart from some vague memories of certain Christian art, and it seemed inexplicable that, with all the powers ascribed to them, those beneath the ground could not do better. Ah, well....

Apart from that, main protagonist characterisations were reasonable, if not particularly sympathetic. It was certainly an action filled book, especially in it's second half, but even with all disbelief suspended, the amount of time simply spent running seemed unrealistic. My thanks to the rights holder of Federal Underground who freely gifted me a copy, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. The narration by Andrew Tell was excellent, with individual voicings for each protagonist and the text read clearly with understang, good pace and intonation. Without his input, I would have been hard pressed to finish.
The book is complete of itself but the ending suggests more stories to come. I am undecided if I would continue to book two. Yes, I am still intrigued by the author/book idea but not as it was presented in this version of Federal Underground.

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Myth mixing with sci-fi conspiracy thriller

A university student vanishes for several months and when he returns he is having dreams that he needs to get out in the form of a fantastic tale that involves parts of the government colluding with an ancient subterranean race, but we soon learn that it is more than just a story.

This book is an interesting fictional take on the kind of ideas that crop up regularly in conspiracy theories that the author has used to craft a thriller with scifi trappings, besides the aforementioned Penn Mitchell, the most prominent character is FBI Agent Liz Ramsey who recognises one of the characters in Penn's book as her supposedly dead husband and wants to know more about where Penn got the information for his book.

The narrator of this book gave a good performance, nicely enhancing the overall story, giving the main characters suitably distinctive tones without going too far with them.

Overall, this book left things in an interesting position and I will look forward to seeing where the author goes in subsequent books.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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A great premise well delivered!

I love the idea of a race living below us that our government have managed out of the history books that equally surpasses us in technology. I like our main character he;s innocent but with a moral strength that really comes out by the end. I like the book within a book type idea that we get delivered.

Great characters all round. A really decent bad guy in terms of the race of Nephilim and I also really like this very new idea of what they are.

I enjoyed the narration, a good voice giving decent pace to the story and identifying each character nicely.

Very, very enjoyable. It's very much a stand alone story with the ease of being the first book in a saga which I also like. I hate having to wait for the next book.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review

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  • cosmitron
  • 21-04-18

X-Files on Steroids

Where does Federal Underground rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is better then average but it is a bit confusing at times to follow the various twists to a complicated plot.

What other book might you compare Federal Underground to and why?

Mix the X-Files with all the Gov conspiracy theories throw in some aliens and run it through
a blender for a few minutes and you have your story.

Have you listened to any of Andrew Tell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.... but it is a good performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Feds are in bed with aliens.

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Jayde
  • 02-05-18

The Aliens are from Earth

This was a very different story for me. Aliens, conspiracy theories, FBI, CIA. If it happens on Earth it was probably in this story.
I found it hard to get into. Sometimes the detail was overwhelming and probably unnecessary. I found the story interesting but at one point I had to ask myself if I wanted to keep listening and that is very rare for me.
Andrew Tell did an excellent job bringing this one to life. I really think his reading made the book better than it was.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rayc
  • 26-04-18

A great example of this genre

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

What can I say this book blew me away. So good in so many ways, Throughly entertaining.
Performance of this book is first rate and adds to the story.

Highly highly recommend this audiobook

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Layla
  • 02-05-18

Mixed views.

I really liked the narrator, I thougth he did a good job of voicing the many characters and I would listen ot his other works.

As for the book, I have mixed views on it. First there is profanity and violence but no sexual content (except for a rape scene which happens behind closed doors).
The plot I actually liked even though, I found certain things hard to believe like the writer and that alot happens in 24 hours. I would have expected more time to have passed.
The other thing I found with this story is that it is long. I thought there are quite a few places that could have been cut. I found that it slowed the book down and I have to admit that I switched off a few times.

Would I recommend it? Yes, overall I liked it and I thought the story had something that had me gripped to the book. It does end on a sort of a cliff hanger and I do want to find out what happens next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith LaDue
  • 24-04-18

Fascinating story,

Whew! This story both blew my mind and also offered up explanations for many questions in recorded history. But it is also a fast paced and exciting, thrill ride of a long string of what if's. Not only that, while I was getting my mind to wrap around what I just heard, I'd spend too much time on it and miss the next profound statement. That means I WILL be listening to this audio book again. I highly recommend this story to all that like the genre. Now for the obligatory: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deedra
  • 11-07-18

Federal Underground

I really enjoyed this sci fi/religious story.It was very original.Looking forward to book 2.Andrew Tell was a fantastic narrator for this project.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Merrill
  • 04-07-18

Logical look at stories in the bible.

Story: I found it to be a fun read. Easy to follow. Characters were memorable and real consequences keeps you interested to the end.

Structure: Book jumped back and forth in time and was easy to follow. Did not notice any errors or bad grammar.

Narrator: Was great but not enough range for female roles and some characters were rather annoying sounding. His enouciation of words were fine and able to understand him. Just needs some better range.

I received this book for free in exchange for a voluntary unbiased review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob Cooke
  • 12-06-18

A wonderfully imaginative and poignant story!

This book is incredibly interesting with a very unique story telling point of view.
The story unfolds in what feels like parts but starts to come together and make more and more sense the longer you are into the book. I love the intricacies of telling multiple points of view and timelines which weaves together seamlessly.
The characters have such organic development with some slow crawling and sudden leaps and jumps.

I think that those of a nature to believe in Urban Legends and Conspiracy theories will get a real kick out of this book and those that enjoy an adventure thriller will certainly enjoy the book.

The narration is very good offering unique characters and conveying emotion and tone throughout the performance.

In summation this is a book worthy of savouring and enjoying. I am still not sure that I got all of the clues along the way but a second reading will help confirm or deny that one for me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wanpakumono
  • 22-05-18

Great "man -vs- government" tale

This book was a joy to read: It has a single man (with some supernatural help) against an all-powerful, deep-pocketed government which, of course, knows what to do "for the greater good."
The storyline moves nicely from one event to another well: when one chapter ends you go "noooo not here!" only to begin the next chapter which picks up on another story which is said "noooo" when it ended.
The protagonist somehow creates what he thinks is a work of fiction which details real secret locations which he has never visited....the government wants to know how, and why this is possible. So did I.
The narration was well-done and added to the suspense of situations as well as the believeability of the characters.
I requested a copy of the book and agreed to give my feedback.

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  • Aurora Dawn
  • 16-05-18

Who's Running America

Expertly crafted and narrated, this one is full of "edge of your seat" suspense, melding the best of S.F., alien attack horror, conspiracy theory and cop drama to produce a compelling story of a young writer, an F.B.I. agent and a secret resistance force whose lives all come together in the battle against a millennia old, subterranean dwelling race that's been preying on mankind since Adam.
If you're an S.F. fan, this one's a must read.