Book Review- Awakened

Thursday, 23 August 2018
Title: Awakened
Authors: James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth
Published: 26th June 2018
Pages: 304
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Series: Awakened #1

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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. -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Harper 360.
This novel is described as a terrifying and blood-curdling horror novel, and although it is scary in parts, I wouldn't quite hype it up to those heights. However, with this in mind, if you are sensitive to blood and gore then perhaps it's best to steer clear of this novel, there is quite a lot of this, and also a fair bit of violence too.
This novel is set in the future, in New York where a new subway line is being opened. However, the first carriage to travel along the line full of important visitors and guests arrives at the station empty and covered in blood. It sounds like an intriguing idea for a novel, and I think it would make an excellent movie or episode of a tv show, and in fact it is well-developed by the authors.
The plot does fall a little flat once the mystery of what is hiding in the depths of the subway is revealed to all the characters, the novel is at its strongest when the reader knows more than most of the characters. The sense of foreboding and tension that is built due to the knowledge the reader has is created well by the authors.
This novel is fast-paced and intense. The action starts with a bang on page 1 and it doesn't let up until page 304, it is definitely a quick read because it never stops.
I thought that there were some interesting villains in this novel, especially bearing in mind that there is something 'evil' living in the subway. The villains were well developed in general, and were dislikable in every way.
I do wish the other characters had been slightly better developed, the group of 'heroes' were all fairly similar, and the women were particularly disappointingly 2 dimensional. The characters also made some weird decisions in the novel which seemed out of character and were obviously made to further the plot. Related to the characters' lack of dimension, I did struggle to connect with most of the characters in this novel. This made me feel detached from that action a bit, and made me pretty uninvested in the characters and their survival.
However, this lack of interest only slightly dampened my enjoyment, it was still a action packed novel with lots of gore, and a clever sci-fi monster, which seems nicely set up for a sequel.


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