Awakened, written by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth, is a story that involves a big fear of mine: underground subways. It may be the claustrophobia talking, but there is something I just can’t handle when it comes to dark tunnels full of nothingness, bugs, and more that could just come collapsing down at any moment. I mean what if the train stalled and there’s nothing around?! I am not getting out and walking in that… bye. I’ve seen movies like Cloverfield where that TERRIFIES me.
Awakened is the story of New York finally getting an express train that connects itself with even more communities than ever before. It goes fast, too! We open the book with the inaugural run of the express train and all the bigwigs are there for it. But what we see first horrifies us. The train cars come back empty, soaked, and covered in blood! What the hell? There’s definitely something underneath New York City that has just been awakened.
The plot sounds 100% fire to me! Right? Things I really enjoyed about this book: the opening few chapters, the pace at which the book reads, the badass female character we have in Bowcut. This story is a blend of Aliens, The Descent, and The Strain for me. We have primal creatures and a political conspiracy combining as a huge threat to mankind. But that is where the book also begins to lose me. I was expecting FULL on horror, and that is how the book began. But it morphs into this action-packed political thriller with government conspiracies and a history of corrupt people. The few times we see more of the creatures I was enthralled – I loved them and they were seriously freaking me out! But I wanted and needed MORE scary creatures and MORE blood and gore. There seemed to be the wrong mix of action vs. suspense that affected me not enjoying this more than I do.
I would recommend this book, but not as a pure horror novel. It is more of a thriller with monsters than it is a monster horror book with suspenseful moments, if that makes sense. It is a quick read with some great moments and I was entertained most of the book. The reader is also left to assume there is going to be a sequel in the works. I am going to give it three out of five stars. If there is a sequel, I know I will read it. But I will also go into it knowing that it is not a pure horror novel and has extreme aspects similar to political thrillers/mysteries.
Thanks to Harper Voyager for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review!