Review: The Brink by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

The sequel to the international bestseller (including #1 Sunday Times bestseller) Awakened, by one of the stars of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers and a bestselling science fiction author.

Former NYC Mayor Tom Cafferty has been haunted by the horror of a single day. The opening of the brand new Z-train subway line beneath the Hudson River—the supposed shining moment of his tenure. But the ribbon-cutting ceremony turned deadly when the train carrying Cafferty’s wife and other citizens was attacked by a horde of hyper intelligent, bloodthirsty creatures previously unknown to humanity.

Everything changed for Cafferty, ex-NYPD officer Sarah Bowcut, and tech-expert Diego Munoz that day. They had uncovered the deadly truth: the attack was no accident.

And now the creatures that wreaked havoc underneath New York have spread worldwide, and with a massive cover-up—and a secret organization holding nations hostage with the knowledge of how to kill them—Cafferty’s team must fight against impossible odds to save the entire planet from an apocalyptic scale disaster.

An explosive and thrilling international adventure, the stakes are even higher in the latest book from bestselling duo James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth!

The Brink by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth. Book #2 in the Awakened series. Audiobook was narrated by James. S. Murray. Published by Harper Audio, June 2019. Unabridged, 8 hours and 3 mins.

The premise for this series- subterranean creature feature is so up my alley! I flew through the first book, Awakened, and eagerly (and not so patiently) waited for book # 2 to come out. I was seriously counting down the days until it was out. I had pre-ordered it on Audible and it could not arrive fast enough!

The Brink opens up straight into action. We get a little bit of a taste of a prologue set at the end of WWII. I think there is a prequel in the works (more on that later)! Much like the first book, the 2nd one does not like to waste any time getting to the meat of the story and charging through the action. The Brink does have a few more quiet spots, but over all, they do not last for long before shit is going crazy again.

There is not a ton of re-cap about the first book. You get just enough to jog your memory. If you didn’t read the first book, I think this one might be a little bit confusing. The re-caps don’t go in to a huge amount of detail and they keep it pretty vague. This series definitely needs to be read in order!

The same cast of characters pick up the story about a year-ish later. While Awakened introduced us to the creatures, The Brink focuses more on the secret organization pulling all the strings and using the creatures as weapons. The creatures are still in this book, of course, and there are some real WTF moments with them, but for the most part this book is all about our scrappy group of heroes attempting to gather allies before facing off against the evil organization leader. About being so hyper focused and obsessed with victory that you will do whatever it takes. Very entertaining, although I do wish it had been more about the creatures instead.

James S. Murray, or Murr as he’s known on his comedy tv show, is the narrator again for this series. I like and dislike his performance. Murray is not big on doing accents or much variation, and sometimes that can be a tiny bit confusing. He can do every day city man and elite rich man. That is about it. Don’t go in to the audio expecting some huge voice acting range where everyone sounds like a totally different actor is doing it. What Murray lacks in range, though, he makes up for with animated energy and passion. He LOVES this story. He LOVES these characters. He nails the emotion of every character and every scene. Think of Murray, not as a voice actor for an audio book, but as a camp counselor telling a scary story around a campfire late into the night.

The Brink did not shy away from the gore factor and the battle really escalated fast. 😮 I’m not sure what kind of fallout the world is going to have from some of the stuff that happens in this book. I think the Awakened series is a trilogy, so I’m very curious as to what is going to happen in the last book. What kind of future is in store for both humans and the creatures?

I don’t know if this is in the printed or ebook copy, but at the end of this audio there was a Q and A with the two authors. It was about 30 mins long. It was very interesting to get to hear them and they gave away a lot of insight on their ideas and writing style for the series. They also talked a little bit about things to come, like maybe a prequel of the early formation of the secret organization. 😮 It was a really nice little interview type segment, and I am really happy that they put that in there. Very fun.


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