Can Ben and Lucy battle the Risen Gods to find each other again and save the country from destruction?
When a tidal wave strikes the coast of New Zealand, Ben Henare and Lucy Campion are separated in the chaotic aftermath. As earthquakes shake the land and volcanoes erupt on the Pacific Rim of Fire, Ben wrestles with his Maori heritage as he faces the supernatural powers that threaten the land of Aotearoa. He must fight his way north on a quest through ice caves and oceans, battling the manifestations of the evil god Whiro and the creatures of the sky.
Lucy faces personal tragedy and human evil on her own trek, confronting a mighty demon of the deep as she crosses into the Cook Strait. Then Ruaumoko, god of the volcano, stirs, and the powers of the land threaten to pull the country into the sea.
As the people they love are threatened and Aotearoa begins to crumble in the face of natural disaster, can Ben and Lucy battle the Risen Gods to find each other again and save the country from destruction?
Risen Gods is a dark fantasy adventure set against the backdrop of Aotearoa/New Zealand, rich with the myth and history of the island.
©2016 J.F.Penn and J. Thorn (P)2016 J.F.Penn and J. Thorn
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I initially bought the ebook, and then I won a free copy of the audiobook from one of the authors in return for an honest review.
First, I want to comment on the narration. The narrator did a good, solid performance with really good pacing and excellent pronunciation of unusual Maori words. He has a pleasant, slightly gravelly voice. I have one minor complaint that when he is not doing characters' voices he sometimes sounds a too clinical and slightly monotone as if he is reading the nightly news. He does not attempt any New Zealand accents (he sounds American all the time), but I was fine with that. He is as good at women's voices as he is with men's, and he differentiates various characters' voices well. In addiction, the production was almost always very good. However, once in a while, I can tell there are one-sentence-long sections that I can tell were recorded later in a different location that has an unpleasant echo.
This book is an imaginative thrill ride that I loved. It is a natural disaster story mixed with thrilling action and fascinating fantasy based on the religion of the Maori, the native New Zealand culture. If, like me, you love Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", then try this action-packed novella-length story of several people trying to save New Zealand after the sleeping Gods rise up and cause all kinds of natural disasters. There are earthquakes, a tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and storms! It is also a cool travelog of all the most famous places in New Zealand from Auckland all the way to the far northern tip. Unlike crappy action movies, the action in this book makes sense, and the characters' escapes from death sound plausible to me.
FYI, there are no sex scenes, but I would rate it PG-13 or R because of some bloody injuries and some occasional chilling violence. Thankfully, there are no love triangles and very little romance. This is a highly enjoyable fantasy novella and audiobook. I have told all of my finds who like fantasy that they really need to try it.
Risen Gods is a great supernatural thriller. Ben Henare and Lucy Campion are two best friends living in New Zealand. Both have grew up together. Ben is from a Maori heritage while Lucy is Western. Lucy is enjoying her vacation from medical school with Ben. When a tsunami separated Ben and Lucy, both hoped to regroup back on land without realizing that the ancient gods of Maori have awaken and are very angry of how the native islanders have mistreated their land. The gods needed to be appease.
Ben has grown up with his grandfather's teaching of heritage. Ben has never believed that the ancients gods of Maori are true. When the evil god Whiro has taken his grandfather, Ben has to make the journey north. Ben is assisted by Gina, a Westerner to make the journey north.
Lucy returned home in search of her family. The tsunami has taken her parents but her sister Amber survived the natural disaster. With Amber, Lucy searched for a Red Cross shelter. With the rumbling of the volcano, Amber became separated from her. Lucy searched for Amber and stumbled upon a Maori named Rangi. With Rangi's help, Lucy is reunited with her sister. However, having been warned by an old woman, Lucy has to go north with Rangi to make an offering to appease the gods from destroying the island.
What I love about this story is the myth and history of the Moari culture. I love the background description of New Zealand and how the myth is interwoven into the story. I love the element of how the gods are angry with the people of not respecting and taking care of the land when they decide to slumber and woken up of how the land is abused by the people. This is the reflection of how we can be so selfish and careless in destroying nature (hence the Greenhouse effects).
Another thing I love about the story is that it shows how human nature is. While there are decent people who help each other in a natural disaster, there are also people who profit for their own gains.
This story has so many elements presented. When the readers read and analyze the story, it is the true reflections of human nature. The storyline is predictable but the story truly captures the readers' attention. I couldn't put the book down because I want to take the journey with Ben and Lucy knowing that Ben and Lucy would be able to save New Zealand from the gods.
The narrator, C.J. McAllister does a good job. He does give life to the characters but the narration voice and the broadcast voice sounds the same. It is a fact stating voice that doesn't give the listeners a feel for the story except through the characters. His pronunciation of the Maori language is excellent. It gives that native feeling to the story.
I was given this ebook by the author in exchange of an honest review. I was not compensated or influence in any way for writing this review.
I want to start off by stating that I am a huge fan of both J. Thorn's and J.F. Penn's work. I have read most of their books as individual authors. I was optimistic that both authors working together would make a lethal combination. And I wasn't disappointed. The story was solid and the pacing and action was perfect. This was my first audio book and it took me a little adjustment time to the different format. But I liked it. The narrator spoke clearly and differentiated the characters which I found helpful. Great job and I highly recommend the audio version.
Thorn and Penn combined to write a great disaster book that kept me entertained seeing what would happen to the main characters. The narrator did a good job also. I will definitely read more books by these authors in the future.
I've always enjoyed novels based on Ancient Gods and Risen Gods will be added to the list. I've been a fan of J.F. Penn for years and always enjoy her novels. I was intrigued when I saw she was co-writer with J. Thorn. I like the result so much that I've looked up some books by J. Thorn to give them a try. I listened to it in one sitting, the fast pace of the story line just kept me from turning it off.
RISEN GODS is a story of modern day New Zealand as seen through the eyes of native people and longtime residents who remember and still believe in the old gods of the land, air and sea. Having lost their families and friends, Ben and Lucy discover they have always been destined to be together and to protect their homeland.
Well written and professionally delivered. RISEN GODS is a book of love and inner strength, a book of discovery you will want in your library.
I am a wee bit over the half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lo
I found this story to be interesting,yet confusing at spots.A tidal wave takes out a village and the boy and girl who are surfing are part of the big plan to save civilisation.They meet and lose people along the way and it ends rather abruptly.C.J. McAllister starts out slow,but his style eventually comes through and is good.I was given this book free for an honest review.
I am listening to something everyday!
Enjoyed the book, well worth the credit!
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
Best, Blow Pop
I wasn't fully happy with the story (which, will happen from time to time) because a little bit of it felt a bit white saviour-y to me. I did enjoy the chosen one(s) trope in this book (though it's not a true chosen many trope). I can't say that this book isn't culturally insensitive or culturally sensitive. Nor can I say that the author is or isn't Māori.
I did enjoy the narration of this audiobook.
If you aren't worried about cultural sensitivities or accuracy (so sue me. I KNOW it's fiction but it still matters to me when using real life places and cultures) this is an enjoyable read/listen. If you are, proceed with caution and use your own best judgement.
We sell Vintage and Retro items on line. We teach children urban gardening and robotics. Traveling around the USA is our favorite hobby.
I always love stories that have the mystical Maori magic and traditions. This has a nice mixture of ritual, magic and the fury of the Gods. The volcanic eruptions are described so well that I felt like I was actually there watching. A tidal wave, earthquakes, tremors and volcanos spewing hot lava all over the place is one good way to get the attention of the clueless humans.
Lucy and Ben are the main characters that are out on the ocean off the coast of New Zealand. They are having a great time. The sky gets dark and a tidal wave hits. When they get separated Ben uses a prayer sea god for protection. Ben has a vision and can see a monster with tentacles in the wave.
It’s the end of the world. The gods are angry. When Ben and Lucy get back together they know that they must stop the gods from destroying humans. Not all gods are good. The gods are pissed off and coming to take back the land. The humans have abused and neglected the gifts and it is time for a grand old fight.
The Maori religion is nature based. Ben’s Grandfather is a Maori Elder. This particular elder has taken on the responsibility of keeping everyone informed. He knows that the balance with the gods is off and not in a good way.
Ben never believed in these stories. He was a full believer after he continues to have encounters with powerful angry gods. His Grandfather wants to appease the gods by taking an offering to a remote place where the veil of the worlds is the thinnest. Ben takes the offering instead. Lucy goes in search of her sister. Then the story gets even better.
I really enjoyed the narrator. I like that he does not butcher the New Zealand accent. There is nothing worse than a crappy accent. He read this with a normal English (American) voice. The action is fast paced. This story is well written and I can envision the scenes with vivid detail in my mind’s eye. I will listen to this again.
This audiobook was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
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