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Risen Gods  By  cover art

Risen Gods

By: J. F. Penn, J. Thorn
Narrated by: C. J. McAllister
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Publisher's summary

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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Action-packed thrill ride!

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.

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