Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Audio Book Review: Risen Gods

Risen Gods

By:  J.F. Penn & J. Thorn

Publish Date:  November 23, 2015, Audiobook March 8, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 4 hrs 18 mins
Narrated By:  C.J. McAllister

Genre:  Dark Fantasy Adventure

Series:  Stand alone

Impression:  The gods of legends are returning, and the world is crumbling for humans.

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 action adventure set against the backdrop of Aotearoa/New Zealand, rich with the myth and history of the island.

First Sentence:
In the Time Before, Ranginui, god of the sky, and Papatuanuku, goddess of the earth, were joined together in their love.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Ben and Lucy are out on dinghies having fun racing with the wind in their hair and sails. Suddenly the air chills and dark clouds roll in, bringing a tidal wave with it. Ben speaks a prayer when separated from Lucy in their rush to return to shore. The protection chant to the god of the sea changes his view, and he sees beyond the wave to a terrible, starving tentacle monster inside the towering wave rushing to New Brighton. New Zealand is rocked by a tidal wave, earthquakes and after shocks, and volcano eruptions as unnatural things take over. It doesn't matter what the people believe, the gods are coming. Ben's grandfather wants to make a journey to the ancient ice, where the veil between the worlds is thin, to offer the gods a talisman handed down for generations. With the smoke demons attacking, Ben makes the trip on his own. Lucy is given her own protection pendant and makes the journey to save her sister, and the land.

In the beginning I felt as though the narrator was a bit emotionless in his voicing of the story. When we get news clips sharing the devastation with 'viewers' and information about New Zealand and it's natural events of earthquakes and such, C.T.'s voice fits for them. C.T. does do different voice tones and softness for each character when they speak, different from the story line. The audio was clear and clean sounding.

The story is a journey for Ben and Lucy to find each other again after being separated along with stopping the gods from destroying the humans that have lived here for ages. They never told each other they loved the other, but in the wake of the disasters they realize it. They also know they need to survive and save their families, or what's left of their families, too.

The story dives into the magic of the Maori people of New Zealand. We get to see quickly the enchantment of the prayers when used, and the creatures that are present. There is a connection between the people and to nature, we get to see this with Ben and his Grandfather. Grandfather tells the humans have abused the land of the gods, and they are coming to reclaim it. Grandfather is an Elder of the local tribe and close to the land. Ben knew the Maori believed in many gods and creatures but never believed in them.

We get most of the story from Ben and Lucy's POV. Seeing what is happening and the evils through their eyes. We do get moments from a few others that give us a view on broader things people do in a time of chaos and also a view on our two characters.

I didn't feel as I got close to the characters in this story. With being a shorter story, it felt as though the story focused on the events happening and not the characters connecting to the reader. Maybe that's something with the audio, but it fell short on that end for me.

I have read a few New Zealand based books with Maori beliefs and legends and enjoyed them. For some reason I wasn't drawn into this book as I thought I'd be. Was it the narration? Was it the writing and style? I'm not sure. Maybe both. It didn't feel as though the characters were expanded and given a chance for us to relate to them. I think it might have been the writing in that token.

*If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible.


  1. Hmmm I think it would fall a bit short for me as well since it didn't connect with the reader much. Great review :)

    1. LilyElement, I think if the book was a bit long it would have been perfect because it could focus more on the characters rather than the events. But that's just my thoughts. Many have enjoyed it. :)

  2. Sorry this didn't wow you like you expected. I would have been drawn in by the Maori ethnic aspects and I would be disappointed if it let me down as well.

    1. Melissa (B&T) I'm wondering if I went in with high expectations because of J.F. Penn, she's an amazing author. I don't know. It was the Maori that drew me in too! lol.

  3. That's a cool style by the narrator, starting very cool then ups the intensity as the story progress.

    P.S. Hello! I hope Life is done kicking your butt for the meantime. Thanks for stopping by :)


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