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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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Risen Gods weaves the natural elements with the supernatural. Locations are so vivid they feel like characters. The story follows three kinds of people. Those who believe in what they see, those who believe in what is unseen, and those who struggle as they move from no longer being able to deny the monsters a rationale mind can't comprehend. I enjoyed the characters who fell into each category as I wondered what I'd do if put in their shoes. Great if you are looking for a thrilling story you can consume in a short amount of time.