Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Fires, by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir {ends 2/8}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

This is a really unpleasant position to be in, repeats the commissioner, looking at Júlíus and me like we’re responsible for the whole thing. There’s really no way to say what will happen next?

We’re sitting around an oval meeting table in the coordination center, people clutch their coffee mugs, and a plate of grayish pastries and wan doughnuts is arranged in the middle. The tension is palpable.

If I’m understanding you correctly, there’s nothing to specifically indicate there will be another eruption, says Stefán, stroking his shiny tie. It’s vital that we don’t fuel unnecessary fears amongst the public.

I look at him – after our meeting in the spring, I felt like I got him. He’s barely thirty, but his hair’s already thinning, he’s got his initials embroidered onto the cuffs of his custom-made shirt, he looks at this stint on the Scientific Council as his ticket to advancing through the ranks of officialdom. He’s as methodical as Júlíus is temperamental, as starched as Júlíus is rumpled, and they seem to have a physical aversion to one another. The seismologist opens his mouth to answer the bureaucrat, but I send him a warning look and he thinks better of it, keeps his mouth shut.

So much conflict—men vs. women, science vs. business, the earth vs. its population.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Fires, by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir {ends 2/8}
After an eight-hundred-year slumber, the volcanoes in Iceland’s most populated region are showing signs of life. Earthquakes dominate the headlines. Echoes of the devastating eruptions in the past stir unease in the people.

Volcanologist Anna Arnardóttir has spent her entire life studying the volcanic powers under the earth’s crust, but even she cannot fathom the catastrophe at hand.

As a series of eruptions threaten most of Iceland’s population, she’s caught off her rational guard by the most terrible natural disaster of all—love. The world as she knows it is about to fall apart, and so is her heart.

Caught between the safety of a nation and her feelings for her children, her lover, and her past, Anna embarks on a dangerous journey to save the lives of the people she loves—and her soul.

The reader starts out seeing Anna primarily as her job title—she’s a geoscientist, an expert in volcanoes in an area built on volcanoes, but hasn’t seen substantial volcanic activity. She’s practical, and makes decisions about her job and her life based on the science, never on something as flighty as feelings.

When Anna finds herself suddenly overwhelmed by a passionate love, and the science of the volcano stops giving her straight answers, she doesn’t know how to respond to it all. Her choices begin to change the path of everything, as her life as she knew it quickly unravels.

The writing/translation style took a little bit of getting used to (as in the quotes above, no quotation marks are used), but the conversations were easy enough to discern from the main character’s internal dialogue.

While the ending may not be considered anyone’s happily-ever-after, this reader feels it was perfect for the book. This book was 5 out of 5 stars, and strongly recommended for those who enjoy family dramas, stories about Iceland, and those who don’t need a traditional happy ending. 

{click here to purchase—currently free for Kindle Unlimited users!}

Becki Bayley is a wife and mom. She enjoys curling up with a good book, enjoying movies and tv with her family, and watching the birds. Check out more of her life on Instagram as PoshBecki.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Fires!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, February 8th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Fires, by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir


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