The Fires

Brilliance Audio. Dec. 2022. tr. from Icelandic by Larissa Kyzer. 9:49 hrs. ISBN 9781799788751. $42.99. THRILLER
Icelandic novelist and journalist Björnsdóttir’s (Island) latest is an exhilarating romantic thriller set against the backdrop of Iceland’s volcanic Reykjanes Ridge. When the long-slumbering Icelandic volcanic ridge begins to show signs of coming to life, volcanologist Anna Arnardóttir uses scientific analysis to try to predict the unpredictable. Anna’s work is complicated by political bureaucracy, which pits financial gain against the safety of the Icelandic people. At the same time, Anna meets freelance photographer Tómas Adler; sparks fly between the two, threatening to upend Anna’s decades-long marriage. The increasing strain of Anna’s personal and emotional struggles is mirrored by the power dynamics and politics that come into play as disaster looms. Actress, producer, and narrator Nina Yndis skillfully brings out the tension that runs throughout. Her Icelandic accent adds a note of authenticity to this already riveting story.
VERDICT Björnsdóttir’s steamy thriller should appeal to readers of romantic suspense and cataclysmic fiction and to anyone interested in learning about the geology and history of Icelandic volcanoes. Share with fans of Ragnar Jónasson’s Outside or Harry Turtledove’s Supervolcano Explosion.
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