Nothing is more rewarding to an author than seeing their book reviewed. It doesn’t really matter all that much whether it’s positive or negative. The fact that someone took the time and effort to read your novel and write a review is humbling. Positive rewiews are better, of course. They stroke our ego and make us feel good about ourselves. Still, nobody has managed to write only stellar fiction and critical reviews help us grow as writers and create better future work for you, the reader. We must expect criticism as much as we hope for compliments.
Thankfully, Under the Black Sand enjoyed favourable reviews, only getting four or five stars. There weren’t many, but each one encouraged me to keep going. I never received any reviews for my second novel, Blood and Rain. There may be all kinds of reasons for that.
– The genre may be less popular. Everyone was mad about Nordic and Icelandic things.
– The book may be less interesting, but then, it is being translated into two languages, unlike the Black Sand.
– I didn’t push it like the first.
Maybe I should have. I love the setting and some of my favourite characters are in it. Celestina definitely has the best character introduction in any of my stories.
Here is hoping Undir Svörtum Sandi will be reviewed when it comes out in just under two weeks. It will encourage me to write more, maybe in my native language, and it will tell me if I’m doing things well or need to improve in certain areas.
Below are some of the reviews placed for Under the Black Sand.
★★★★★ – Amazon
A unique story in a unique environment.
21 January 2015 – A story unlike other love stories. Contains all the aspects that makes you want to keep on reading (power, lust, love and well described feelings and sceneries). Movie material.
★★★★★ – Amazon UK
Unusual fast moving story
28 May 2014 – I bought this book as I like stories based in Iceland. It sat in my ‘wish list’ for ages as I was unsure whether or not to buy. There were no reviews to guide me. However I am so happy that I did in the end purchase it.
This fast moving story is about a forceful businessman, set in todays post 2008 bank collapse Iceland, trying to get a large project passed a political and environmental resistance to his plan. As the story develops you get flashbacks to the past, his past, which eventually consumes his time. It is a story of love over the centuries, of struggle against hard times and also of murder. I cannot give to much away as this will ruin your enjoyment. If you like a slightly supernatural story this is for you. Very good.
★★★★ – Amazon
6 February 2015 – Very good story; starts a bit slow, but if you keep going it will eventually grip you. It made me want to watch the short movie in which the book is based. I very much enjoyed the way the history of Iceland is used as a backdrop for the story, that works very well. The pronunciation guide was a nice touch, by the way.
★★★★ – Goodreads
Nordic spirits and a Nordic Tiger
11 May 2015 – This crime novel swings from standard mystery to very different mythology. Very pleasing story that is tied up well. Most of the characters are very real but not sympathetic. No sweethearts traipsing through this tundra. Great melding of ancient and co temporary conflict.
★★★★ – Bol (translated from Dutch)
29 September 2019 – An intriguing, non-linear, dark and moody book. Well written but no easy meal. The experienced reader will be rewarded with a beautiful and powerful story.