Reviews

downloadOver 100 readers, reporters and bloggers have reviewed or rated The Black Lens on both Amazon and Goodreads with a 4-star average. Here are just a few highlights:

“As a survivor of sex trafficking myself, I went in with concerns that this fiction book wouldn’t accurately portray the reality of trafficking. Society has so many misconceptions about human trafficking because of movies like Taken and false imagery of girls with chains … With that being said, my concern of this book adding to those misconceptions diminished more and more as I read. This book is not only an engaging page turner but also accurately portrays how some young girls get pulled into this horrific life. I highly recommend this book.”

Jennifer Kempton, survivor of sex trafficking and founder of Survivor’s Ink, a nonprofit organization that funds cover-up tattoos to replace slavery brands

“I am a survivor of this horrific crime and the author did a fantastic job capturing what a victim truly experiences. Though this book is fiction, it happens just like this in our country. It was compelling and riveting and I couldn’t put it down. It is a must read for every parent and teen.”

Theresa Flores, trafficking survivor, founder of TraffickFree and best-selling author of The Slave Across the Street

“Gritty, unforgiving and in some places downright shocking, The Black Lens is nevertheless a stunning read, from the first page to the last … With an adept use of description, characterization and action and through use of simple yet powerful language, author Christopher Stollar alternates chapters from Zoey’s and Aidan’s points of view, further building suspense. And the material is not just graphic for the sake of it. “There are 20.9 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking, including 5.5 million children,” writes the author in an end note. And this book did indeed take a village: published with funds garnered from a Kickstarter campaign, the author is donating 10 percent all proceeds to organizations that battle modern slavery. But with an eye-grabbing cover, a structure that seamlessly interweaves the overall theme of photography (and pornography), this book rivals — if not surpasses — its commercially published brethren. It may indeed raise awareness of human trafficking and exploitation of women in the same manner as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Twelve Years a Slave did for slavery.”

Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards

The book gets off to a strong start, with an anxious and skin-crawling account of the party that Zoey attends with her sister, and only gets more tense from there. This reader finds this kind of tension uncomfortable, especially as it deals with the sexual exploitation of teenage girls, one of whom is mentally disabled, but the book does a very good job laying out how this kind of crime can happen in modern days with modern technology. Zoey is a likable and compelling character, and her pluck and determination in the face of the horrors she is dealt are admirable.”

Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

“A provocative story through and through that exposes the “underbelly” of sex trafficking in America. Revolving around two daughters and a mother who struggle to survive in a cruel and day-to-day lifestyle, the story is both gritty and incredibly eye-opening to a world that has remained largely ignored or hidden due its depraved and illegal nature. The writing style was extremely vivid, pulling the audience into the raw realism of a chaotic environment and the constant state of self-preservation victims of the sex trade have to endure. This narrative also seems to promise a gripping progression of events when one of the daughters chooses to pursue vengeance on her pimp for killing their mother. From what can be seen here, it seems very plausible that a concept of this design would garner interest from producers or studios seeking to adapt an original dark thriller.” 

Judge, Book Pipeline Competition

“After many years of research and interviewing, Stollar peels back the curtain on prostitution in America. Although The Black Lens is fiction, it’s pretty close to the truth and it’s a gut wrenching book to read … Stollar paints a sad picture of society that screams for a solution and an end to human trafficking. Read it and weep for the poor women trapped in a terrible situation. Everyone should read this book.”

Miriam Kahn, book reviewer for The Columbus Dispatch newspaper

“To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, won The Pulitzer Prize for fiction. One critic called the book ‘the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.’ The Black Lens could have a similar impact – it is superbly written, and is getting a lot of attention. It recently made it into the Kindle books Top Ten Crime Thrillers. But the book is not an easy read. It made me feel gritty. It is disturbing. It is hard and raw. Stollar’s wordsmithing skill is that good. Above all, it made me wonder what I could do to help.”

Leon Pantenburg, former reporter at The Bulletin newspaper

Chris Stollar uses all of his journalism skills to bring this meticulously researched novel to life while shedding light on one of the more horrific aspects of modern culture and globalization. Chris’s book puts you into the nitty gritty of how trafficking function in contemporary society. A helpful and engaging read for those diving deeper into this difficult subject.”

Ken Wytsma, author of Pursuing Justice and founder of The Justice Conference

“This fictional account of sex trafficking was a fast paced page turner. It also has an important message regarding the horrors of this heinous growing industry. It takes brave people like C Stollar to help draw out an intolerance in our society for a crime that goes on under our noses.”

The Guardian Group, a nonprofit organization that fights sex trafficking with the help of former elite military and special operations forces who work directly with law enforcement agencies across the country

“The Black Lens book written by author Christopher Stollar is by far the best of our time. It provides compelling truths of how greed and corruption thrives at the expense of our most vulnerable, our children, in his thrilling novel. A must read. We’re very proud of Mr. Stollar for his great efforts in shedding light on the greatest human rights violations of our time.”

Dance For Freedom, a nonprofit organization that provides education on how to combat human trafficking

“Christopher Stollar did years of research into this hideous industry before writing The Black Lens and whilst it’s not an easy read, certainly not a fluffy subject matter, sometimes fiction can get the message across just as well as, if not better than non-fiction. The Black Lens endeavours to get this powerful message across and does it really well.”

Maxine Groves, top 100 best global reviewers on Goodreads

“Sex-trafficking is a dark subject and the author has done a remarkable job in getting a message across. Looking at his ‘resume’, it shows that he spent several years digging into this subject and it has paid off with an extraordinary book … This was a very well-written compelling story.”

Linda Strong, top 100 best U.S. reviewers on Goodreads

“This excellently written book is suspenseful, entertaining, hurtful, moving, thrilling and true … Yes, this is a Christian book, but unlike other Christian novels it doesn’t shy away from graphic descriptions of the cruelties. The language isn’t ‘clean,’ and although there is one Christian secondary character it’s not at all preachy or evangelistic. In (an) interview Christopher Stollar quotes C.S. Lewis: ‘The world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.’ Christopher Stollar does just that.”

Barbara Tsipouras, top 100 best German reviewers on Goodreads

“I definitely recommend this book as an ‘eye-opening’ piece of fiction. It will change the way you see things for ever.”

Nicki Southwell, top United Kingdom reviewer on Goodreads