Friday, October 15, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

I have waited such a long time to read this book - I had it on hold at the library since July 25, and it finally came in yesterday. Naturally, I didn't do much but read in my spare time yesterday or today, and I am absolutely delighted with this last book in the Millenium trilogy.

I was slightly worried that, after loving the first two books, I might be disappointed with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. This was definitely not the case. The plot kept my eyes glued to the page at every possible moment. Even though Salander is confined to a hospital bed or a prison cell throughout most of the story, the book manages not to feel stagnant in the slightest; the plot is always moving, though never rushed. Aside from this, all the characters are exceptionally well drawn. None of the characters are perfect, and none are completely "bad" either (some would probably disagree with me on the last bit, though). I feel Larsson had a very good insight into human nature and human behavior, and he was able to use that insight very well. The first two books, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire, were exciting, well-written, had wonderful characters and a complex and captivating plot. In my opinion, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest surpassed them both.

Today, I was looking at Stieg Larsson's website and found that the Millenium trilogy was actually intended to be ten books, and that Larsson died while writing the fourth. Though I knew that he had died after submitting the first three novels to his publisher, I had no idea that there were originally supposed to be seven more. Some have hoped that Larsson's partner, Eva Gabrielsson, could finish the fourth book, but she is positive that this would not be legal in Sweden. For my own part, while I wish that Larsson was alive today and able to finish the ten books, I am glad that there is not likely to be anyone finishing the series in his stead - I feel like this very rarely works well. What's your opinion on the matter?


  1. I've yet to begin the first of this series, although I own all (3)--someday soon I hope.

  2. I would definitely say you should read them soon! :)

  3. MY dad also loved the last one, I think he though the 2nd one was the weaker one but still really good. I was put off reading these after seeing the film which was much more violent than I was expecting.

  4. I do think the second was weaker than the other two - it was still fantastic, though. I saw the film after reading the book, and while the book is really violent as well, I would still recommend it.