The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

Forcing myself to take a break before plunging into Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest proved to be well nigh impossible. Both The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Canada, USA, Europe ) and The Girl Who Played With Fire (Canada, USA, Europe) make for compulsive reading and are extremely hard to put down. Especially with the way the second volume was brought to a close, I was aware that I needed to discover how the Millennium trilogy was going to end. And believe me, this one is everything you want it to be!

Here's the blurb:

Salander is plotting her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.

One thing you can say about this series is that it's addictive. Had he not died mysteriously shortly following the completion of the Millennium trilogy in manuscript form, Stieg Larsson would have become a "must read" author for me. Like Carlos Ruiz Zafón, anything written by Larsson would have trumped whatever I would be reading.

The story is unveiled through a number of disparate perspectives that make this final installment such a satisfying read. The plot is even more convoluted than what was hinted at in The Girl Who Played With Fire. And yet, the author manages to streamline this huge tapestry of complex storylines into an easy to follow whole. And the more layers one uncovers, the more layers are revealed. This is thriller/mystery fiction at its very best.

Though she has been shot in the head and buried alive, Lisbeth Salander, regardless of the fact that she is recuperating in the hospital, demonstrates that she is not without resources. This conflicted and abused character has turned out to be the most intriguing heroine I have ever had the chance to discover. There is a lot of character growth in this one, but she nevertheless remains true to herself. Mikael Blomkvist's plotline keeps you at the edge of your seat, especially when you realize just how far-reaching this governmental cover-up truly is. The Zalachenko Club storyline was also fascinating, for it offered us a completely different perspective on the problems the Swedish state face if their cover is blown. The only storyline that leaves something to be desired is Erika Berger dealing with her stalker. This has nothing to do with the bigger scheme of things, and it did feel like filler material, there simply to keep her occupied and part of the book.

With Salander's trial about to begin, Stieg Larsson steers this complicated plot like a master, bringing it together at the end after a number of unanticipated twists and turns. In retrospect, this was an immensely ambitious project with an unusual and not necessarily likeable main protagonist. But Lisbeth Salander grows on you quite fast, and she and Blomkvist take you on a rollercoaster ride like you've never experienced before.

As was the case with its two predecessors, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest is a veritable page-turner. And as the culmination of a panoply of engrossing plotlines, believe me when I tell you that it doesn't get much better than this. The Millennium trilogy is one of the best series, all genres considered, that I have ever read.

This novel deserves the highest possible recommendation. If you have yet to read the Millennium trilogy, you need to rectify the situation ASAP!

The final verdict: 10/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

6 commentaires:

Unknown said...

Long time lurker, first time commenting. I devoured these novels after you recommended the first one. Utterly incredible. Thanks man.

Unknown said...

I agree, been following your blog for a long time now. After reading the review you put up for the first one I bought and read them all. Fantastic series. Even got my girl friend addicted to them. Thanks for the heads up on this trilogy! One of the best trilogy's I've read in years.

Joe said...

I loved these three books and had my copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest read by the end of Christmas day. I have gotten three others to start them but they have not finished yet. The three as a whole are probably one of my all time favorites right now and I have seriously thought of rereading already. And with out giving any thing away I think though I would have liked more have a good ending.

Anonymous said...

I'm Swedish and am a little bit surprised at the praise these books are getting internationally.
Don't get me wrong, they were hugely popular in Sweden too, but I thought they wouldn't go down as well abroad.
I liked them, especially the first two books, but felt the third was too long and I also got a bit tired of Lisbeth having superhuman skills in everything she does.

Anonymous said...

When will the ebook version be available in Canada?

Anonymous said...

An excellent series. I thought the first book was the stongest, and the third one the weakest. Overall, this series deserves it's popularity, tho'. I just saw the movie "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and it was also very well done. I've heard rumours that they want to remake it in English, but I can't imagine a Hollywood actress that could play the part.