The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson

12 October, 2010

I really should have read this straight after finishing The Girl Who Played With Fire. But I was distracted by other books and didn’t get to it until a couple of months later. In a way, you lose some of your reading momentum so it took a lot longer to finish it. But as usual, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest delivered. It was relentless in keeping the suspense and I have to say that I felt apprehensive the whole time I was reading, wishing that nothing worse would happen to Lisbeth Salander. For of course, as many of you may know, Salander is what keeps readers coming back to the Millennium Trilogy.

Personally, I would have preferred it if she wasn’t so battered and put through the grind so often whilst retaining all her cool skills, but I guess that is what makes her vulnerable/strong dichotomy so irresistible. And Larsson does a magnificent job in creating truly evil characters cloaked in the air of venerability and office. The Sweden he writes about is a really frightening place. Especially since he layers the bad bits with the genuine warmth of Mikael Blomkvist’s family and friends. I kind of liked the naiveté interlaced with the hard-nosed journalistic worldview. And I also liked the strong female characters that populate his books.

In The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest, we finally meet Dr. Teleborian who was instrumental in locking Salander up when she was twelve, after her failed attempt on her father’s life. Salander is slowing recovering in hospital and she is set to go on trial for murder. She is under close observation and has no access to the internet. Frightening thought. Salander without net access is akin to her without a lifeline. Sweden’s secret service (Säpo) and a sinister splinter cell within the organisation are preparing to silence Salander forever. However, Blomkvist is determined to save his friend and rounds up Salander’s supporters to plan a strategy that will protect and release Salander from this nightmare. Will he be able to save Salander? And will she be able to thwart Dr. Teleborian’s plans to get her under his control once again? You’ll need to read this book to find out^^ You can be sure that Salander’s not going to be sitting idly letting everyone save her ass.

I have to admit that the final volume of the Millennium Trilogy felt long. It took me a while to get into the story, even though I was dying to know what was going to happen. The first two volumes had more mystery and was more fast-paced and physical whereas this one tied together all threads started in The Girl Who Played With Fire and had less action. As with the previous book, it could have done with a bit more editing. There’s only so much explanation about government offices you can handle. And I wanted to know more about Salander’s twin sister. But, saying that, I did stay up ’til 3am to finish the book which I hadn’t done in a long time. All in all, I really enjoyed this series and Larsson knows how to deliver a very satisfying conclusion.

I read this for the Thriller and Suspense Challenge 2010 and R.I.P. V Challenge.

10 Responses to “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson”

  1. Bellezza Says:

    I didn’t read this post carefully, as I plan on finishing the trilogy myself someday; I agree that they should almost be read one right after another, and I agree that a little bit of ‘being put through the grind’ becomes awfully wearing.

  2. Mae Says:

    I read this straight after ‘Fire’. I agree it was too long but I think the editors/publishers deliberately wanted it because it was the last finished manuscript. I was also dying to know more about Lisbeth’s twin (there’s two of them?!). If Larsson lived, I’ve no doubt she would have appeared sooner or later. Alas…

  3. S. Krishna Says:

    I really, really enjoyed this one even though it was so different from the others. I think I liked it more than you did, but I’m glad you still liked it!

  4. This one definitely took me a bit longer to get into than the other books of the series. I wish it weren’t the last!

  5. Novroz Says:

    I still haven’t read any of the series yet, I want to but there are just too many book on my shelf. I will try it next year.

    I have to take everyone’s words here about reading all the series one after the other.

  6. chasing bawa Says:

    Thanks for your comments! I think this series definitely needs to be read close together. I’m also enjoying the films a lot too, although have reservations about the planned Hollywood re-makes!

  7. novelinsights Says:

    Oh good point. What about the blooming twin sister!?! Good observation about there being room for some editing, but I think by the last book I was glad it was chunky because I knew it would last 🙂

  8. Kailana Says:

    I don’t like that people say you should read these books one right after another. I have the worst time doing that with series. I haven’t even started the first one, though, so I guess it will be a while before I have to worry about that.

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I think it depends on the series. But with this one, you kind of lose the momentum a little because each book is so long. With this series, I found that books 2 and 3 were part of one story arc and wished for myself that I had read them closer together. However, you still end up racing through them because they are really good. I hope you enjoy them when you get around to reading them.

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