book: Stieg Larsson “The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest”

June 25, 2010

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the final book in Stieg Larsson‘s “Millennium Trilogy” following up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and  The Girl who Played with Fire.  This book opens minutes after the incredible climax of the second book and starts with the same breakneck pace the second one reaches (eventually).

The only problem (and it is true to some extent in all three books) is that there is just too much detail.  In this final part I would say that this becomes a major problem and it is only because the reader has invested so much in the characters and story that the author can get away with this.  In particular I found it difficult to follow all the new characters and places that were introduced early in the third book only to find out that soon you didn’t need to keep track of them all.  People came and went, there were chapters which didn’t really move the plot along any and basically a lot that could easily have been cut.  I think book 2 and 3 in this series should be one story and I’ve no idea no idea how they will make these into a movie since most of the ‘action’ involves hacking through computer files which tends not to be too visually interesting.

Other than that criticism the actual story that is told is excellent.  This book ties together all the loose ends from the second book taking Salander through a trial that reaches the highest political levels of the country.  It is also very interesting how as story can be so gripping while the two main protagonists very rarely meet.

book: Stieg Larsson “The Girl who Played with Fire”

June 25, 2010

The last book I blogged about was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I liked it but gave a warning about the type of content – The Girl who Played with Fire is the second in Stieg Larsson‘s “Millennium Trilogy” and just as enjoyable and captivating as the first.

Everything revolves around two characters, Lisebeth Salander (the girl with the tattoo) and Mikael Blomkvist, the publisher and journalist of Millennium Magazine.  Lisebeth is such an involving character with a complex mysterious past that is hinted at in the first book.  Here we finally find out what made her what she is.

The plot is complex, well constructed and cleverly punctuated some fascinating and unexpected twists.  However, the does book take a long time to get going and there are some totally unnecessary sections of tedious detail, but soon enough it gets up some speed and has such a stunning climax that you really should have the third book on standby to start straight away!

If you haven’t read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo then don’t read this.  This trilogy has to be read in order or not at all.