Review – The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
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  • Posted:
  • September 7, 2010

Well, I just lost a month of my life to the Stieg Larsson books. Overall though, very worth it. I adored this series, particularly the first book. The latter two books relied more upon each other for a story whereas the first was a stand alone (think the Pirates of the Caribbean or Matrix movies). How would I rate the series – 5 of 5 stars. It was a pretty phenomenal read, though the 2nd and 3rd book are not perfect.

(Now enter Spoilers)

In The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest we open up directly after the events in the second book. Salander has been shot by Niedermann and Mikael is tending her. Zalachenko has taken an axe to the face (courtesy of Salander) and the police are showing up to sort everything out.

For a large part of the book Salander languishes in a hospital awaiting a trial for attempted murder. She spends the time writing an autobiography in a smuggled palm computer while everyone outside tries to acquire evidence to mount a defense with. But the trial.. the trial is the perfect punctuation mark to end this trilogy. If Lisbeth is ever to go out in a blaze of glory it’s while arguing semantics and screwing with the prosecuting attorney. Loved those scenes. It was very well done.

I feel like I’m not being very eloquent about these books. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again; mysteries don’t usually work for me. However, I loved this series. Unabashedly. The editing in the books could have been a little tighter but in six months that won’t be an issue for me. I will just remember these very fondly as the books that broke my mystery hymen.

Yes, yes I said it. What?

Will I read more anytime soon? Who knows, I was more of a fan of the characters in this series than the crime elements. Still, I find Mikael on his own to be very milquetoast when compared to Salander. He’s very vanilla, and whenever Salander is in a scene she dominates. This works in ways for the dynamic, but I don’t think I’ll be finding a Lisbeth Slander in a book anytime soon. I am a little sad at the closing of the final book that Larsson died before he had any real chance to appreciate his success – though I do wonder how much of the success was generated by his death? I could read Lisbeth and Mikael solving crimes for 20 years, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Will I read anymore non-Larsson mysteries? Give me some time, and some suggestions, and maybe I will consider it.

Until then, I am very glad to tell my customers who come in asking about “The Girl who Kicked Herself in the Dragon Tattoo” (no joke) that it was a very good book. Worth the hype. Worth the time. for this book, high 4.5 of 5 stars. It’s nearly perfect, but not quite. Altogether though it sings.

– BP

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