Title: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
Page Count/Review Word Count: 602
This book is the third and final book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, and so before I get into it, I should explain that I’m assuming that you’ve read the other books. If you haven’t, stop reading this and go and pick them up. Interestingly enough, the first book works well as a standalone, but the second and third books are so interlinked that really, you need to read one after another.
In this book, we catch up with Lizbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist again, as Lizbeth faces a long recovery and a trial for her part in the assault of Zalachenko. Now, if you’ve read the second book then you’ll know all about this; if you haven’t, I suggest you read it first, because you’ll be able to see how it all wraps together.
It’s interesting to note that, yet again, the two protagonists don’t really come in contact, although they do find an ingenious method of communication. In this book, Salander and Blomkvist are working together, and whilst they don’t get to meet up with each other, they do work together in an exciting campaign that uses both of their skills to their best effect to shake the very government that screwed Salander over.
As you might expect with Larsson’s work, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way, and the plot keeps you guessing right up until the end, when there’s one last twist which seems to wrap everything up nicely, although I can’t help but wonder what might have happened next, had Larsson lived to write further books in the series. Unfortunately, though, he died shortly after delivering the manuscripts for the trilogy to his publisher.
In all fairness, the only thing that wasn’t satisfactorily dealt with was Salander’s missing sister, who no-one seems able to locate. She hasn’t played a prominent part in the story line, but she’s been referred to a couple of times, and I was half-suspecting one final twist as far as she was concerned. I almost thought that it would turn out that she didn’t exist at all, and that Salander had created her so that after the tumultuous events of the trilogy, she could adopt her sister’s character and disappear from the limelight.
Now that I’ve finished reading this, I feel almost at a loss – it was a fantastic trilogy, and it felt to me as though each of the books was even better than the last. The characterisation was fantastic, the characters were believable and acted consistently, and the story line was as in-depth and as exciting as usual. In fact, I can’t fault it – I can’t think of any ways in which the book could have been improved.
That said, it was a long old read, and you’ll need a certain amount of dedication if you want to get through it. My copy was 600 pages long, but it was also a big book with relatively small print, and it got kind of heavy if you tried to read it too long. It’s also difficult to ascertain how much of the quality is due to Larsson’s original writing, and how much of it was due to the skills of his translator.
All in all, though, this book comes heartily recommended from me, although like I said, I think you’re best off if you read the entire trilogy, in order. If you can put in the time, it’s well worth it.