Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest is the last book in the Millenium trilogy by Swedish Author Stieg Larsson . This final book in the trilogy picks up where the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire leaves off. It's over 600 pages and gets bogged down in details now and then but it's still a very gripping novel. We are able to follow Salander as she faces her past head on and ends up barely holding on to her own life. Mikael puts the pieces together and helps solve a mystery related to a hidden group that has protected one man and themselves amongst high government security. Larsson's writing style is rich and detailed and is strongly character driven. There are definitely disturbing parts to this novel as in the others that are graphic and violent in nature, so be forewarned if this is something that bothers you. From what I've read about Larsson, I believe it was his intent to bring attention to the issues of violence against women that he must have believed was a societal issue as well as government corruption. This was a common thread throughout the Millenium Trilogy. Wikipedia shares some interesting information about the books where it states Larsson's literary influences:

"However, one of the strongest influences originates from his own
country -
Pippi Longstocking by Sweden's much-loved children's author, Astrid
. Larsson explained that one of his main recurring characters in the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander, is actually based on Pippi Longstocking and in his books is reimagined as a grown up version of her"

I found Lisbeth Salander to be the most interesting character in the series. She was a strong, quirky, unique and feisty character. She endured a childhood of abuse and tragedy that was horrific and continued into her adulthood. In the toughest situations she endured and fought and never gave up her fight for truth. She was resilient and intelligent and even referred to as possibly having Aspergers Syndrome which would explain some of her social challenges and genius level abilities with computers.

Sadly, Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer and journalist and died before the Millenium Trilogy was published. You can read more about Stieg Larsson here. This is the last book in the Millenium series and I will miss reading more about the characters and some storylines that were left hanging and we will never know the answers especially is what happened to Lisbeth's twin sister Camilla. We are left to our imaginations now.

*My wonderful friend Ginny who I know from an online book group read the series ahead of me and sent me her copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. She was so anxious to read it and couldn't wait until the US version would be published and available in 2010. She ordered a copy through Book Depository UK which is the hardback edition. I passed it along to another friend Marie-Louise who is also in our book group, it's being shared among friends! Thanks Ginny!


  1. Ohh Lucky you! I have skipped reading because I want to know nothing before I start. But I know you enjoyed it!

  2. I haven't even started this series yet and here you've finished it already. I can't wait to get to it.

  3. I've heard so many great things about these books that I'm looking forward to reading them sometime in the future.

  4. You lucky duck! I can't wait to read this myself on audio. I love Simon Vance's narration.

  5. Wow!! I bought #1 at Target, not sure when i'm going to get to it but I like that you've enjoyed all 3 so that bodes well for me!!

  6. I am also sad that the stories about Lisbeth, Mikael and the others ended with Stieg Larsson's untimely death. Glad your liked the books - they were enormous bestsellers in Denmark a few years back, and I doubt there are any grown up readers who haven't read them here.

    My fellow Danish blogger Dorte wrote an interesting post about Lisbet Salander as Pippi (in English) which you can see here:

  7. As you know, I have not gotten this one yet, although it's back in stock now (Yippee!).

    I've starred your review in my reader and will come back to it once I've read it.

  8. You are a lucky girl to get hold of this book ahead of everyone else!

  9. I haven't read this book yet, but I have read the first two!

    As I understand it, originally the series was meant to be longer but the author died before it could be completed. Did the story feel unfinished?


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