Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
ISBN: 9780307269997
Pages: 576
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Mystery
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:

Beginning right after the events in The Girl Who Played With Fire, Lisbeth Salander is in critical condition at a Stockholm hospital under armed guard.  She is the prime suspect in multiple murders.  Journalist Mikael “Kalle” Blomkvist is determined to prove her innocence, as well as demonstrate her mistreatment at the hands of the state for her entire life.

Review:

How does one even begin reviewing this novel?  I tried to make the summary as ambiguous as possible, but it goes without saying that there are likely spoilers for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire in this review, so if you haven’t read either of those, just know that I really loved this book, even though it’s so different than the first two novels in the Millennium series.

If you have read the first two novels, then let me say that The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is a worthy conclusion to this electrifying trilogy.  However, it’s also very different from the first two books, to the point where I’m not entirely certain it’s even a mystery.  It’s much more a procedural novel, investigating how far the Zalachenko conspiracy goes within the Swedish government and also the process of proving Lisbeth’s innocence.  As a result, I’m certain that some people who loved the first two novels won’t like this one.  It’s much slower and more methodical.  That being said, I absolutely loved it.

Finishing The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest makes me realize how ingenious Stieg Larsson really was.  The first book in the series was a relatively straightforward mystery – it was incredibly well-written and introduced some very intriguing characters, but nevertheless, it was easy to classify.  Lisbeth was almost a secondary character in that novel – I’d argue that Mikael Blomkvist was the main character of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

However, Lisbeth Salander takes the central role in The Girl Who Played With Fire, and all of a sudden, the scope of the trilogy changes from mysteries to learning about the origins of a very interesting character.  In my view, the final book is the conclusion to Lisbeth’s story, her finally getting the justice she deserves.  Because she has been so physically and mentally abused, this is an incredibly satisfying novel.

I was very glad to see that Larsson chose to make each of the novels in the Millennium Trilogy different.  As a result, he has made it a tour de force, a masterpiece, rather than simply three well-written and engaging mysteries.  Despite the fact that this novel was over 550 pages, I couldn’t put it down.  I had to know that things would turn out okay for Lisbeth, not to mention there were multiple absorbing subplots and the introduction of some very interesting characters.

It’s a tragedy that Stieg Larsson passed away after turning in the manuscripts for these three incredible novels – the world has a lost a literary giant.  But I’m so glad that he left behind the fascinating character of Lisbeth Salander, explored through the Millennium Trilogy.  I can’t recommend these three books highly enough – read them (in order), and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Comments

  1. Wow!!! very much excited to see the 5/5 rating.

    Actually I didn’t read your review since I am currently reading the second book. Don’t want any suspense to be spoiled.

  2. Wow!!! very much excited to see the 5/5 rating.

    Actually I didn’t read your review since I am currently reading the second book. Don’t want any suspense to be spoiled.

  3. Still waiting on the audio to arrive from the library, which is only possible way I could read this book. The narrator, Simon Vance, is the man, and I will forever be true to him! I have totally fallen for these stories. You are right, they are all so different, and that is OK with me. While I like Mikael, the star of the show is Lisbeth. I could care less that this book is a procedural, or any other genre/style, as long as Lisbeth is in it. It is pathetic, but I check the library website every day to see when the audio is going to be delivered. When I get it, I will have to just hide in the closet until I finish.

  4. Still waiting on the audio to arrive from the library, which is only possible way I could read this book. The narrator, Simon Vance, is the man, and I will forever be true to him! I have totally fallen for these stories. You are right, they are all so different, and that is OK with me. While I like Mikael, the star of the show is Lisbeth. I could care less that this book is a procedural, or any other genre/style, as long as Lisbeth is in it. It is pathetic, but I check the library website every day to see when the audio is going to be delivered. When I get it, I will have to just hide in the closet until I finish.

  5. Great review! I didn’t have a lot of success with the first book, but since you mention that all the books are almost different genres, and that Lisbeth takes center stage in the others, I may have to continue with this series. I am glad that you loved the books and think I may have to try again after reading this wonderful review!!

  6. Great review! I didn’t have a lot of success with the first book, but since you mention that all the books are almost different genres, and that Lisbeth takes center stage in the others, I may have to continue with this series. I am glad that you loved the books and think I may have to try again after reading this wonderful review!!

  7. What a terrific review, Swapna! I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve yet to read anything by the late Stieg Larsson, but you’ve piqued my interest and I’ll add him to my TBR list.

  8. What a terrific review, Swapna! I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve yet to read anything by the late Stieg Larsson, but you’ve piqued my interest and I’ll add him to my TBR list.

  9. I haven’t read this series yet either. But one thing I know for sure: the books are popular.

    Good review.

  10. I haven’t read this series yet either. But one thing I know for sure: the books are popular.

    Good review.

  11. I’ve read and loved all three novels. Lisbeth Salander is now one of my all-time favorite characters. My husband didn’t pay too much attention to me when I was reading the first two, but he asked me about them when he saw the ARC for Hornets’ Nest on my desk. He’s downloaded the first from audible.com and has told me repeatedly that he could very happily listen to the whole thing in one sitting, if only he could. And… why didn’t I tell him about these books earlier? (Can you hear me sighing?)

  12. I’ve read and loved all three novels. Lisbeth Salander is now one of my all-time favorite characters. My husband didn’t pay too much attention to me when I was reading the first two, but he asked me about them when he saw the ARC for Hornets’ Nest on my desk. He’s downloaded the first from audible.com and has told me repeatedly that he could very happily listen to the whole thing in one sitting, if only he could. And… why didn’t I tell him about these books earlier? (Can you hear me sighing?)

  13. Great review Swapna! I never would have made it through DRAGON TATTOO in the first place without the buzz and outside pressure – I vividly remember not actively caring about the story until page 264. Of course after I got over that hump I couldn’t put the book down. The procedural and financial aspect of the series is my least favorite part (I love Lisbeth the most) so am worried this might be my least favorite of the series… But I need to read it to find out!

  14. Great review Swapna! I never would have made it through DRAGON TATTOO in the first place without the buzz and outside pressure – I vividly remember not actively caring about the story until page 264. Of course after I got over that hump I couldn’t put the book down. The procedural and financial aspect of the series is my least favorite part (I love Lisbeth the most) so am worried this might be my least favorite of the series… But I need to read it to find out!

  15. A 5 out of 5 – wow! I have the first one sitting on my shelf and I’m thinking that maybe its just what this summer ordered – a good trilogy to read. Thanks, Swapna!

  16. A 5 out of 5 – wow! I have the first one sitting on my shelf and I’m thinking that maybe its just what this summer ordered – a good trilogy to read. Thanks, Swapna!

  17. I am just over half way through and I’m loving this book so much! I think there may have been some method to his making this novel more procedural. We know the main characters pretty well at this point, so now is the time to fill us in on the system in which they live and breathe. I’m going to be mourning Stieg Larsson for a long time from now.

    Great review, Swapna. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to write this one up myself.

  18. I am just over half way through and I’m loving this book so much! I think there may have been some method to his making this novel more procedural. We know the main characters pretty well at this point, so now is the time to fill us in on the system in which they live and breathe. I’m going to be mourning Stieg Larsson for a long time from now.

    Great review, Swapna. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to write this one up myself.

  19. I’m glad you enjoyed this one despite the fact that the format was different than the first two books–I liked it too!

  20. I’m glad you enjoyed this one despite the fact that the format was different than the first two books–I liked it too!

  21. Narkunavathy Sundareson says:

    Read all three and loved every word of it 🙂

  22. Narkunavathy Sundareson says:

    Read all three and loved every word of it 🙂

  23. if you listen to Stieg Larsson, it’s only a humorless world out there, but the book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest does keep you turning the pages

  24. if you listen to Stieg Larsson, it’s only a humorless world out there, but the book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest does keep you turning the pages

  25. I read both previous novels and read them day and night. Could not put them down. And not just because of the genre, but because I fell in love with Steig Larsson’s style of writing and of course the story itself.
    I do have “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (pre-ordered it) and it’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile. I’ve not picked it up because I made a promise I would not treat myself to the final trilogy until I take my final medical coding exam from school. However, I did scim through a few pages and completely agree with you saying it’s “methodical”, and I love that!
    Thank you for posting a great review and not spoiling anything.

    Gayla

  26. I read both previous novels and read them day and night. Could not put them down. And not just because of the genre, but because I fell in love with Steig Larsson’s style of writing and of course the story itself.
    I do have “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (pre-ordered it) and it’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile. I’ve not picked it up because I made a promise I would not treat myself to the final trilogy until I take my final medical coding exam from school. However, I did scim through a few pages and completely agree with you saying it’s “methodical”, and I love that!
    Thank you for posting a great review and not spoiling anything.

    Gayla

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