Friday, June 13, 2014

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Review

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, # 3)

By: Stieg Larsson

Published: May 25th 2010 by Knopf (first published 2007)

563 pages

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Source: Personal Library

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Goodreads description--Lisbeth Salander — the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels — lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

This entire series has been very different from what I typically read. I normally focus on books that have some kind of love story involved, but I'll settle for any story that makes me feel something. The other main kind of story I enjoy is one where all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together just perfectly. And well, that's the type that the Millennium series fits into. Every single piece is important in some way or other. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up immediately where The Girl Who Played with Fire leaves off. The Girl Who Played with Fire ended at a good breaking point, but there were a lot of ends that still needed tying up. The reader is given a sense of satisfaction in knowing who framed Lisbeth and why, but The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest focuses on the rest of the world finding out who framed her and why. And there are still more pieces of the puzzle to be exposed as well.

I will say that The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest has had the best opening of the series so far. The previous two books, both had extremely slow beginnings. That wasn't the case here. But overall, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest felt quite long. There were some side pieces of the puzzle that felt unnecessary to the overall story arch of the series. These pieces added a cluttered feeling to the book to me--specifically the additional side story surrounding Erika Berger.

One of my favorite things about the Millennium series is how smart these characters are. Lisbeth and Blomkvist are both brilliant, intelligence wise. Lisbeth is a bit socially awkward because of her childhood and her extreme lack of trust in others. And Blomkvist is quite the opposite. Apparently he's a charmer since women seem to fall at his feet on a regular basis. And I loved watching the battle of wits between Salander/Blomkvist vs. "the bad guys" to see just who would ultimately outsmart who and how. It was fun to watch the pieces come together.

I felt like The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was a nice series ender. The overall main story arch ended nicely. Everything I was curious about was addressed, but the ending of the book individually left a little something to be desired for me. It wasn't the ending I had hoped for, but at the same time, I wasn't exactly disappointed with it either. I was almost glad it wasn't what I hoped for. Does that make any sense?

All in all, I'm not sure I have much to say about this one. I'm glad that I pushed through and finished this series. I'm glad that I stepped outside my norm. I would recommend the series to others, but I don't find myself raving about it either. I think it was a well put together and thought out series. Yet I'm also glad to be able to mark it off my list and move on.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. This is a great series, and I'm really glad I read it (it was the first time I'd ever read any foreign-language books translated into English). As for the ending, I did enjoy it. I feel like it was a great way for the trilogy to end, especially considering it wasn't envisioned as just a trilogy, but as a 10-book series that Larsson never got a chance to finish.

  2. I guess I never knew it was intended to be a ten book series. That makes the ending make a bit more sense. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Charleen!

  3. It makes me really curious where the characters would have gone and what other things might have happened. But I do think the ending we got was a satisfying one, even while leaving certain things open to the imagination.

  4. I agree. I'm really curious how Larsson intended for them to end up. But I'm happy to have the closure that we did.

  5. alibrarianslibraryJune 22, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    To go along with Charleen, a mostly finished 4th book as well as pretty detailed outlines of a couple more exist out there. But there is a major law dispute regarding Larsson's work. The memoir written by his life partner, Eva, is a fantastic read if you are interested in learning more about Stieg and these characters. There are things I want you to know about Stieg Larsson and me By Eva Gabrielsson

  6. Hmm...that's interesting. Thanks, I'll have to check that out!