Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Review: Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Title The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author Stieg Larsson
Rating *****
Tags mystery, series, stockholm, sweden, lisbeth salandar, mikael blomkvist, abuse, computers, hackers, espionage 

I'm reviewing the Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest together because they are basically one long book. They are the second and the third books in Stieg Larsson's trilogy that began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Larsson was a master weaver of a storyteller, which makes the thought of his death and that he will weave stories no more a terrible one. It is hard to know how to review his books, because the stories build, plot layer upon plot layer, to create a complex whole that the author never loses control of. One doesn't want to reveal too much as it would lessen the impact each part of the plot has on the reader.

The Girl Who Played with Fire reveals the story of Lisbeth Salander's past, how and why she was abused. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the story of the powerful people who want Salander either dead or in a place where no one will believe her story, and of the opposing group of people racing to expose the first group before they succeed in what they want to do to Lisbeth.

Some people have accused the trilogy of gratuitous violence against women. I disagree. First, the abuse is believable... we hear of equally bad stories in the news far too often. Secondly, Larsson tells the abuse but does not dwell on its details. And thirdly, it is the abuse that creates the character of Lisbeth Salandar, and she is one of the most fascinating characters to emerge in this still young century.

Now that all three books are out, I recommend you get all three and read them in a marathon reading session. You won't want to put them down.

Publication Knopf (2010), Hardcover, 576 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 030726999X / 9780307269997

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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