“Nicole R said: 3 stars
***Includes major spoilers if you haven't read book two***
The long-awaited final chapter to the Millennium Trilogy starts off the exact instant that the second book left off. Salander has been taken to the hospital after confronting Zalachenko and she is the center of a salacious criminal trial - a trial that could uncover a secret Swedish agency like the world has never seen. While confined in isolation at the hospital, Salander's unlikely group of friends (Blomvkist, Armansky, and even Berger) along with a cast of new characters are working to clear her name...and write a best-selling expose at the same time!
Okay, I am prepared for the heckles from Larsson-Loving crowd. I just wasn't that into this book! I LOVED The Girl Who Played With Fire, thought it was brilliant, but this final installment lacked what the first two books had in spades: INTRIGUE. The first two books had me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was coming next; each chapter was a thrilling revelation of a plot twist. In this book, I felt like we had all of the answers from the very beginning; we knew the major players and how they were related, or the few plot twists were given away at the beginning. A couple of surprises were thrown in but they were extremely mild and involved peripheral characters.
This book read like Millennium Trilogy installment 2B, which I didn't really care for. I enjoyed the separate and unique plots of books one and two that were woven together by shared characters and shady foreshadowing. This felt like Larsson wrote a 1200 page book and the editor decided to pull a Harry Potter (the movie) and divide the final manuscript in two, right down the middle. I would have read a 1200 page book. And if books two and three would have been combined (perhaps the second half shortened just a bit) then it would have gotten a higher rating from me.
Ultimately, this book tied up all the loose ends and I liked how my favorite characters ended up, but the suspense fell short for me.
Susan T said: 5 stars
I came to this novel with great trepidation. I'd loved the first two novels in the series and was understandably saddened by the premature end due to the author's untimely death. Aside from that, I was worried that the novel would end with some terrible cliff hanger as the previous one had. For what it's worth, I'm happy to report that if this series had to end now, I'm completely satisfied with how the story of Lisbeth Salander, Mikeal Blomkvist, et al wraps up.
As mentioned above, The Girl Who Played with Fire ends on a cliff hanger. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up exactly where it ends off. I'd liked the second novel in the series much more than the first because it dealt far more extensively with the eponymous character. That is also the strength of Hornet's Nest. I just can't get enough of Lisbeth Salander. She is endlessly strange, fascinating, endearing, and resourceful.
This final novel strikes the best balance of the three between Lisbeth's story and Mikeal's story, which essentially converge at this point. But other characters get their fair share of narrative time and a subplot involving Erica Berger particularly captured my interest. Every storyline allowed Larsson to show off new facets of his established characters.
One of the most fascinating things about the plot of this book (which obviously I'm being incredibly vague about) was that in another novel, the good guys and the bad guys could have easily switched places. There are no cookie-cutter heroes and villains in Larsson's world. Sure, there are people to root for, but there's a lot of moral ambiguity involved. All of which makes for complex and smart story-telling. And Larsson's plotting is as strong as it ever was. This novel is his best yet.
At nearly 600-pages, I plowed through the book at breakneck speed, my interest never flagging. It is sadly clear to me that Larsson had further stories to tell about his girl. Not every loose thread is tied up, but the important bases are covered. The novel's end was as satisfying as anything you could ask for.
Rest in peace, Stieg.
Kentucky Reader said: 5 stars
This final book of Larsson's trilogy is everything a fan of the series could ask for in a finale.
If you've read the first two, you know that this one is a must-read. If you haven't read the first two, don't even think about reading only this one. You will be totally lost. This isn't really a series but one riveting story divided into three parts, and absolutely has to be read in order and in its entirety.
Larsson's use of history and politics adds immensely to the story's realism, and made it feel like it could just as easily take place in one of several other countries, including the U.S. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sweden's culture.
To sum up the book without spoilers, following the events of the second book, Salander is fighting for her life in every sense. Blomkvist and her other supporters are working tirelessly to prove her innocence, save her from Zalachenko and his supporters, and keep her out of an institution -- asylum or prison. Although hospitalized, Salander fights to survive as only Salander can.
This is a wonderful end to the trilogy with questions answered, loose ends tied and justice served.
Coyotemusic said: 5 stars
Gah! I feel bereft. I know all good things must end, but Wow! I will miss having more of these books to look forward too.
Every one I read, I thought it's the best of the trilogy. And maybe this one was. For me, it seemed a bit less flawed than "Fire", but "Fire" had so much more Salander, so I'll stick with "Fire" as my favorite, but this one was great, too.
The characters are fascinating, the story-telling is top notch, the detail is interesting and relevant. As this book unfolded, I felt even more impressed with the story telling, because it was very clear that the whole trilogy had been conceived from the start. It was so well-plotted.
Another thing I really liked about this series was to gain insight into another culture. In this book there was a court proceeding, and it's impossible as a US citizen not to have a preconceived idea of a court proceeding. This was very different, and I kept saying to myself "well, that's ridiculous, that wouldn't happen that way in court", and then I'd remind myself ... Maybe it does happen that way in Sweden. It's just fascinating. I'd love to observe a Swedish trial just to observe the differences.
I didn't feel it mattered all that much if you read "Dragon Tattoo" before "Fire", but having read this book I'd say you definitely want to read the first two first.
Even if this isn't your normal genre, I highly recommend the series.
Stieg - I'm so sorry you didn't get to enjoy your success. But Bravo!
sharmee said: 4.5 stars
I could not wait for this book to come out in the US, so I had my friend who lives in the UK send it for me! I was not disappointed!! This was on par with the first 2 books, and of course, once I got to a certain point, I could not put it down – which was a bad thing since it’s 600 pages long! In this book, you find the answers to all of the questions you have from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire. As much as I loved this book, I am also very sad that it’s ended, especially knowing that we won’t receive any more of Lisbeth’s story, or any other great books, from this author (bless his soul)
annapi said: 5 stars and favorite
This thrilling conclusion to the Millenium Trilogy does not disappoint. It is SUPERB! It picks up right where the second volume left off - in fact, I would say the trilogy is actually two stories, the first book separate, and a humongous second story chopped into two books. The final volume opens with Lisbeth Salander being taken to the hospital, along with Zalachenko, also surprisingly still alive. Now, with the conspiracy that began so long ago threatening to break wide open, the members of the secret Section of Sweden's Security Police are in a desperate race to contain both of them or it will mean their end. And once again, Lisbeth Salander is to be the scapegoat as she is brought to trial for murder.
I could not imagine how Larsson could top the previous books, but once again I was blown away by the sheer magnitude of the work. It's hard to pick a favorite from the three - like the Lord of the Rings, the trilogy has to be taken in as a whole and just savored for its mastery of suspense and conspiracy. Even knowing that it just HAD to somehow come out right in the end, I was on pins and needles the whole time, racing through the book to find out just how it comes to its spectacular end. And it's all absolutely worth it. Reading this magnificent final volume and knowing there are no more to follow, I felt keenly the loss of this brilliant author who never had a chance to
serenitysaid: 3 stars
The third and final installment of the Millennium trilogy is not my favorite. It didn't have that great quick pace that the first two had. The end felt a bit forced as if there was a desperate attempt to tie up loose ends. But all in all I still liked it. I was glad to read the conclusion of Lisbeth's adventure and see the conspiracy be brought to a head. I think the 2nd book is the best of the series by far, because it really gave Lisbeth center stage. But this one focused on the major players behind the Zalachenko affair and unravelled the many tangle webs of illegal activity. There were a couple of great plot twists that I enjoyed, because I was fearing at times that this book would turn out to be predictable. But Larsson did a good job in his last installment and I'm very glad to finish the series on a good note.
Rachel H said: 3 stars
The story picks up immediately after the cliffhanger ending of the girl who played with fire. I enjoyed some of the plotting but found parts of the book too long and convoluted. I found there was too much we're going to do this strategy but not telling the reader what the startegy is. I also found the subplot with Berger unneccessary. I'm not sure why I didn't read this right after the girl who played with fire but I'm happy I finally finished the series.
Sleekfeline said: 3 stars
***spoilers if you've not read the first books in the trilogy***
The book picks up exactly where the second one left off. Mikael Blomkvist is tending to a severely injured Lisbeth Salander. She was shot in the head and buried alive by her half brother and father. Left for dead, she claws her way out and seeks vengeance. She, along with her father, are taken to the hospital and treated for their serious injuries. Lisbeth has been accused of murder and owning an illegal weapon. She is to stand trial if she recovers enough to allow it. The powers that be are still out to get her in their attempt to keep the Zalachenko affair covered up. They seek to return her to a mental health institution, buried so deep that no one knows where she is. Mikael is determined to help solve the mystery and clear Lisbeth's name.
This is the final book in The Millennium Trilogy and I think my least favorite of the three. The investigative journalism part and putting all the pieces of Lisbeth's story together are good. They are usually fast paced and kept me interested. However, the story is bogged down with the history of Seppo and The Section. It's similar to how the first book opened, you have to trudge through tedium to get to the good part. I found myself tuning out at some points and not looking forward to reading it. Not good or what you want in a story. I think there could have been some more editing of the story, cutting these parts down while still getting the information across.”