Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Audio Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson tells very intricate stories, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is no exception. As the third book in the Millennium Trilogy, I found it the most detailed, and although I enjoyed it, it was my least favorite of the series.

Lisbeth Salander spends most of the book in the hospital. She's been found shot three times and almost dies. She's also been accused of attempted murder, among other things, and will be put in prison as soon as she is released.

One of my favorite things about the Millennium Trilogy are the interactions between Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. In this book they don't even see each other. Although Mikael helps her from afar, they are never together, and I really missed that.

There are many, many (many) characters and side stories in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It was difficult to follow, especially at the beginning, and I think the audio format didn't help. I couldn't flip back pages and remind myself who the characters were. But really, the way Larsson writes, those details aren't important to the overall arc of the story, and if you keep on, eventually it all comes together and makes sense.

Larsson also does a good job of reminding us of what happened in the first two books. As the crimes are being investigated, different parts of Lisbeth's past are retold -- sometimes to excess. It just makes the book even longer and more detailed.

The way Mikael and Lisbeth, each in their own way, go about figuring out all the intricacies of the case is the most interesting part of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. From Lisbeth's hacking everyone's computers to Mikael's eluding the bad guys, it's one narrow escape after the other!

I'm sure Larsson intended to write more books in this series, and it is unfortunate that we will never know what happened to these characters. There is definitely potential for more adventures. The narrator, Simon Vance, does a great job, but I think I'd recommend the book for this one, because of the number of characters and complexity of the plot.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is long and tedious, but certainly interesting.  I'd highly recommend the book to those who have read the first two, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Published by Knopf, 2010 (Random House Audio)
Audio Book obtained from the library
576 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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