Of course, I had to order this from the UK the minute that it became available, and it was definitely worth the money spent to read it months before its US publication. It was pure pleasure, and a fitting conclusion to the Salander/Blomkvist saga. Another intelligently written roller coaster ride with an unending cast of characters, but none as electrifying as Lisbeth Salander. The trilogy begs rereading and is definitely a keeper. The author's untimely death is a tragedy. Sadly, there will be no more books from this unbelievably talented writer. Very, very highly recommend.
An amazing ending to the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest leaves readers feeling like Larsson hit his mark. Although it's saddening that there won't be other adventures with Blomkvist, Larsson intended the trilogy to be just that, a trilogy. It was a great read, couldn't put it down, in fact, and I found that I didn't need to refer to the other two books to remember what happened to lead up to the finale. Larsson reiterated the sequence of events in a creative way, weaving the plot through new eyes in Hornet's Nest. It didn't feel like a recap, more like an unveiling of past events in a new light.
I absolutely loved this series and an beyond sad that it is over. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist are amazing characters. Though most of their actions are implausible as hell, still entertaining and great fun to read about. Though I liked Erika Berger in the first two novels, she and her situation with SMP had absolutely nothing to do with the story line in this installment. It seemed like filler but with a book of this size, who the hell needs filler. It should definitely have been completely edited out. I also thought the in depth information on the Swedish government and Sapo were unnecessary to the plot. Simply mentioning that a secret section of the government without oversight (think black ops) was in charge of the Zalachenko affair would have been sufficient to explain the situation and easily cut 100 pages from this novel.
There were several factions for and against Salander doing this and that to prove or disprove her guilt or innocence. I loved the way everything came together at the end. Of course, you knew up front that Mikael's plan would be successful but I was dying to know exactly how they were going to strike and I loved Giannini's attack on Teleborian. These pricks had it coming to them and I laughed out loud at their shock when naive Giannini pulled out the big guns and kicked their asses.
I can understand the negative reviews I've seen since Salander didn't really shine in this installment as she did in the previous two. But I must say that the supporting characters, Mikael, Holger Palmgren and Dragan Armansky really came through for Salander. She may be a socially inept genius but her friends are rather loyal and had her back. I hear there might be a fourth book and I would certainly not be upset about that. Maybe we'll finally get some information on Camilla though I'm sure she'll be gunning for Salander.
I'm so glad I picked up The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in the terminals at Heathrow before starting the entire Millennium series! This final installment picks up moments after Fire leaves off, and instead of merely tidying up its aftermath, evolves into its own intriguing plot and counterplot between Lisbeth Salander and allies and those who have conspired against her and now seek to protect their own secret existence. It's difficult to write more about the plot without spoilers for Fire. Stieg Larsson introduces new supporting characters, captivating as ever, in his usual precise, point-blank prose that would make a screenwriter's job so simple. I could just continue reading about them, following them around Stockholm, but alas there will be no more Lisbeth, Blomkvist, et al. If only Stieg Larsson could have lived to enjoy his success (and write some sequels) ...!
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 see his masterpiece come to fruition.