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Wasp Stings and Feels Good

  • May 6, 2010
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Anyone familiar with the tattooed and pieced renegade, Lisbeth Salander of Stiev Larsson's Millennium Trilogy and now a Swedish-speaking film directed by Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, cannot help but crave more adventures of which she, hacker extraordinaire and victim of a clandestine faction of the Swedish secret police is featured.

As sullen and filled with pent-up rage as Larsson depicts her, Salander scintillated readers (and viewers) with her sense of survival, and in this "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," the last of the trilogy written by the now late Larsson (he died of a heart attack right after the first novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)" hit the European scene with an impact that is now reverberating in the United States) fans will be thrilled as this plucky and in-your-face damsel not only fights for her actual physical life, but finally gets the retribution she and millions of admirers deem her just desserts.

As in "The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)", Salander and her secret love interest/friend, crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist---barely connect on a real plane as Salander for the most of this installment is recovering from near fatal injuries inflicted on her at the end of the second novel. However when these two do get together on a cyber level, the synergy between them--their genius, their vibe, and intensity--drives the plotline with quick revelations that marvel and completely satisfy the reader.

Of a secondary interest for this reviewer is the interrelationships and labyrinthine infrastructure behind the story of Salander's need for survival. Ever the journalist, Larsson's prose during meetings between spies, secret service men and women on the meandering trail to the truth, private conversations between befuddled police officers and their staff, borders on almost the kiss of death of "too much information." Nonetheless, he redeems himself with a side story involving Erika Berger, former editor-in-chief of Millennium Magazine, which again rides his seemingly favorite theme of women dealing in a sophisticated society that runs like clockwork, yet spikes with an undercurrent of misogyny so heinous, it would seem obligatory for any member of the second sex to arm themselves with mace, brass knuckles or a switchblade when traversing the streets.

As the background story of the Zalachenko Club and the interrelationships of officials all the way up the bureaucratic ladder that reaches the Prime Minister unfolds and the cyber action begins, the reader understands with the retrieval speed of a flash drive just why Larsson has become a global sensation.

Obviously, Larsson--who apparently approached these stories as a form of relaxation--intended his characters to live long lives with many adventures that would crusade, as he himself did, for the truth in a world filled with ambiguity and a desire for wealth that exceeds ethical behavior. He seeds "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," with continuing story ideas that fertilize the already tilled ground and guarantees a climate and environs for Salander, Blomkvist, Berger and a raft of others of insured literary longevity.

Hopefully, someone--perhaps the "Berger" to Larsson's "Blomkvist" will pick up the loose threads and weave the next (and the next . . .) "Girl" story for fans around the world who not only mourn Larsson's loss, but the forever absence of such vibrant personalities.

Bottom line? Stiev Larsson's "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" presents the next chapter in hacker Salander and journalist Blomkvist's synergistic yet, at times, reluctant alliance. A bit verbose in parts, the main storyline revolving around Salander's fight for her life provides the retribution fans have sought for her from the first book in the series. This reviewer hopes that someone on Larsson's wavelength will pick up the multitude of stories yet to be written--Lisbeth's sister has not yet made her debut--and keeps not only these fascinating characters alive, but resuscitates Larsson's own crusading desire to expose injustice within the world's seemingly sophisticated infrastructures. Highly recommended, minus 5 stars only due to some confusing details with regard to descriptions of police interrelationships.
Diana Faillace Von Behren

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More The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet... reviews
review by . April 13, 2012
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      Kicking a hornet's nest is not a recommended approach to dealing with life's problems, but Lisbeth Salandar is no ordinary girl with no ordinary problems, and her only chance to survive is to stick her head right into the middle of the nest this time.        If you read Fire, you know she was barely surviving a murder attempt by her erstwhile father.   This time around she has to survive …
review by . August 02, 2010
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Having greatly enjoyed the first two thirds of this series, I was eagerly looking forward to the last, particularly because the ending of The Girl Who Played with Fire was such a cliff hanger. Hornet's Nest opens where Fire left off, at the crime scene where Blomvist finds Salander in such trouble. Those troubles persist, big time, throughout this final installment, and it is up to Blomvist to unravel a conspiracy of mind-boggling proportions.      Regrettably, the plot …
review by . June 08, 2010
When we last saw Lisbeth Salander, she was shot in the head and rescued from sure death by Mikael Blomkvist.  As this book opens, Salander is saved through emergency surgery to convalesce under armed guard while the authorities decide what to do with her.  To top it off, her estranged father, Zalechanko, has somehow survived too and is in the very hospital Salander is in only a few doors away.      The inner circle within the Swedish security police (Sapo) realize that …
review by . October 16, 2010
To finish up Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, I recently read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo immensely, but The Girl Who Played With Fire was a bit of a letdown. It didn't have the same pace and intricacies, and the ending was a bit too far-fetched for me. Hornet's Nest picks up right where Fire leaves off, with Lizbeth in the hospital and the doctors trying to save her life after the gunshot wound to the head. Even though it's …
review by . August 22, 2010
41/2 Stars.      The spellbinding conclusion to Steig Larsson's "Millinnium" trilogy picks up after the action in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Lisbeth Salander is taken to the hospital after being shot three times. She's in critical condition with the bullet that entered her brain.      Her friend, journalist, Mikael Blomkvist found her and notified the authorities. He also told the police that he had tied killer Ronald Niedermann …
review by . November 08, 2010
This book is the final chapter in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy. It is the culmination of the many interconnected incidents and affairs that have been explored by a duo of very unlikely protagonists - Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and cofounder of the monthly magazine Millennium, and a brilliant yet very troubled young woman named Lisbeth Salander. "The Girl Who Kicked Hornets Nest" is a true sequel to the previous book in the series, "The Girl Who Played with …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
Great full circle book. Stieg Larsson is a great writer know makes his characters come to life.
review by . July 25, 2010
All three books are excellent, but this is the best of all!
This is the third and final volume of the Larsson trilogy, which began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, because the author died in 2004. The first volume was excellent, the second was better, and the third was best of all. The books stand head and shoulders above all other crime thrillers during the past decade or more. They are extremely well-written, expertly translated, have unforgettable characters, great uninterrupted drama and suspense, and in Lisbeth Salander one of the most unique …
review by . June 17, 2010
   The setting of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is quite claustrophobic, taking place in offices, jails, hospital rooms.  This device takes the reader more into the intricacies of Swedish organizations, as well as the minds and emotions of the characters than the first two books of the trilogy.. The first half of the book drags as Salander is recovering in the hospital and the reader is taken through the intricacies of 'The Section', a secret group within Sapo …
review by . October 30, 2010
This book is the final chapter in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy. It is the culmination of the many interconnected incidents and affairs that have been explored by a duo of very unlikely protagonists - Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and cofounder of the monthly magazine Millennium, and a brilliant yet very troubled young woman named Lisbeth Salander. "The Girl Who Kicked Hornets Nest" is a true sequel to the previous book in the series, "The Girl Who Played with Fire" as the action and the …
About the reviewer
Diana Faillace Von Behren ()
Ranked #166
I like just about anything. My curiosity tends to be insatiable--I love the "finding out" and the "ah-ha" moments.      Usually I review a book or film with the … more
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As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy,The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nestis not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out ofThe Girl with the Dragon TattooandThe Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned.--Dave Callanan
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ISBN-10: 030726999X
ISBN-13: 978-0307269997
Author: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (9780307269997)
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Knopf
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