Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series. In this adrenaline-charged, up-to-the-moment political thriller, Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back. The troubled genius hacker and crusading journalist thrilled the world in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide. David Lagercrantz is a Swedish journalist and best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction. He was hand selected by the Larsson estate to write this standalone sequel based on Stieg Larsson's characters.
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The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the continuation of the deceased Stieg Larsson’s the Millennium Series, better known as the The Girl . . . With the Dragon Tattoo, Who Played With Fire, and Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, is very good but not yet to the level of its predecessors. Stiag Larson created and wrote the first three installations of the Millennium Series publication, but passed before his writing drew popular and scholarly cliam. So, the present title is authorized by Larsson’s heirs’, as a continuation of his novels, as allegedly plotted out by Larsson before his untimely death. They are written now by David Lagercrantz, himself a well published and successful Swedish mystery novelist. The book, the fourth in the Millennium Series is a wonderful murder/espionage/crime syndicate enigmatic story. Furthermore, the tale is told so well it is very difficult not to read in one sitting. A good work and recommended. Yet, . . .
. . when compared to Stieg Larsson’s prior works, the present installation, Spider’s Web is without the geometric depth found in the earlier plots. The peculiarities of the interlacing histories of the individual characters are not presented with the same, “oh my gosh, can you believe that twist in the plot”? A twist that always intrigued the reader in the earlier works because although improbable they were nevertheless believable given how well the story was put together and told. That characteristic in not present in Spider’s Web. The story does give us back our old friends, Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist, Erika Berger and a cameo by Plague. Wonderful to visit with them again. Did not want to let them go and maybe now we can have them as friends for ten more novels? Yet, like this summer’s revisit with Atticus (Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee), one can never redo those unique pasts. The present versions of Lisbeth and Mikael are not the full bodied characters Larsson made, yet, they are still deployable, employable and interesting. Just not larger than life any longer. Though, I do not feel Lisbeth and Mikael’s special relationship was demonstrated whatsoever in this novel.
The story is about super hacking, and of course, this is all engineered by Lisbeth to bring about the better good. The story also ties back into her past, specifically her evil father’s criminal empire, which she was able to put an end to in the trilogy. Yet, effluents of his past remain and seek Lisbeth’s demise. The hacking that initiates the story and Lisbeth’s family past dovetail to produce a potentially terrific story. All this is spiced up by the introduction of a savant syndrome child whose prodigious capacities blend uniquely with Lisbeth’s genius. The story is good, the telling is good and the unfolding is good, but less than it could have been. At some points just too many people are introduced and it makes it difficult to follow who is who from what organization and why are they added to the plot.
Nevertheless, not a Stieg Larson but definitely a Swedish mystery lover’s read. This is definitely the only time I have found Simon Vance’s presentation less than great.
We are told by the media that Larsson’s lifelong significant other lady friend, someone who was with him as he created his characters and plots, was not given opportunity to participate in prolongation of the series. She was not a legal inheritor and not permitted to guide the follow along series because Larsson’s brother and father, his inheritors, did not want to share the bounty. Someone should have pointed out to them; long time loving mates share an élan and perception of the original Lisbeth tales that perhaps no one, not even an editor may share. This may have been quite stupid. If Larsson’s life mate was there when he created our loving characters the story may have had an insight which we do not and now will never have.
- J.B. "Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads."
So thankful we still have Lizbeth!
STORY (thriller) - Yes, the loss of Stieg Larsson is huge, but I so appreciate David Lagercrantz for this effort. Lizbeth is an awesome character and, thanks to him, she's going to be around a little longer!
Personally, I didn't like this book as much as the first three, but that stems from my own personal taste and, perhaps, stupidity rather than from Lagercrantz's writing. For one, I would have liked a few less characters to keep straight. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I got confused with who was who several times. Second, although Lizbeth definitely plays a major role in the story, I would have preferred more of her. (Yes, I'm a fan). And, third, while I normally do not enjoy violence, I've come to expect it in this series and actually would have liked more of it in this book.
On the positive side, the plot is thrilling and complex, and it was wonderful to spend time with Lizbeth and Mikael again. Thankfully, their characters have not changed one bit! The addition of an autistic boy character was very interesting, and I loved the deeper insight into Lizbeth's childhood and the dark relationship she has with her sister. The book doesn't end with a bang, but everything is explained and it's a nice ending.
PERFORMANCE - Simon Vance delivers his usual awesome performance and lends continuity to the series.
OVERALL - As always, there is some violence and cursing, but no sex scenes this time. Recommended for anyone who loves The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hope the criticism Lagercrantz is receiving for this sequel doesn't dissuade him from continuing our beloved series...