Monday, June 21, 2010

An intriguing lack of intrigue

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy #3)
Stieg Larsson

***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!

***End spoilers***

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.

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