Book review of “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

Millennium I: Made golf club into a potential defense weapon…

Millennium II: Used a cigarette case as an effective grave-digging tool…

Millennium III: Emerged as a “full-on” vengeance machine even when bed-ridden

The final book of the Millennium Trilogy

“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” is the final chapter of Lisbeth’s story to us.  It’s a story where Lisbeth (with help from her well-wishers) settles scores with all the culprits who turned her life upside-down and wins justice for herself. The book’s original Swedish title is Luftslottet som sprängdes which literary means ‘The Castle in the Air That Was Blown Up’ (I prefer the English title – It’s more catchy 🙂 ).

Unlike its predecessors, this book lacks surprise elements… the revelations just flow in and we quite know that in the end the bad are gonna be punished and good will triumph where Fröken Lisbeth is finally going to earn her long-waited justice… and yes, all this is bound into long 746 pages. Nevertheless, the book’s still worth reading, especially if you have read the first two as this book impressively ties-up all the loose ends and hooks you on to turn your page despite a predictable story. In any case, you can’t just possibly do without reading the final book after having been through an enjoyable and exciting whirlwind of the first two stories.

This third and final sequel picks up right where the second one left off. Lisbeth is flown into the ICU of Sahlgrenska hospital where its renowned and compassionate Dr Anders Jonasson successfully puts her out of the danger zone after performing a super-complex brain surgery that results in no side-effects other than Lisbeth forgetting the solution to the pesky Fermat’s theorem that she solved after much thought and struggle in the second novel… Made me think Swedish writers too think like Bollywood writers at times 😉

The story then builds further with a lot of drama and intrigue to spill beans about the Section and how it actually operated. This book compiles a lot more characters than the first book and has multiple people from The Section, Milton Security, Stockholm police force, Svenska Morgon-Posten, Constitutional Protection at Säpo along with Blomkvist’s sister, the Justice Minister and the Prime Minister. As opposed to the first two books, Salander does not play a key role in exposing The Section… Blomkvist and his supporting team’s role is more prominent in cracking the well-kept secrets of The Section while Salander is convalescing from her injuries. However, she does leap back into action when a Palm Tungsten T3 is smuggled for her in the hospital and she writes down her case in order to clear her name and exposing Teleborian as a paedophile.

The most interesting and page-turning part of the book is the court case proceeding and its highlight is Lisbeth’s responses to the Prosecutor’s questions. Another intriguing part in the book is Lisbeth’s encounter with her half-brother Ronald Niedermann as he remains missing in the first 3/4th part of the book. The only unnecessary section in the book is the part about a certain ‘Poison Pen’ stalking Erika Berger.

Overall the entire series of Millennium Trilogy throws light on the misuse of power especially by Authorities entrusted with responsibilities by the society, how we fear to question all that we don’t understand and injustice caused to women by considering them no more than some pretty piece of weak meat.

The third book completes Lisbeth’s story from almost all angles – winning her justice, ridding her of all bad elements like Zalachenko, Niedermann and Teleborian from her life, her relationship with Blomkvist and her having an economically secured future. It is undoubtedly a fitting end to the series.

I rate the book 3.5/5 as though I loved reading it, it’s not my best book among the three.

It’s a pity to not expect any further books from the late Stieg Larsson – a phenomenal narrator of a truly fascinating, gripping story of a super-riveting character – Lisbeth Salander.