Kim and Todd here, back with another joint review for the third and final installment of The Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. Once again we were able to listen to this work in audiobook format, with the impeccable Simon Vance as narrator. As good as the last two books were, both of us were eager to jump in and see how this epic storyline played out, especially since the US film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is due out in theaters tomorrow!
Opening on the heels of the second book in the trilogy, we follow Lisbeth as she is airlifted to the hospital after surviving a brutal attack at the hands of her father and half-brother that left her buried alive with a gunshot wound. Ironically, her father is two rooms away from her own hospital room, recovering from an axe wound inflicted by Salander. What follows is a tale of murder, attempted cover ups, and the quest to tell the truth, no matter the cost. Salander and Blomkvist again find themselves facing the threat of death as they attempt to clear their names once and for all.
Todd: As the axiom goes, save the best for last. I definitely think that Larsson did this for the trilogy, as he ties multiple story lines together that have arced over the entire thing and brought them to a more than satisfactory conclusion. I can’t think of a better or more shocking literary ending than the courtroom finale that Giannini presents to the judge in Salander’s hearing. I think this made the book for me. I truly felt that Salander had never deserved any of the mistreatment in her life, and to see her vindicated at the end was awesome and fantastic.
Kim: I definitely agree that the court hearing is what does it for this novel. Listening to the audio had me literally on the edge of my seat, as I couldn’t skip forward and cheat to see a few pages ahead! I had to stay listening in real-time, which killed me. I will say that the very ending of the novel was slightly dissatisfactory, but upon doing more research I found that when Larsson died, he left behind a fourth manuscript. This lead me to believe that this novel was actually just setting up another novel.
Todd: It’s too bad that Larsson didn’t live to see the completion of that fourth novel, or for that matter the widespread success of his work as a whole. Part of me thinks that he really wouldn’t have been affected by it, as evidenced in his attitude in his novels: he seemed to always want to look out for those who can’t help themselves, and wasn’t much for any kind of self-serving recognition. This is what I think makes this novel in particular shine. I can just tell that he wanted to make Salander’s justice a warning to all individuals who harm women; that what they’re doing won’t go unnoticed, and that every one who participates in these sadistic acts will eventually receive their just punishment.
Kim: Another thing that I think makes these novels so awesome is how un-extraordinary the hero and heroine are. Blomkvist is just an ordinary guy that uses the skills he has to do good in the world. He’s a reporter that has a knack for finding out the truth, and wants to see those who benefit from doing the wrong things tried and arrested for their crimes. Salander, on the other hand, is a woman who has just been beat down her whole life, and has continually found a way, using her own intelligence and quick thinking, to punish them. She reminds me of a computer hacking vigilante. She uses technology as far as she can, and then by blunt force makes sure her message is understood. As an aside Simon Vance is the best audio narrator ever! I want to listen to everything he’s ever narrated!
Todd: I definitely agree with you on Mr. Vance there, I would totally want him to be the voice on my answering machine, how cool would that be? Anyway, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a fantastic ending to an indescribable series. If you haven’t already, pick this one up to close out what you already know to be a fantastic storyline that keeps getting better with every read.
Kim: 5 out of 5 Stars
Todd: 5 out of 5 Stars
This is my twenty-first completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge