*This post might contain some spoilers of the first two books in the trilogy.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest immediately begins with Lisbeth Salander inside the hospital hovering between life and death. Aside from being under close scrutiny because of her medical condition, she is also facing indictment for three murders and a string of other criminal infractions. Mikael Blomkvist, the high-profile journalist and a loyal friend, is determined on proving Lisbeth’s innocence and is more than ever compelled to publish what he has uncovered as a complicated conspiracy among high-ranking government officials in order to silence Lisbeth and what she knows to be an explosive truth behind the identity of the man called Alexander Zalachenko.
I was expecting more action scenes in this book, but Lisbeth still showed herself worthy to be called a kick-ass heroine through her superb geeky skills. The uncovering of the intriguing conspiracy may have been gradual but still satisfying, nonetheless. I love the cop scenes, the sleuthing and spying, the political and media power play, and most especially the court-room drama. I also love it that there are more women characters added, particularly Inspector Modig and Advokat Annika Giannini.
I am still not fond of Mikael Blomkvist, but I must give it to the man for his loyalty to Lisbeth. Were it not for him and his resourcefulness to help, Lisbeth might not have been able to pull through on her own.
Lisbeth is at a dilemma. Before the murders, she made sure that her life kept hidden from the public eye. She maintained few friends and close contacts. But now, if she wants to fight for her innocence, she has to speak up and make herself vulnerable, including revealing her dark and traumatic past. In this last installment of the series, we see Lisbeth become more human, and we discover how she became to be so reserved and full of distrust.
Which is truth and which is fantasy? Which is believable and which one is a cover-up? These twists and turns in the plot make it all the more intriguing despite the fact that there are only few action scenes. The discourse surrounding Swedish history and political figures are likewise fascinating reads.
Yes, the superfluity of the writing is still there (the book badly needs a good editor), but what I love about the entire trilogy is that it is an advocacy on women’s rights and protection. I don’t know what the social atmosphere in Sweden is which made Stieg Larsson write this story but for sure, he was able to clearly send his message across.
I would have loved a different ending. In fact, I was expecting another cliff-hanger, but this one tightly wraps up all the loose ends and I have to be content with that. Reading The Millennium Trilogy is one great thrill ride, and Lisbeth Salander is a female character I will always remember.
“I told you you’d be unbeatable. When it comes down to it, the story is not primarily about spies and secret government agencies; it’s about violence against women, and the men who enable it.”
My copy: ebook