Jake's Reviews > The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
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Aug 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: novel, series, adapted, thriller, translated
Read from February 01 to 22, 2012

I enjoyed the shit out of this series. In the very least, it was a well-written thriller series. At the most, it's the best example of the thriller genre. The reason it's so incredible to me is because I've read thrillers before and they don't turn out like this. Every character in the Millennium series is motivated and sharp. Even minor good characters have home lives they want to protect, jobs they want to keep and people they want to save. And the minor bad characters are calculated, brave and have their wits about them. Every character has a back story, which is daunting when you consider how many characters are actually in this series. I didn't cringe once in this series because of dopey dialogue or shallow plot developments, though I did cringe because of certain scenes of brutality.

The world is an interesting place, not matter what storyteller is handing it to you. Larsson gave me a world of very dark villains and very astonishing heroes. And he did it without telling me what was good and what was. Much of the time, there's a lot of moral ambiguity floating around actually. But it's tremendously consistent. You never roll your eyes or scoff at the plannings of sinister men. You never shrug off the dedication of strong women. It's a world that belongs to itself, without laughter, with serious consequences.

This book was a lot about tying up loose ends and moving into some hybrid story of legal thriller, which I don't find as thrilling as regular thrillers where everything goes haywire. But it's good. It's damn good. The first book was a closed-room murder mystery, the second book was a conspiracy theory and the third book was legal thriller. Three different subgenres existing in the same pace and tempo of a single series. I'm bummed it's over, and I'm stoked that somebody sat down and wrote a shinning example of thriller fiction, but I'll feel better when I go to sleep. Thank you, Stieg Larsson, for straight up killing it.
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