A couple of weeks ago, I posted about all of the fanfare marking the arrival of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson’s last entry in his wildly popular Millennium Trilogy. I read it almost immediately. It kept me up nights well past my bed time so I could fit in that one last chapter.
Hornet’s Nest is tough to talk about without prefacing everything with a spoiler alert. So much has been written about the series and this last book in particular, that it’s difficult to offer anything new on the topic. In light of this, I’ll keep it simple and say Hornet’s Nest has more of everything that made the first two books so enjoyable – more coffee, more unpronounceable Swedish geography, more breakneck action, more bad guys, more of Kalle Blomkvist’s steadfast super-journalism and more of Lisbeth Salander – one of the most unique heroines ever. And more strong women – secret police agents, police women, women working for private security firms – in addition to the recurring tough ladies of the series, Lisbeth Salander and Erika Berger.
I hadn’t occurred to me that women specifically were playing such an outsize role in the culmination of the trilogy until it was pointed out to me in an article that, regrettably, I can’t put my hands on to link to. It seems patently obvious now in retrospect. It’s a fitting end to the series and matches Larsson’s over-arching themes.
If you have not read any of Larsson’s books, you owe it to yourself to not start this odyssey with Hornet’s Nest. If you’re going to read any of the Millennium Trilogy at all, you have to start at the beginning. Hornet’s Nest must be saved for last – a reward for reading through the first two books and following Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist’s joined struggle for justice. If you’ve read the first two books and have been wondering if the finale can possibly live up to expectations, I’m here to tell you that Hornet’s Nest has been worth the wait.