Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Stieg Larsson


576 pages

Where to start with this one?  I have a feeling that a rash of reviews will probably start popping up very soon and either you’re madly reading this book or you couldn’t care less.

**If you have not read The Girl who Played with Fire, I suggest you not read this review, as it is impossible to write it without spoilers to Fire**

She’s ba-ack!  Lisbeth has survived a bullet to the brain and is now recuperating down the hallway from her murderous father, Alexander Zalachenko.  Zalachenko, although under suspicion for the discoveries made on his property, is pointing the finger at Lisbeth and accusing her of murder.  Meanwhile, Lisbeth’s beast of a brother is on the loose.

Lisbeth is forced to go to trial, so Blomkvist urges his sister to represent her during her trial.  As you can imagine, Lisbeth is as defiant as ever and refuses to help those who are there to help her.  She, as well as everyone else, is up to their old antics and the story moves and flows just as the previous two.

So yes, that is one of the weakest plot descriptions I have ever written, but I don’t feel like going more in depth for two reasons

  1. If you aren’t already familiar with this book, you will be within the next few weeks/months, as review after review after review is written.  I don’t want to beat an already dead horse!
  2. I just want to discuss the book and not linger on plot description!

I was relaxing with my mom over a week ago on a Sunday morning when she tossed the paper to me and told me to read the Hornet review (the newspaper in question is The Cleveland Plain Dealer (  I had just finished the book two days prior and a lot of my family members were itching to read it (my mom still needs to read Fire).  One thing that caught my eye was that the reviewer was lamenting the fact that the first half of the book was boring.  I disagree—as with the previous book, there was a bit recounting of the preceding book but I didn’t find that to be an issue and, even had it been an issue, it definitely didn’t take up the entire first half of the book.  However, the format of Hornet is a bit different than the previous two books, as indicated in a snippet of this review from the St Petersburg Times. (

Hornet’s Nest has somewhat less kick-butt action than the previous books, with more of the story unfolding in courtrooms, boardrooms and newsrooms.

Personally, I have no problem with this format as there was definitely still enough action.

At first, I was a bit disappointed with the fact that Hornet is a continuation of The Girl who Played with Fire.  I liked that Fire and The girl with The Dragon Tattoo were two very different stories, so I was anxious to see what storyline Larsson would come up with only to be let down.  Gradually, I was able to overcome my disappointment though and appreciate Hornet despite that.  And I was not let down by Blomkvist and Salander, two of my favorite characters ever!  I admit, I love Berger too.  The one character I wasn’t all about was Monica Figuerola.  I just didn’t like her.  Maybe because she was with Blomkvist?  I wanted Blomkvist to be with Salander OR, at the very least, to continue his relationship with Berger. /Sadly, it was not meant to be.  That was probably the biggest issue for me throughout the whole book, but who even knows where it would have gone if Larsson had been able to finish the purported ten books in the series that he had planned on?  I really feel that we readers were robbed by not getting more of these awesome books.  I was seriously bereft at closing Hornet after reading the last of it—I know there is no more to come

Other Reviews:

Mysteries in Paradise

Confessions of a Bibliophile

Another Cookie Crumbles

I received this book from the publisher for review.

6 Responses

  1. I am almost exactly half way through the audio book right now and I’m loving it. It’s definitely more procedural than the first two, but I’ve come to recognize how much I love that. You know that there is a build up, but to what?

    I can’t speak to your feelings about Monica yet. I don’t have feelings about her either way. I’ll be interested to see where her character goes.

    I know that I will continue to mourn Larsson as I finish this book. Oh, what would have been… I’ve never been one for fan fiction, but I think I’d be tempted to give decently written stuff a try with this series. I don’t want Blomkvist and Salander to die!

    Great review!

  2. I stalled a chapters into this one. I got bogged down in all of his tedious desciptions of people that were minor characters.

  3. I read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo back in January, but I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought the mystery was kind of weak (I didn’t care for the motivation for the crimes at all), and to me there was too much financial talk! I have left the door open to potentially reading the next book in the series if I become desperate for a thriller, but I guess these aren’t really my kind of books.

  4. I’m right in the middle of this one and while I’m enjoying it, I don’t feel the urgency to read faster to know what happens like I did with the first two books. I also didn’t expect this to be quite a continuation of the story. I figured things would be wrapped up early on and then we’d move to something else. Well, I guess I’ll wait and see what I think when I finish but like you, I just wonder where Larsson would have gone with the rest of the series.

  5. […] Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest … […]

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