Monday, August 31, 2015

Discussion/Mini Reviews: The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

When I heard that there was going to be another "Girl" book, I was ecstatic!!! I loved Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy and was so bummed when he died before being able to write more. I had read that he planned to write 10 books in the series so I just knew we hadn't seen enough of Lizbeth Salander. I wanted more of her!!!

So now this other book is coming out, obviously by another author, David Lagercrantz. And questions abound. Will it be true to the first three books? Will it have the same feel as the previous books or take a completely different turn? Will it just be this one book or will there be more? Do I really want to read this new book and end up disappointed and possibly end up disliking a favorite series? 

All these questions and more floated around in my head, but more importantly to me, if this new author was picking up on where the series left off, would I remember what had happened? I went back and forth about rereading them and eventually decided to go ahead with it. Since I had read them all the first time around and really didn't have the time to fit three more books in, I decided to listen to them. I had only listened to the first and loved it. (That was a similar situation - had read the first book and it was a while before I got to books 2 & 3, so in order to refresh my memory as to what happened in book 1, I listened to it. Plus, Simon Vance - enough said!!!)

And, I'm so glad I did. I definitely picked up on certain things that I probably missed the first time around. Plus, it did refresh my memory of certain things, too. Now, I'm all jazzed about this latest book, coming out tomorrow. Of course, I'm stuck with another dilemma - do I read it or do I listen to it??? I'm going to buy the book no matter what to add to my collection, but in all honesty, if I don't listen to it, I probably won't get to it right away, as I have so many other books that I need to read due to prior reading commitments. But, if I listen to it, I can start as soon as it comes out tomorrow...oh the decisions. While there is a new author, Simon Vance is still narrating and I think that's what's swaying me...he is an amazing narrator and I think I'm going to just give it a try. What will you be doing? Reading it or listening to it?

I do plan on staying away from all reviews until I read The Girl in the Spider's Web. I want to form my own opinions - good or bad. I have loved the first three books in this series and have never been in a position where the author has changed midstream, so this is going to be a new experience for me. Have you experienced this before? Are you daunted by this/put off by it or is it not bothering you at all?

So, since I already reviewed these books, I'm just going to do some mini reviews here of the audio productions and include the links to the reviews of the print editions. If you've read the series, let me know your thoughts. Are you planning on reading the 4th book, The Girl in the Spider's Web? Did you reread the first 3 books in anticipation/preparation of the release of this book?

Let me know your thoughts on all this...let's discuss!!!


Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 
Author: Stieg Larsson   
Series: Millennium, #1   
Narrator: Simon Vance  
Published: September 2008, Books on Tape  
Length: 16 hours 19 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible
Print Review
Audio review 

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism and an unexpected connection between themselves.

Contagiously exciting, it’s about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

My thoughts: I forgot how slow the beginning of this book is...but then again, it's to introduce us to all the characters. Once that happens, it does pick up and then becomes almost impossible to walk away from. Even though this was my third time through, I still picked up a few things I hadn't the first two times through and enjoyed it just the same. I love Salander - she's such a great character!!!

Audio Thoughts: This was the first audio I had listened to with Simon Vance narrating and it was just as good the second time around. He really is an amazing narrator and when you're reading a book with lots of foreign names/places, having a good narrator is key! I'm quite eager to listen to the rest of the series with him narrating the books!

Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire   
Author: Stieg Larsson   
Series: Millennium, #2    
Narrator: Simon Vance  
Published: July 2009, Random House Audio  
Length: 18 hours 38 minutes   
Source: Personal copy via Audible
Print review  

Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

My thoughts: I forgot how fast this book literally hit the ground running with this book. At first, Salander and Blomkvist seem to have nothing to do with each other, each having almost separate stories going on. But then, something major happens and their paths cross. This book is definitely more personal than the first one. We get more glimpses into Salander's past and what makes her tick. She is such a dark, mysterious character and I am utterly fascinated with her!!!

Audio Thoughts: Simon Vance makes the audio production! He really does a great job with the voices and places - the pronunciations alone throw me, so having him say it is a godsend! I love listening to him and he tells the story in such a way that you feel the tension and suspense drip off tongue.

Title: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest   
Author: Stieg Larsson    
Series: Millennium, #3   
Narrator: Simon Vance  
Published: May 2010, Random House Audio  
Length: 20 hours 20 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible
Print review

In the third volume of the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition in a Swedish hospital, a bullet in her head.

But she's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she'll need to identify those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she'll seek revenge--against the man who tried to killer her and against the corrupt government institutions that nearly destroyed her life.

My thoughts: This one is brilliantly done, picking up moments after the second book. It really highlights just how well Larsson created his female characters, as not only is Salander brilliant in this, but so are Erika Berger, Annika Giannini, Sonja Modig, Susanne Linder, and Monica Figuerola. These women are determined to go after what they are fighting for and are not afraid to stand up to the men in their way. 

It's interesting the way this wasn't supposed to be the final book in a series, yet in some ways, it's all tied up. There isn't a cliffhanger, we aren't left with any loose strings waiting to be picked up in the next book. Maybe Larsson had a new direction he wanted to take with book 4? I don't know but now I am very eager to see what the new author has in store for us.

Audio Thoughts: Again, Simon Vance rocked this audio book. He is the main reason I was able to listen to these 3 books almost back-to-back this summer. They are long, dark books, but it was pure joy listening to him narrate them. I still hear him in my head as I reflect on the books writing these reviews and as I look at my notes and flip though the pages, I can hear his voice saying the different words in my head - words I wouldn't even begin to know how to pronounce. I am very eager to hear him narrate this near book...he will be the one familiar comfort with the new author in this continuation of a favorite series.



  1. I enjoyed this series. I was not aware of the new book by a different author. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. I really enjoyed this series, too. There's a lot of people on the fence about this new book since it's written by a new author. The review's I've glanced at seem mixed.

  2. I am having a hard time deciding if I am going to read or listen. So glad to know Simon Vance is narrating.

    1. I'm enjoying the audio so far, but there are some minor inconsistencies from the previous books. Other than that, the book itself is good. Will be curious to see what you decide.


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