Editor's Rating

Lisbeth and Mikael are back for this new book in the millennium trilogy. The novel is fast paced and has enough thrills to keep you occupied, but lacks the meandering style of Larsson. Especially Lisbeth, whose character development turns her into an X-ray as opposed to an enigma from the previous novels. Approach it with an open mind and you have a decent crime thriller, but not a cultural or literary phenomenon.

8
Story
5
Character Development
7
Writing Style

The Girl in the Spider's Web- Book Review

 

  •  The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  • Publisher: Knopf (September 1, 2015)
  • Pages416
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385354282
  • ISBN-13:  978-0385354288

We are back with another book review this weekend. This time the Millenium and Lisbeth Salander are both back. Yes, I am talking about the 4th book in the Millenium trilogy – The Girl In The Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz. This was one of the most anticipated books of the year. This book is the fourth novel in the Millenium trilogy penned by Sweedish writer Steig Larsson, discovered after his death in 2004. The Books were a huge success worldwide, selling over 80 million copies and were made into 3 successful movies in Sweden. The Girl with the dragon tattoo was also adapted on screen by David Fincher. Larsson had intended to publish up to 10 books in the series. For those of you who are unfamiliar with events before the book, there was a legal dispute between Larsson’s girlfriend and his brother and father regarding the draft notes of his next books. It was claimed by Larsson’s partner and his will that he would not want his work to be continued by another Author. However, money is a strong motivator. Larsson’s blood family has retained all rights to his work, but they cannot use any material from the draft. So, when David Lagercrantz was commissioned by Larsson’s estate, he had to start from scratch after reading the published Larsson’s. He is a skilled novelist in his own right having penned Zlatan Ibrahimović’s biography I am Zlatan Ibrahimović.

The question on everyone’s mind when they heard about this book is – Would it live up to the Larsson’s original trilogy? Well, I cannot say a definite Yes or No, but it is an amazing piece of work that does some justice to the spirit of the characters created by Larsson. While the three books, with their clever twists and turns leave you with a sense of comeuppance, this one seems like a bit of lecture than a clever and gripping plot. And something is off in the way Lisbeth is portrayed in the book.

Let’s start with the plot. The book begins with introducing a new major character – Frans Balder. He is a brilliant computer scientist, working at a major American software company. He has managed to create a self-aware Artificial intelligence program which is based on “technological singularity, the state at which computer intelligence will have overtaken human intelligence,”. He is also a father of 8-year-old autistic child August and returns to Sweden to claim his custody. August is another important new character in the book. He is a genius and artistic maestro adept at reproducing scenes on a paper. He is also very skilled in complex mathematics and cracking puzzles and can do things like finding prime number factors of very, very large numbers using elliptical curves. When you read through the portrayal of August, you feel like its clumsily created just to meet the demands of the plot. Another major character introduced is Thanos. He leads a group of hackers, known as spiders who are after the program created by Balder.

It’s always the wrong people who have the guilty conscience. Those who are really responsible for suffering in the world couldn’t care less. It’s the ones fighting for good who are consumed by remorse

Now let’s move on to the two major returning characters – Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Millenium has been acquired by a media conglomerate Serner and Mikael is in desperate need of a new breaking story. Mikael gets a phone call from the US about a technology which is Vital to the security of the United states. And they also claim to be in contact with Salander, or someone who very closely resembles her.

Lisbeth Salander – One of the most fascinating heroines in crime fiction is a deranged and dangerous tattooed, pierced hacker who will do whatever it takes to achieve her end. She is an excellent hacker and is seeing hacking into the computers of none other than the NSA this time! She works with a group of ethical hackers and ultimately manages to crack the holy grail of hacking

Those who spy on the people end up being spied on by the people.

Also, there are glimpses of Lisbeth’s childhood and the reason behind her famous hacker handle: “WASP”. However, the character of Lisbeth portrayed in this book seems like your generic crime thriller protagonist, without any personality of her own as depicted in the Larsson’s original trilogy. The plot however, uses same elements of style as in original trilogy like fluid switch from character to character that Larsson did. The novel is fast paced and has enough twists and turns to keep you hooked. Yet, it does seem like your average crime thriller. The moral purpose and plausible narrative that made this gripping trilogy a coup de foudre, is missing, in spite of a commendable effort by the Author. Though, I can see that this will appeal more to certain younger sections and maybe that was the intention. It’s a must read for all fans of Lisbeth Salander though, as this is probably the closest we will ever get to continuing the series. It might not be a masterpiece, but it’s much more than just a fan-fiction. Approach it with an open mind and you’ll like it.

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