Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "The Girl in the Spider's Web" by: David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium Series #4)
Author: David Lagercrantz
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary: She is the girl with the dragon tattoo - a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit.  He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States.  The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker - a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well.  The implications are staggering.  Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help.  She, as usual, has her own agenda.  The secret they are both chasing is at the center of tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it...

Personal Review: I was simply beside myself when I learned that this series was going to continue on with a new writer (taking over for Stieg Larsson, who died before this bestselling series was published).  I was skeptical, wondering if a new face would be able to tap into the characters and writing style that fans of Larsson's had already grown fond of, but fortunately, he didn't disappoint.

This entry was one in which our favorite anti-hero shines...Lisbeth Salander (aka the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  She's unapologetic, tatted up, pierce, wields a photographic memory, has no patience or sympathy for stupidity, knows how to handle herself in a fight, and is one of the best hackers around.  She's just a woman you don't want to mess with and she didn't lose her edge one bit in this entry.

What I did notice was that an emphasis was placed on Mikael Blomkvist in the beginning; however, he is one of the main characters in the series and his profession of being a journalist who mimics that of the writers.  That's understandable...plus, Blomkvist is not a hard character to identify with.

The plot of the novel was strong and gave the perfect opportunity for Salander and Blomkvist to unknowingly join forces and use their own unique skills and talents to uncover the truth...they're just an awesome duo to watch/read.

For those who haven't read the series, you should really go back and do so before reading this entry.  Although I did feel Lagercrantz was able to give the series his own personal stamp, he didn't delve away from the characters' natures, which you will need the previous books to establish that properly.  Additionally, there will be much techno jargon in the book (Lisbeth is a hacker after all), but I think the author did an excellent job at explaining it along the way.

It was a great entry into the series, and yes, you can tell it is being written by a different author (if you want to nitpick), but it stays faithful to the characters, how they interact with each other, and their mission for exposing the truth (by any means necessary).  I would highly recommend it to fans of the series...despite those who don't approve of how it actually got to the point of being published.

Long story short, after the original author died, he had an unfinished fourth manuscript that his longtime girlfriend was holding "hostage" because she wanted some of the glory from the series (or to possibly even finish the manuscript herself).  It was a whole battle between her and Larsson's father & brother that didn't go so well.  So Larsson's family ended up hiring Swedish journalist/crime writer David Lagercrantz to pick up where Larsson left off, and some readers just didn't support that.

Let's face it, many of us won't know all of that background going into it, and if you want to be able to sit back and enjoy a great read in the continuation of this series, you're in for a treat.  It offers enough of the old series to keep it familiar, and enough of the new author to make it his own.  I would be interested in reading more in the future...let's just hope there will be more.

Try looking out for a copy at your Abilene Public Library if you're a fan of crime fiction and thrillers, and remember, if you haven't done so already, you might want to go back and read the first three book in the Millennium series by author Stieg Larsson.  You'll appreciate having the setup and the background information.

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