Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Book Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire

After reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was anxious to read Stieg Larsson's sequel. The Girl Who Played with Fire did not disappoint. The Girl Who Played with Fire starts off where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo left off. Lisbeth Salander is back, along with Mikael Blomkvist and the rest of the Millennium staff, and Dragan Armansky and the rest of the Milton Security group. In this book, Salander is accused of murder. While the police try to figure out who she is and where she is hiding, Blomkvist and Armansky both delve into their own investigations as to whether she is guilty.

I have to say I actually liked the storyline of this book better than the first. Like Larsson's first book, this one is full of minute details and a host of characters that are sometimes difficult to keep track of. But it's so engaging and interesting, I had a hard time putting it down. The beginning was a little slower, as there is actually quite a long section at the beginning before the murders take place. We see Salander maturing and changing over the year since the last book ended, and we watch the Millennium crew begin work on a magazine edition and book project that are destined to create another huge scandal, this time about sex trafficking.

Although sex trafficking is a big topic within The Girl Who Played with Fire, this book actually has a lot less sexual violence than the first book. This made it a bit more enjoyable to me, as I had a hard time with some of the scenes that took place in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In addition, this book delved deeply into who Salander really is, and this is something that I was itching to know, but did not get from reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I will say I did not like what happens to Salander in the last chapter of the book. I feel like Larsson does a fabulous job of writing with such detail that it seems like the events that happen in the book could really happen. But the last chapter seemed extremely unrealistic and made the book end on slightly negative note for me. On the other hand, I'm definitely anxious to read the third book in this series, which I understand will be released next summer, because I want to know what happens and how this story is finally tied up.

My Rating: 5/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for The Girl Who Played With Fire

Read my reviews of the other books in this series:
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

This review was written based on a copy of The Girl Who Played with Fire that I borrowed from a friend.


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