The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Millennium, Book #4
by David Lagercrantz & Stieg Larsson
Author’s Website: davidlagercrantz(.)se/home/
It all starts with a dream that it’s more of a memory from her childhood. A time later, after the events from The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, we find Mikael Blomkvist at the end of what look of his career and fame, but it all changes when a phone call with a lead for a new story arrives. This lead come from the assistant of Professor Frans Balder an Engineer who is working in the field of Artificial Intelligence; the assistant tells Blomkvist that he should contact professor Balder, as some of his research has been stolen in the past and they have proof that it was later sold to a foreign company. What gets Mikael’s attention is that the professor and assistant had help from an odd female hacker that got them that proof. That night, when Mikael decides to meet the professor a series of events happen around the world: first the United States NSA (National Security Agency) is hacked and some information stolen, the worst storm that Sweden has ever seen strikes, professor Balder learns that his son, August, who has autism is savant and skill artist, and a hit against professor Balder is executed.
Now with the dead of Professor Frans Balder, Mikael has to do everything he can to find the killer and the missing research of the professor. In his hunt for clues and information, his investigation leads him back to Lisbeth’s own investigation against the deals that Alexander Zalachenko had in other countries. Her investigation has leaded her to a cyber criminal organization called the Spider Society, who had their eyes set on professor Balder’s research.
Time is running out to find the Spider Society and most of all to keep safe the only person who saw the face of professor’s Balder assassin, his son August.
I will start by saying that I liked this story with its crime novel and mystery genre, but I want to remind the readers that this is a whole different author who created the Millennium series. Saying that, it’s understood that the characters that we met in the previous books don’t feel the same, as the ones in this book.
At first, the story has that feel of mystery and questioning of where is heading, such as we read in the first book, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was fun getting back into the notion of investigating with Mikael and Lisbeth, while trying to find the people behind the Spider Society, and the connection they have with Lisbeth. At the same time, it was fun to part of the of a team that is looking for the hacker that hack the NSA, who are impressed and angry at the same time.
This book still follows the same pattern as the previous installments, where we get the point of view (POV) of different characters and even of the killer of professor Balder. Even though this is the case, I was hoping to read the POV of August and the leader of the Spider Society, but they didn’t appear. Still, I liked that I read through the eyes of professor Balder and detective Bublanski.
I was happy to see familiar characters from the previous books, and at the same time I was very interested with the new characters that were introduced in this book. In the first pages of the book, there is a list of the characters from the previous books who will appear or be mentioned in this book; while I think it was helpful, I also felt it spoiler the reader to what characters to expect. But at the same time, I think it’s helpful for new readers to the series, as it also comes with a small summary of the character.
Mikael still feels like the Mikael we meet in the books written by Stieg Larsson, he still is a journalist that writes the truth, even when it starts to become too dangerous for him and his team. He tries to do the best he can in any case, and his loyalty to his friends is still there. While this Lisbeth still has many qualities and aspects as the Lisbeth from Larsson, I felt that she also become braver and bolder, as the events of the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest changed her view of the world. Lisbeth still tries to solve the injustice of the world around her and help those who she thinks have been wronged, while punishing those who deserved it.
I loved the interaction between Lisbeth and August. I think author David Lagercrantz did a good job when writing the scenes these two characters had, and how Lisbeth help August come out of his shell, as I believed she had some idea of what he was going through at the time. I think that this interaction made Lisbeth look more human to the readers and show how much she has grown.
I’m a great fan of the Millennium series and I was very sad after I found out that Stieg Larsson was dead when I read the first books; over the course of the years, this series has been my favorite one, and become the series I re-read when I’m stressed or need inspiration to write something. In the first part of the story, Mikael is in a bad mood and he ends up staying all weekend at home, during his time there he explains that he re-read his favorite series,, and while he did that all his problems went away. I loved that David Lagercrantz wrote this because for a moment it lets reader relate even more with the character of Mikael. I think that it spoke to many readers.
I know this is not the same author and the same characters that we loved from the first books, but as a fan of the original writing by Stieg Larsson, I think that fans from the original books should give it an opportunity and read the story with an open mind to new possibilities. Nobody knows what Stieg Larsson had planned for Lisbeth and everybody else, but David Lagercrantz is giving it a try, and I think he did a good job. If you read closely, you will see that Lagercrantz added Stieg into the backstory of a new character.
If you were a fan of Stieg Larsson, the Millennium series, and Lisbeth Salander; then I encourage and recommend you to read the new story by author David Lagercrantz, the Girl in the Spider’s Web. The past is never dead, and Lisbeth still has some unresolved enemies that still remember her and want to end her while profiting in the worst possible way. The cyberspace has never been a more dangerous place for Lisbeth until now.