Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson *There May Be Some Spoilers*

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium, #2) 

Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Published: July 5 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages:  503
How I received this book: Got this as a present from my boyfriend
Amazon: Buy it here

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazineMillennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

>But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all

Read:  May 8-20th
My Rating: 5 stars
In a few words: A gruesome web of twists and turns

Melissa's Musings:

When I first started the Millenium Trilogy, I'll admit I didn't think I was going to like it at all. The first 100 pages was really dry, and I just couldn't get into it. Thankfully, I stuck with it. By the middle of the first book, I was hooked. And at the end, I knew I just had to keep reading.

The character I connected with most has to be Lisbeth Salander. I like her because she's rebellious, but not in a typical, almost trendy, teenage way. She's quick on her feet, both mentally and physically, and she can melt into the crowd easily. She's different. She doesn't follow normal social convention. 

 I think the reason I like her so much is because I envy her confidence,

 I also really admire the fact that she sticks up for her moral beliefs. Although, I don't necessarily like all of the violence that accompanies her actions and belief system, I understand it. Especially now, after reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and finding out so much more about her past.

That has to be one of the aspects I was most pleased with about TGWPWF. As I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I remember saying to myself, "I really wish there was more detail about Lisbeth." I noticed in a lot of the other reviews I read that many people thought that there was too much background information, and they didn't like TGWPWF as much because of it.

Not me. I'm one of those readers who likes to get fully engrossed in the character and their background. The  more detail you can give me, the better. That's part of the reason I kept reading. Larsson gave me just enough info about Salander to keep me hooked into wondering if there'd be more about her in the next book, and he did not disappoint. 

***Spoiler Alert**
And now, with the revelation that Lisbeth has a twin sister, I find myself wanting to know more about Camilla. How is she different from Lisbeth? What role did she really play in everything? What does she really think of Lisbeth?
***End Spoiler***

Generally, I'm not much on thriller stories, but this one flows really well, and the action clips along at a pace that's not too fast, but fast enough to keep you hooked and wanting to read on. The violent scenes are done tastefully, as are the numerous sex scenes.

The supporting characters in this story are really varied, which works out well. The different (albeit few) people in Salander's circle are so different that sometimes it's hard to see how they might have all come to know her. But  once you find out the circumstances, and more about their backgrounds, it makes sense as to why they care for her so much, and she for them.

There is one little quirky detail, that stuck out in my mind and I want to mention it just to see if anyone else noticed it or has any thoughts on it. I noticed that almost every time that Salander went to pick up food, and a couple of times when Blomkvist went to get food they always went to 7-Eleven. And they didn't just get junk, they got staple foods like bread and cheese and apples. Now, when I think of 7-Eleven, I think of soda, chips, and junk food, not apples, cheese and bread. It was just interesting to me that Larsson used 7-Eleven instead of a grocery store. Did anyone else notice this? If so what do you think?

I won't spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but I have to say, for the last 40 pages I went through a gamut of emotions ranging from "hell yeah she's going to get them" to "Dammit!" to "Wow, that really didn't end how I thought it would." 

And just like that, I'm hooked in for the next book.

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes a gripping adventure, and unusual characters. 

Have any of you read this? What are your thoughts on it?


kimba88 said...

Ok..i own this series. I really need to read them and your review has reminded me why i bought them to begin with. I know once i read them, i will probably kick myself for waiting so long..LOL

Melissa said...


I've owned these for a really long time and am just now getting to them. I've had to skip reading a lot of reviews because I didn't want to read any spoilers! I hope you like them. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. :)

Anonymous said...

I've finally finished my review of The Girl Who Played with Fire and, yeah, I agree with you! Lisbeth is definitely a character I admire for her tenacity to hold on to her beliefs, even if I don't completely agree with the way she goes about them.

Also, I'm with you on the background information. I want it. I need it. I have to know a character's motivation for doing things, for the events in one's life that spurred him or her towards doing something, etc. I love how Larsson told us more about Lisbeth, sating my curiosity, and left me more questions.

I also agree. I was hoping to learn more about Camilla but never saw her mentioned besides the fact that she was, well, the complete opposite of her sister, despite being damaged as well. I thought she was the person who had come in after Lisbeth and shot Svensson and his girlfriend, too; in my head, that would have explained spectators' seeing someone who looked like Lisbeth after the shooting.

I'm glad we feel the same way about the supporting characters, too, and as for 7-Eleven? I'm wondering about that, too. Maybe it sells different things in Sweden, or...? I don't know. Interesting, though. Really interesting. I'm now reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and I hope it'll live up to my hopes and expectations!

Melissa said...

@Kathe: I'm so glad I'm not the only one who likes more background iformation!

I had the same thought about the shootings that you did, it seemed like the logical way to go.

I bet you're right about the 7-11 it probably sells different things there.

I'm waiting a bit to start Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, but I can't wait to see what you think of it. :D