david lagercrantz

Book Review: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

Posted on

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Millennium, #5)The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My reading style is eclectic, and I’d probably use the same term to describe this series and book. I first picked up the ‘Millennium’ series when I saw all the hype and read the description of the published novels. I particularly love genealogical mysteries, and when you toss in some thrills and suspense, it’s likely a good fit for my reading preferences. I absolutely adored and rated The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in my top books of all time. I read the next two in the series and was saddened over the author’s death but excited to see another writer’s take on the characters and setting.

Lagercrantz is a worthy successor, and someday, I will read one of his prior books too. I’m troubled when reviewers complain about the choice of a new author to to continue writing a series because all they do is compare the two and start out with a pessimistic attitude. I prefer to have some sense of an open mind and look for the positive in a new take on an old favorite. I’m also an optimist and respect an author’s efforts and talent and find it difficult to give something a poor rating unless it was absolutely ridden with errors and issues. Hence… for Lagercrantz’s versions, I enjoy the style, writing quality, different views, and continuation of a fantastic concept. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye is the second of his in this series that I’ve read, and while it was a good read, there were a few items that didn’t work in totality for me. I ended up at a 3.5 rating, comfortably rounding upward to account for all the effort that goes into a series and taking over another author’s work.

One of my favorite aspects was the revisit to Lisbeth’s childhood when abuse formulated her outlook on life. In an earlier book, when we learned the extent to which she’d been attacked and damaged, I felt horrific sorrow for her. Seeing what else happened, via this book, I’m even more devastated. Initially, I thought… wait, is this a history rewrite? I didn’t go back to compare the timelines and actions, as I’m sure the editors and author’s did their justice… but I did find myself wondering how this aligned with Zala’s influence on his daughter, Lisbeth. I’m kinda hoping to get a book dedicated to Agneta, Lisbeth’s mother, as there is a bigger story there – I’m certain! For me, these characters are so flawed, yet so lovable (not in a cozy way, but in an ‘I want to help you’ way). Learning what they went through and what forced them to become the people they are today… that is excellent character development. Possibly over-the-top in a few places (not unlike the whole series… just a bit more in this book), I put aside my ‘hmmm…’ attitude and focused on what bond must exist between Mikael and Lisbeth to support each other through these tragedies. These are two friends we should all have. I particularly enjoyed the Muslim-focused story-line, and I was irate over the way these men treated their sister (and in general how certain attitudes still prevail).

The translation (actually, was it translated? The originals were, but I’m honestly not sure about these ones. Did the author write originally in his own language? I checked and the Swedish and English versions came out on the same day.) was good and offered new vocabulary for me to learn. I found some of the individual scenes a bit repetitive, but they moved the story forward. The end was satisfying in terms of catching the bad guys (sort of), but I wanted it to be more of a showdown. The sixth book in the series comes out later this year, and I’m going to try to read it relatively quickly close to this one, as I suspect some of the ending components will continue into it. What did everyone else think of this book?

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Advertisements

Review: The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Posted on Updated on

The Girl in the Spider's WebMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to David Lagercrantz‘s The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the fourth book in the “Millenium” thriller series, written by a new author given the original, Steig Larsson, passed away several years ago. While the book carries on with great characters and a similar style, it wasn’t as satisfying as the originals. But who can resist Blomkvist and Lisbeth — you can’t NOT read it!


Story

As readers come to know of this series of books, the plots are incredibly complex, intense and twisty. From a basic point of view, several hackers have started infiltrating the NSA after learning about a conspiracy between different groups to buy and sell secrets about each other’s companies. The government is involved, trying to keep it running and trying to stop it, as well as several public companies involved in building new technology that ultimately will be the destruction of mankind should machines be able to build machines and think as sentient beings

Pushing that all to the side, the plot is about a professor who takes back his autistic son from his ex-wife and her new husband (who is abusing the young boy). When some members of the conspiracy group ultimately realize that the professor is the technologist who has the AI programs they are all after, and he’s potentially going to rat out the truth of what’s been happening to Blomkvist, someone orders a hit and the professor is killed minutes before telling his story. His young son witnesses the execution and the hunt begins. Lisbeth is involved in the hacking group and works through a secret computer program to help Blomkvist save the boy and ends up realizing she’s very close to the person at the head of the conspiracy. As they sort through the puzzle, family ties come back to haunt each of them and the struggle to keep the balance of the war just slightly in their own favor pushes forward.


Strengths

1. Lisbeth and Blomkvist are as good as ever. They jump off the pages and yearn to be loved and hated at the same time. They annoy you, but you know they are good people.

2. It’s definitely a page-turner that captures your attention about 20% in when you realize how many different players are in the game to capture the technology and to double-cross one another. It stays strong and keeps you guessing throughout the whole story. And then the head of the conspiracy is revealed about 50% through, you have a whole new level of connections that keep your mind working over-time.


Suggestions

The summary of the story is strong, but the details get too technical and too convoluted. I work in technology, so it wasn’t that I didn’t understand what they were talking about… it was that so much of it was theory and advanced mathematical formulas, it got tedious to pay attention to that level of detail. There’s only so much I can swallow when it comes to prime numbers and the Fibonacci sequence and how many multipliers are needed to deviate from the quantum… what??????? stick to the drama and leave the minutia out when you’re trying to keep the sanctity of an author whose first successful novel was a genealogical mystery!


Final Thoughts

I enjoyed the book. I wanted to keep reading it. I’d like to see another one by this author. But… in order to move it up from a 3 to 4, it needs more substance. Hacking is a great topic. NSA double-crossing it a cool idea. The family ties (no spoilers here) was an amazing story line. But something felt like it was missing in how it truly all came together. I’m hoping it was left open so it can be explored in the next book — not all to different from the original three in the series — but it needs to more tightly weaved.

That said, kudos to Lagercrantz for successfully taking on the series and trying to continue the original creation. He’s done well enough for me to continue reading but still to keep my critical eye.

View all my reviews