‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, except this time written by the Swedish writer and crime journalist, David Lagercrantz. For years I have been a huge fan of the series – perhaps it is because of the heroine Lisbeth Salander, or simply because there are many layers to the plot.
However, when I first heard that there was going to be a continuation of this series, I was both excited and sceptical. Excited because I get the chance to delve into another set of mysteries and see the worlds of all these characters, but sceptical because I wasn’t sure how this book would compare, and if it would live up to Steig Larsson’s standard. However, Lagercrantz also had the help of Stieg Larsson’s father and brother Erland and Joakim Larsson. I knew if I didn’t pick up this book and read it, I’d always wonder what it would be like.
In this book, Mikael Blomkvist, journalist of Millennium magazine, and computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander, return. A Swedish scientist, Professor Balder, contacts Blomkvist as he fears for his life, and wants Millennium to publish his story, whilst also getting protection for his son August. Meanwhile, Salander has been working under the code name of ‘wasp’ and hacking into the American National Security Agency, but she too comes under threat with cyber gangsters, named the ‘spiders.’ Everyone under this criminal conspiracy tries to take on both Stockholm and the Millennium team. It is soon a terrifying place to be, with danger lurking, and old figures from the past making a bid for return.
So I mentioned above that I was a little sceptical to read this novel, but I had no reason to be. I honestly thought this book was fantastic – Lagercrantz has done an absolutely fantastic job of keeping the world of Milennium, Blomkvist and Salander alive, and bought in new characters which further add an interest into the books. It also deals with scary worlds, and challenging themes like the previous books have done, and I think it is important it does this.
Salander remains a heroine in my eyes – she is such a strong female protagonist who has such attitude, knowledge and crazy defence and attack skills. I think one of the main reasons so many readers like Salander is because she is so different. She doesn’t always need rescuing, she defends herself, and knows exactly what to do in a situation.
Blomkvist is also another strong character to me, but it’s interesting how we see him struggle at the beginning and throughout. If you’ve read the series then you’ll notice how he has been in difficult situations but always overcomes them, whereas in this one, he really does struggle and it’s interesting to see how he reacts to different situations in this book.
Throughout the series we are introduced to different members of Salander’s family, from her father Alexander Zalachenko and Ronald Niedermann, to her mother Sophia Agneta Sjolander. We have seen why Salander became the way she is. A new character, Camilla, adds to this – we are shown more elements of her childhood. The contrast between the beliefs of Camilla and Lisbeth is particularly interesting, but also scary. Another is August, who is the child of Balder. He is autistic and has drawings which help with the investigation. I find August an interesting character to add to the storyline – I enjoyed the way Salander is so protective of him.
What is great about this book is that it doesn’t particularly matter whether you have read the rest of the series or not, because Lagercrantz has provided a list of characters at the front of the book, as well as a map. However, I think it helps to read the other books beforehand, because it helps to identify characters and also you get to compare how characters are in each novel.
5/5 cups of tea – My cup of tea!
I would love to know what anyone else thinks about this series.
Thank you for reading! For more book reviews please take a look at my blog below,