Millenium, book two (and OMG, there’s a FOURTH book now?!)
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.
MY RATING: 5 STARS
After rereading Dragon Tattoo, I decided I wasn’t so crazy about it. After rereading Fire, I’m crazier than ever about it. I picked up on details I missed the first time, I was able to pay more attention to the intricacies of the plot and have greater appreciation for them, and with greater focus on Salander, I was even happier.
Not to say I don’t have the same beefs with this installment as I did the last one. Some things still feel lost in translation. Larsson’s terse, almost emotionless narrative runs into some stale patches. The theme of sex trafficking and exploitation of women is nauseating and disturbing as ever–but not nearly as bad as Dragon Tattoo. This time around it’s addressed as a serious issue that must be combated against in whatever manner is best. The main conflict is Salander and the corruption she is caught up in.
If it’s hard to discuss Dragon Tattoo without giving anything away, then it’s nearly impossible to discuss Fire. The book is massive, yet everything is linked somehow, with little to no deadweight. As with the first book, this one takes awhile to get warmed up but once it does, it just doesn’t stop. Mikael Blomkvist, cutting edge journalist, is a bit more likeable here. My problem with him the last go-round was how diffident he seemed and how he didn’t seem to have any clear principles. With Millennium’s huge expose on the sex trade in Sweden slated for publication, he finally looks like he’s taking a definite stance, and when Salander is accused of murder, he’s in her corner from the word go. All in all, he’s pretty frigging cool.
And then there’s Lisbeth Salander. She makes this series awesome. I loved learning more about her past, and the more you learn the more incredible she becomes. It’s so hard to rant and rave about her the way I want to because it’s all spoilers! I think the best I can do is give my favorite quotes:
“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”
“I’ve had a fucking miserable week and I’m in a fucking bad mood. You know what the worst thing is? Every time I turn around there’s some fucking pile of shit with a beer belly in my way acting tough. Now I’d like to leave. So move your ass.”
Corruption at the highest government levels. Hard core investigations. Hidden scandals. Collateral damage. Secrets and exposures. And all four feet eleven inches of the greatest heroine in modern literature. Not to mention one hell of a cliff hanger! You can take my word for it, this is a freaking awesome book. But it’s worth your time to find out just how awesome for yourself.