Cautiously, I waded into the trend of the summer and finally read the first two books of the Millennium trilogy. That would be the world of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. I finished them a few days ago and I’m still deciding whether to read the third. I need a break from what I found to be an uneven set of books.
I’ve heard a few other people are fairly obsessive about these books, but I was not blown away. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them enough to lose a few hours of sleep over them. Perfect summer reading — mindless, suspenseful thriller type books. Written to become a movie, obviously. Well-written in the same sense that Grisham, Patterson, and Grafton books are well-written.
I finished the first book with a vengeance. I was entertained by the story and was excited about where the two main characters were going in the drama. I enjoyed the unusual relationships that Blomkvist had with Lisbeth, Erika and others. (Heard the movie drops the Berger-Blomkvist relationship? Lame.) Speaking of Lisbeth, she is one of those unique characters that you don’t easily forget. The first book introduced her perfectly and I liked the aspect of the book that kept me thinking “what is this crazy woman going to do next?” Although, I did find her immediate connection to Blomkvist to be suspect.
Then, the second book. The first 200 pages were unimportant to the plot. As in, if you haven’t read them yet, please start on page 197. Two pages on what she bought at IKEA? I need a Red Bull. Suddenly, this amazing new character in fiction was totally boring. The Blomkvist-Berger relationship became as eventful as a relationship between a nun and a priest. About every 50 pages, Larsson would introduce a new plot line and then forget to develop it. Even the “bad guys” were poorly developed and the big blond giant who feels no pain was too familiar. (Did that weird monk guy in the DaVinci Code decide to do a crossover episode?)
Out of nowhere, a champion boxer appears? What next, a luckdragon? And the buried alive scene? Now that was just silly. Do books jump sharks? This one did. After all the time I had invested in these books, I was left totally uninterested. Then it just ended. So I can’t decide whether to waste $22 on the finale.
There are rumors that Larsson planned to write 10 of these books. I can’t imagine.
Ultimately, someday I’ll probably suck it up and read the final installment. Just to find out what happens. Maybe there will be a dramatic finale scene in the IKEA. Swedish meatballs everywhere. Adjö!