The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire

By Stieg Larsson

This is the second book in the series by the same author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (With these books being made into movies and the success of the books, it really is heartbreaking to think that Stieg passed away before the books were even published- but let’s focus on the work at hand).

Perhaps it’s because I had already read one and was used to Stieg’s style, this book was really enjoyable and an incredibly fast read (despite being 630 pages). Unlike the first book, there isn’t nearly as much side story and the action begins right away. It involves the same characters as the first and takes place approximately a year after the first book ends.

This book is just as complicated at the first and there were definitely many times where I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on?” These stories require the reader to invest thought and to keep track of all of the tiny details that add up to an exciting and unexpected story.

Like the other, this is a murder mystery, and like many books of that genre, the villain goes into a ridiculous and cliché monologue about why and how… which is a bit much for me, but…I can look past it. Obviously, I am aware that this book was written in and about Sweden, but OH MY GOD it was frustrating to distinguish characters when all of their last names are so freaking similar- it often becomes a tangled, confusing puzzle. And my last complaint would be, as it was with the first, the DETAILS. I love details, don’t get me wrong, but when an author uses two full pages to describe someone’s new cabinets, it’s gone too far. Way too far. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier to maneuver- thus part of why this book was so much easier to enjoy than the first. You have to learn to scan properly.

I definitely recommend this book, but, in order for anything to make sense and to teach yourself how to ignore whole sections properly (which isn’t normally something I advocate in literature) you really need to first read the first book. I promise that the adventure will be worth all the work.

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