My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I feel bad to rate this book anything less than 4 stars, especially since I was rooting for Lagercrantz, a writer of such established precedence, to bring back the Lisbeth Salander magic that was created over a decade ago. But sadly it did not happen.
Too much seemed to be going on. There were too many parallel narratives from varying viewpoints and most of them ended on a hook that surprisingly got frustrating after a point. I got lost in names and the multiple associations across characters and by the time Lisbeth Salander showed up in the flesh, I realized I was half way through the book already.
I think the trap here is that there is only so much you can milk from her background story, which I thought was well done in the second and third book, conclusively. Only her evil twin remained the hanging link to be carried on in subsequent volumes. But then even that, I felt, wasn’t well developed or exploited in this book. I think there was so much more scope for Lisbeth and Camilla to come face to face and really bring out the fierceness in both their characters, but I came away much more disappointed than expected.
The other reason could also be that the fourth book may seem better when read in continuity to the other three. Because after ten years, when you’ve forgotten the details but only remember the impression the trilogy made on you, the time gap is too long to recover the same intensity. Lisbeth herself seems to have lost a lot of her characteristic singularity.
I remember tearing through second and third Millennium books and at the same time trying to slow down so they didn’t finish too soon. But here I was constantly checking my progress after the 85% mark, just to wrap it up and be done. I appreciate the author’s effort and probably its too much to expect of him to deliver the same experience as Steig Larsson did in the first three books, but then that was why the fourth book was even attempted I presume.