Book Review: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (3/5)

7 May

After Lagercrantz took over this series, I decided to keep reading. I liked the first one, The Girl in the Spider’s Web well enough and decided to keep going. After this one, though, I’m not sure if I’ll soldier on.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Girl Who Take an Eye for an Eye (Millennium #5) by David Lagercrantz (Created by Stieg Larsson and translated by George Goulding)

Other books by Lagercrantz reviewed on this blog:

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Millennium #4)

Summary from Goodreads:

Lisbeth Salander – the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others – has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium. And nothing will stop her – not the anti-Muslim gang she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the deadly reach from inside the Russian mafia of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudo-scientific experiment known only as The Registry. Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, together, are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the most insidious problems facing the world at this very moment.

This book didn’t hit a mark for me. I felt like there wasn’t very little about the main characters in this one and that was part of what I’d liked about the original series and the first follow up. Lisbeth is in jail for a lot of the book so she’s restricted. Mikael stars but his relationships with Erika and Lisbeth are almost nonexistent so we don’t get much development from him. Major characters like Leo and Faria never appeared in earlier books and will likely never appear again so I didn’t bother to form any attachment to them. Whereas the first three books (and to a degree the fourth) felt like they were part of a series, this felt like it was part of a serial that Lagercrantz could continue indefinitely so we can’t have an ending for characters who need to perpetuate forever.

Blomkvist felt the most believable to me through the book. Lisbeth didn’t feel like her true self and the other characters weren’t well fleshed out until the end. It was hard to form an attachment to anyone. I love the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael but it just wasn’t there for me this time and everything felt flat.

Faria was my favorite character and I’m sad she’ll be a one-shot character. Her role in this book and her attachment to Lisbeth were great. I loved flashing to her story and what had happened to her and Jamal; it was just as interesting as the mystery with Leo. I kept hoping for a happy ending for her and I guess what she got was the best I could have asked for.

None of these characters were very relatable which is why I didn’t attach too much to any of them. None of them felt fleshed out enough to be real people besides the two we already knew: Lisbeth and Mikael. I find I feel this way often with thriller or mystery novels. Connecting with the characters isn’t really the point, but it’s something I notice.

David Lagercrantz
Image via Facebook

Finding out the truth about Jamal’s murder was my favorite bit. Lisbeth is finally out of jail and gets to play a role in figuring out the mystery again which is where I think she really shines. She also uses her computer network which is one of her ‘superpowers’ in my mind. It was a throwback to the action of previous books that I enjoyed so much.

Leo’s entire plotline fell flat for me. Especially because I felt the end was a disappointment. (Spoiler here.) I was even more angry that the answer was identical twins separated at birth. It seems like a cheap way of ending something. I was watching Sherlock last night and he even said, “It’s not twins! It’s never twins.” I had to roll my eyes because Lagercrantz didn’t get that memo. I thought we’d done enough with twins because of Lisbeth and Camilla, I didn’t think it needed to come up again.

Simon Vance narrated this audiobook. I can’t find another book he’s narrated when I search for him on this blog but his voice seemed familiar. I thought he did well giving the characters distinct voices, especially older characters like Holgar, and his voices for women didn’t come off as rude or offensive.

This book seemed to lack an overall theme or message. If anything, it was having sympathy for others. No one did much for Faria except Lisbeth and no one felt bad for Leo because they knew he was rich. I don’t think this was a strong theme, though. That’s part of what made this book fall short for me. With no theme or character development, it was a quick mystery and not what I expect from the series.

Writer’s Takeaway: Series need some level of consistency. What I feel happened here is that after replicating Larsson’s style well in his first attempt, Lagercrantz went a bit in his own direction. I wonder if the subsequent novels will be less and less like the original series. I feel this is a bit alienating to readers. People who liked Larsson might not like Lagercrantz, a category I feel I fall in. And those who like Lagercrantz might not have enjoyed the original Larsson. You’d have to be a fan of both to continue with this series.

Not a book I overly enjoyed and not one that makes me want to continue with the series. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
Review of “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye” by David Lagercrantz | Rhapsody in Books Weblog
Book Talk: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Millennium #5) | The Punk Theory
Book Review: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Millennium #5) | Keeper of Pages


7 Responses to “Book Review: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (3/5)”

  1. anovelglimpse May 7, 2020 at 4:47 PM #

    It’s a bummer he didn’t stick to emulating. It seems like that’s what is needed for this series to continue.


    • Sam May 7, 2020 at 6:09 PM #

      Agreed. I don’t think he gives Lisbeth the same flare. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer May 7, 2020 at 11:29 PM #

    I LOVED the first three. I own #4, but haven’t read it. I’m scared. I don’t want it to ruin what I loved about the first three. Not sure I’ll ever pick them up. 😦


    • Sam May 8, 2020 at 7:29 AM #

      The fourth one I liked. Maybe I was just so excited for more Salander. But they are for sure a change. I think we all knew it was going to be different. I just wasn’t sure how different. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rae Longest May 9, 2020 at 5:42 PM #

    I just don’t get this series–either version. What’s the big appeal?


    • Sam May 9, 2020 at 6:55 PM #

      I liked Lisbeth. She wasn’t the tradition hero. And her relationship with Blomkvist was always complicated and I wanted to learn more. This last book lacked both of those for me. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person


  1. WWW Wednesday, 13-May-2020 | Taking on a World of Words - May 13, 2020

    […] posted my review of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David LagercrantzThanks for those who have commented about their opinion of Lagercrantz taking […]


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