Right from the start, I was on the fence about this one. I read the original three books back in 2012/2013, really, it wasn’t that long ago, but in book terms, it was many lifetimes ago. Stieg Larsson isn’t with us anymore, would David Lagercrantz keep the same spirit of the original series? Is the book even necessary? Was there unfinished business or is this simply a cash grab by the publisher?
As far as my first question goes, yes, Lagercrantz did keep the book in the same spirit as the original series. This really is quite an accomplishment considering that there was not only a change in author, but also a change in translator (I don’t think that you can downplay or overlook the importance of the translator). The Girl in the Spider’s Web was dark, the stakes were high and the characters were as gripping as ever.
Was the story necessary? After reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, I would have told you no. What David Lagercrantz has done is created a new, dangerous, related story arc, while perhaps not necessary, it was still an excellent development of the series. Often when a series goes beyond the standard trilogy, it will inevitably hit a dud; The Girl in the Spider’s Web was no such thing. I think that Lagercrantz has taken the series in a logical new direction with a lot more drama and intrigue.
I gave the first three books in the series a five star review. With The Girl in the Spider’s Web there was something off, different, it just wasn’t there. I really couldn’t put my finger on it. I sort of think that it’s me, my own personal tastes have shifted somewhat, my boundaries have been pushed and the techno-cyber thriller just doesn’t hit me the same way anymore.