Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Girl in the Spider's Web Book Review

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

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A genius hacker who has always been an outsider. A journalist with a penchant for danger. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Mikael Blomkvist, crusading editor of Millennium. One night, Blomkvist receives a call from a source who claims to have been given information vital to the United States by a young female hacker. Blomkvist, always on the lookout for a story, reaches out to Salander for help. She, as usual, has plans of her own. Together they are drawn into a ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals, and government operatives—some willing to kill to protect their secrets.

Review by Brittany:

I was a huge fan of the original Millennium trilogy, so I am very pleased that this is being extended into a series.

I thought this book was a fantastic addition to the series. Of course, it has been a while since I read Larsson's books, so I can't compare writing styles, but I devoured this book with the same anxious anticipation as I did all the others. Salander is a quirky character, one who I can't relate to and don't envy exactly, but she is so incredibly smart and brave that I find myself sometimes wishing I could be a little more like her.

As with the other novels, this one has a lot of computer science/hacking terminology and information that is way above my level of knowledge, but for me that doesn't take away from the story. I am still able to be just as invested in the characters and the story, even if I don't understand every little detail of what's going on. This one also had August, a young boy with Autism, and it explored different skill sets that he might have developed in part because of his having this syndrome. I found those parts of the story incredibly interesting to read about, and I fell a little in love with this poor, disabled boy who got drawn into a situation that he couldn't understand.

This book ended in such a way that I am anticipating there will be another in the series, which I'm pleased about. If you're already a fan of the series and haven't read this one yet, don't let the new author deter you. Pick it up!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Missing Book Review

The Missing by Caroline Eriksson

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An ordinary outing takes Greta, Alex, and four-year-old Smilla across Sweden’s mythical Lake Malice to a tiny, isolated island. While father and daughter tramp into the trees, Greta stays behind in the boat, lulled into a reverie by the misty, moody lake…only later to discover that the two haven’t returned. Her frantic search proves futile. They’ve disappeared without a trace.

Greta struggles to understand their eerie vanishing. She desperately needs to call Alex, to be reassured that Smilla is safe, or contact the police. But now her cell phone is missing too. Back at her cottage, she finds it hidden away under the bedsheets. Had she done that? Or had someone else been in the cottage? But who, and why? As Greta struggles to put the pieces together, she fears that her past has come back to torment her, or she’s finally lost her grip on reality…

In this dark psychological thrill ride—with more twists than a labyrinth and more breathless moments than a roller coaster—Greta must confront what she’s always kept hidden if she has any hope of untangling the truth.

Review by Brittany:

This book. I spent the entirety of it feeling like I had no idea what was going on, and by the end of the book I realized it was totally different than I was expecting. I know that's vague, but it's hard to talk about it without giving something away, and I don't want to take away from the joy of discovering.

Greta makes a really interesting protagonist because it's hard to tell for sure whether or not she's a little crazy. She reveals piece by piece faults in herself, which left me wondering if she was a narrator I could trust. How much has she lied to me, and how much more will she do so? It was interesting trying to piece together what was really going on versus what Greta perceived to be going on.

There were also bits of the book that were told from another person's perspective, but it's not revealed to the reader who this other person is until nearly the end of the book. The way these two stories end up intertwining was surprising to me and was also a little heartbreaking. Greta's past is revealed in pieces, and it slowly starts to explain the struggles she has as an adult.

This story starts out about two people going missing and ends up being about relationship struggles and self-esteem issues. (I know.) Despite the constant feeling of having no idea what was going on, I enjoyed this book. It left me with the feeling of being a little off kilter, like I wasn't on comfortable ground, and I definitely couldn't guess the ending. I really enjoyed this one.