12.20.2023 | Wednesday

The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons

category: Book Reviews
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The Girl in the Eagle’s Talonstitle: The Girl in the Eagle's Talons
author: Karin Smirnoff
series: Millennium #7
published: 29 August 2023
publisher: Knopf
genre(s): thrillers
pages: 352
source: library
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

rating: three-stars | series rating: four-stars

the blurb

Lisbeth Salander returns, in a trailblazing new installment to the best-selling Millennium series.
Change is coming to Sweden’s far north: its untapped natural resources are sparking a gold rush with the criminal underworld leading the charge. But it’s not the prospect of riches that brings Lisbeth Salander to the small town of Gasskas. She has been named guardian to her niece Svala, whose mother has disappeared. Two things soon become clear: Svala is a remarkably gifted teenager—and she’s being watched.
Mikael Blomkvist is also heading north. He has seen better days. Millennium magazine is in its final print issue, and relations with his daughter are strained. Worse still, there are troubling rumors surrounding the man she’s about to marry. When the truth behind the whispers explodes into violence, Salander emerges as Blomkvist’s last hope.
A pulse-pounding thriller, The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons sees Salander and Blomkvist navigating a world of conspiracy and betrayal, old enemies and new friends, ice-bound wilderness and the global corporations that threaten to tear it apart.


  • a few notes
  • mini review in 5
  • full review
  • read this if…

content warning: ❗some graphic violence❗

POV: 3rd person; multiple
keywords/phrases: murder, conspiracy, family, corruption
spice: 🔥
language: 🤬🤬🤬🤬

  1. It was very obvious that the author didn’t know and understand the characters established by Larsson.
  2. Lisbeth felt like another person altogether, almost meek and passive for much of the book.
  3. Mikael was barely a shadow on the pages, despite being a major player in the series.
  4. The storyline was rather jumbled and confusing, meandering about with little purpose.
  5. The final third keeps it from being a total loss, with a semi-return to Lisbeth as she should be, and some interesting twists.

This is the first of a planned trilogy within the Millenium world created by Stieg Larsson and continued by David Lagercrantz. There was a different feel to the Lagercrantz novels, but they felt close enough to the original Larsson novels that they were enjoyable. This one, however, fell short of that for me.

It was quickly very clear that the author just didn’t seem to really known and understand the characters of Lisbeth and Mikael. They didn’t feel true to themselves, as they were established by Larsson. The ways they thought, the ways the acted, the ways in which they were driven. This was especially apparent with Lisbeth in the first half to two-thirds of the book. She was far more open emotionally, so much so that it felt unnatural for her character. She was almost passive, so different from the rebellious, self-contained character of previous novels. It was such a shift in her nature that it was often jarring. As for Mikael, there was so little of him in the story that there was virtually little more than a pale shade of the man established in the earlier books.

Another issue was the story itself. It was very jumbled. I don’t know if it was the original Swedish or the English translation that was at fault, but the writing felt rather choppy, which didn’t help the overly muddled story. But the plot was often confusing, meandering here and there with seemingly little purpose. The usual themes of misogyny and sexual violence were there, but the action was relatively nil until at least halfway through the novel.

The final third was truly the best part of the novel. Lisbeth is much more like herself, with much more action and some interesting twists. It redeemed the book from being a loss.

Read this if you love complex thrillers with lots of twists and turns.


About Karin Smirnoff

Karin Smirnoff (b. 1964) lives in the small village of Yttre Hertsånger, in northern Sweden. She worked as a journalist before she decided to change direction and bought a wooden factory. After a few years Smirnoff yearned back to the practice of writing and decided to pick it up again – but this time in literary form. She applied to Lund University’s Writer’s school with what would become her debut as an author: My Brother. It received triumphant reviews and was nominated for the esteemed August Prize in 2018. The following year Smirnoff returned with My Mother and in 2020 she ended the trilogy about Jana Kippo with Then I Went Home Smirnoff brought something entirely new into the literary field with her immensely appreciated trilogy that has sold more than 500 000 copies in Sweden. In 2021 Karin Smirnoff was announced as the author to continue the legacy of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series.

Rating Report
plot
three-stars
characters
two-half-stars
writing
four-stars
pacing
four-stars
Overall: three-stars
::spread the love::

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