I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson today. I loved this book and would describe it as a mystery/suspense novel. It took me a little bit to get into it because of the unfamiliar Swedish locations and trying to keep track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, but once I got past this it was a great ride. The writing is tight and it just flows. The story is interesting and the intertwining plots are intriguing. But the best part of the book had to be the wonderful characters. Lisbeth Salander is an anti-social punk genius hacker/ researcher who appears to have had few, if any positive relationships with adults, especially men, during her upbringing. Mikael Blomqvist is a financial journalist and editor of Millennium, a financial magazine, who was just found guilty at a libel trial. He takes a leave of absence and accepts a job looking into a cold case. His path eventually crosses Salander's and he takes her on as a research assistant. They work well together - he is impressed with her abilities and she finally experiences a man who treats her with trust and respect. Not only do they solve the mystery, but Salander saves Mikael's life in the process and provides him with information to fight the libel charge.
Apparently violence toward women is fairly common in Sweden, so while it bothered me that much of that which was in the book was never reported to the police, they explained why it wasn't and therefore made it easier to understand and accept. The book was also kind of sad. What struck me as the most moving scene in the book was when, shortly after Lisbeth admits to herself that she is in love with Blomqvist, she sees him out with Berger. Her broken heart is palpable while Blomqvist is totally oblivious. My heart broke for her. Anyway, I loved this book and ran out & bought the next one, The Girl Who Played With Fire, about an hour ago. I am so sad that Mr. Larsson passed away after writing the third book in this series - I would've like to have read many, many more books with these wonderful characters.
I actually read this book in just a few days. I was going to start reading it on 1/7, the date of my last post, but I started reading more fanfic which pushed the book back. I read Wide Awake by Angstgoddess003 which was fucking amazing. This should really be considered a novel rather than a story. It was a novel-length, complete. Although they used the names of established characters, it was totally alternate universe and could easily stand on it's own just by changing the character names. Anyway, it was awesome. I also read Faking it by Spanglemaker9. The was a really sweet and fun fanfic with actors and musicians, and was well written. Finally, I discovered In_a_blue_bathrobe. This writer owns me. She is fuckawsome and writes like no one I've ever read before - very poetic and swirling with music. Oh, and lemony good too! I started with Tropic of Virgo, which is complete, and moved on to her others. I now faithfully wait for her updates to Tropic of Gemini. Tropic of Virgo was my favorite, but the rest are wonderful as well. I love her!!!
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo