The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Stieg Larsson died soon after finishing the Millennium Trilogy. The end of Lisbeth Salander or Mikael Blomqvist was a sad certainty. When I heard this novel, I dismissed it as a knock-off. One day, Kid mentioned the book. Seriously? It turned out the publisher sought out David Lagercrantz to write this sequel and he apparently did a good job. So I entered it into my reading queue.

This books crossed several classic genres: SciFi, cybersecurity, crime/suspense, and personal struggles. The original series were epic: Lisbeth’s battles were like David against an army of Goliaths. Her triumphs were not only inspirational in the winning, they were also personally warming in the transformation of Lisbeth through the support, friendship, and love. We cheered when she won and were also touched that she healed from those deep trauma in the process. This #4 missed both. It is a good thriller. The battle was not as big, the winning was less dramatic, and Lisbeth was equally dark, punk, and lonely at the end.

Stand on its own, it is still a very enjoyable book. But it did not hook me for the next in the series.

The nerd in me needs to point out some unbelievable creativities. A key in Elliptical Curve encryption (ECC) is usually about 10 digits or longer. A savant kid cannot factor that over-night. I was glad that one of the subplots centered around quantum computing, an area of vast interest to us computing practitioners. Lastly, the mention of the famed singularity (from John von Neumann, in 1958, when computer becomes smarter than human) distracted and disappointed me. It is a big enough topic to be a main theme of the book, yet it got meager treatment. At the end, I was glad the book did not turn out to be another chase on Skynet. Oh well, it is now out of my system. Sorry.

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