The Reviews Are In: ‘The Girl in the Spiders Web’

From the initial announcement to the specially released preview chapter, The Girl in the Spider’s Web has gotten a lot of attention. Author David Lagercrantz‘s new book attempts to recreate the style and feel of Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium series. But adding to as respected a legacy as Larsson’s is a tall order, and many fans and critics were questioning the impact of Lagercrantz’s sequel prior to its release.

Now the book is out and the reviews are in. Critics are very much divided on the latest installment! To give you the full picture of how critics are responding to the new book in the series that began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, we’ve compiled reviews from respected sources all over the web. Have a look! 

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Though there are plenty of lumps in the novel along the way, Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever…


Mr. Lagercrantz’s efforts to connect unsavory doings in Sweden to machinations within America’s National Security Agency are strained and fuzzy — a bald attempt to capitalize on Edward J. Snowden’s revelations about the agency and the debate over its surveillance methods…


Mr. Lagercrantz captures the weariness, even vulnerability, that lurks beneath these two characters’ toughness, and he understands that each is motivated by a craving for justice

Read more here.


Mark Lawson, The Guardian

Lagercrantz’s continuation, while never formulaic, is a cleaner and tighter read than the originals, although he follows the template in building the plot slowly and methodically. He is, technically, a more adept novelist than Larsson, smoothly switching viewpoint in two sections where characters come under threat from assassins.

Read more here.


Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Like countless readers, I would welcome a fourth novel in the series that equaled the high standard set by Larsson, but “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is not that novel…


I recall the Larsson books unfolding gracefully. Lagercrantz’s narrative is fragmentary and confusing. It’s almost impossible to keep track of all the hackers, scientists and killers who emerge briefly, vanish, then turn up again after you’ve forgotten them. There are absurdly complicated moments when characters discuss such things as singularity theory, black holes, prime-number factorization and self-teaching algorithms. Several of the characters are certified geniuses but, sad to say, most readers are not.

Read more here.


Karolina Waclawiak, The Los Angeles Times

Unfortunately, the fourth installment, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” written by crime journalist David Lagercrantz, does nothing to elevate the series, and one might venture to say it even hurts the legacy of the original…


Featuring members of the NSA and the Swedish Security Police, dubious tech companies, Russian gangster hackers, “good guy” hackers, a femme fatale and Millennium, the ailing Swedish magazine constantly in financial peril in the series, the novel becomes a soup of flimsy plotlines and convoluted characters that fails to reach the thrilling heights of its predecessors.

Read more here.