Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer By Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published Date: November 4th 2014

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.

There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.
(Synopsis Provided by Goodreads)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer was a good read overall. At some points, the story seemed to drag on (the entire first half of the book aka the beginning). Mara’s inner monologue got to be too much for me at certain points but her interactions with side characters carried me through it. And of course how Noah fits into all of the madness was, to me, meh. I had quite high expectations for the final book in this series and I was okay with how it played out. I wish the story didn’t end where it did – it came together in the end nonetheless.

This book continues where the last one ended – with Mara being captured by Dr. Kells. Mara wakes alone and scrambles to try to figure out how to get out of Horizons. She doesn’t know where Noah is, and last she heard he was dead. It seems like she’s the only one left at the facility but a path to Noah and ultimately freedom, appears. Set by none other than Jude Lowe (the crazy ex boyfriend/killer). All things scream ‘do not trust’ but Mara will do anything to get to Noah. The path set for her is not easy; she’s got to go against all morals. Weighing the odds of life and death – what is worth it? Who is worth it? And what will be the consequence if she takes the path to find Noah? Mara refuses to believe that Noah is dead and so as she trudges on through the dark and twisted road of Horizons. Only to discover more about what makes her unique along with Noah and the others with her at Horizons. The truth of why they were kept at the psychiatric ward is revealed and the truth is not what any of them could imagine. Filled with thrilling plot twists and a great deal of emotions, The Retribution of Mara Dyer will have you crying in sadness one moment and laughing the next.

The beginning of the book to me starts off rather slowly. It took me a while to really get into the scene and what was happening with Mara making her way out of Horizons. She came off a bit stubborn when she was with Jamie and Stella. Albeit – she was drugged and had just killed a man while she didn’t know if Noah was dead or alive. Her inner monologues and thoughts got a bit redundant to me. Sometimes I really sympathized with her, other times I wished she would do something about her emotions or learn to be stronger without Noah there. Her character never seemed to develop as much as I hoped she would on her own.

The earlier chapters felt like they were really trying to reinforce the idea that Noah was dead, all the doubt that came from Jamie and Stella, which ultimately created an uneasy reading feeling throughout the book for me (I love Noah and so it made me nervous that Hodkin might have actually killed him). At some points it felt like Hodkin was trying to make us see that Noah was alive by repeating the mantra that he was dead – this messed with my brain and emotions! Great writing though to captivate the reader!

Travelling with Mara, Jamie and Stella was really thrilling. Cool to see them in different surroundings with their abilities. It kind of transported the world we know of Mara from the previous books in this trilogy, into a more ‘real’ surrounding. Through these scenes in the book, Mara and Jamie’s relationship shines! Everyone needs a Jamie Roth in his or her life. Through all the madness that surrounds Mara at each plot twist and turn, Jamie stands with Mara and it was so beautiful to witness. They bounce off each other so well. My favourite scene between the two is when Mara is trying to explain how her abilities work to Jamie:

“So a peck on the cheek wouldn’t do anything?” I said.
“Probably not.”
I planted a kamikaze kiss on Jamie’s cheek.
“FUCK,” he shouted, wiping it off. “What if you killed me!” He threw a Skittle at my face. It hit my forehead.
“Taste the rainbow, bitch.”

This was pure gold! I love Jamie's lighthearted attitude. It balanced out the hopeless feel from Mara.

By the halfway mark of the book, the story kicked into high gear. As Mara discovered there was something in her and the only way to get them out was to cut herself, I couldn’t believe how awesomely-cringe worthy these scenes were! It was such a thrill! What was also an addition to those thrilling scenes, were the flashbacks and alternating POV to before in London, England with Mara’s grandmother. That complex storyline was finally pieced together and it was done with such suspense! I was devouring the pages so quickly!

The only major part of the story that I had and issue with was Noah’s reappearance. It was such a sigh of relief to have him back but I just felt like it there was such a build up to Mara and Noah’s meeting that it was anticlimactic when it finally happened. Noah, I felt, was not done justice. We discover that Mara and Noah are literally made/destined for each other by ways of Mara’s grandmother and Noah’s mother but they’re reunion didn’t seem to hold all that epic-ness. Hodkin did a flawless job in telling the backstory to Mara’s grandmother and Noah’s mother, which set my mind on an equally amazing reunion between Mara and Noah. I was let down. However, Noah’s unfailing love for Mara through his POV was cry-worthy beautiful, that boy is too poetic for his own good. I love them so much and I probably wanted too much for them during this scene.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Slow but interesting start, crazy revelations and an ending that had me crying and flailing my arms around for more! The Retribution of Mara Dyer was a nice ending to a beautiful series!

I’m so sad that this series is ending because Michelle Hodkin did such an amazing job with the Mara Dyer Trilogy! She created such great characters that went on such an incredible journey! What a story! Thank you for the world you created Michelle! This one will go down in YA history!

I leave you with a Noah Shaw quote – for all the female hearts out there:

“I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”



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