Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin




It had to end sometime, but Mara had no idea it would end like this. Experience the mind-blowing conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer trilogy.

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.

Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 470
Publishing Date: Nov. 4th, 2014

Author’s Website  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

In this conclusion to the Mara Dyer trilogy, Mara’s story finally culminates and reaches a level that wasn’t seen in the previous two books in this series. As the synopsis above says, retribution has arrived and Mara is out for revenge. While this book still contained the characters that I’ve grown to love, the practically flawless writing style, and the collection of sudden plot twists that the other books in this trilogy had, the ending left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, this was an action-packed conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The rest of this review contains spoilers!

The plot of this novel was incredibly different when put into comparison with the previous two novels in this series. I really enjoyed how Mara, Jamie, and Stella went on this sort of adventure to find Noah and to uncover the truth and I think that it was a really to-the-point plot that the previous two books lacked a bit. However, there were a few points in the novel where I found myself waiting for a new plot twist to happen to quicken the pace, but once the pace finally picked up, I really liked where the story eventually went.

“Do not find peace. Find passion.”

I think that Mara really came into her element in this novel, which can be seen at the beginning scenes when she… literally… took the eyeball out of that guys eye socket… I just… Yikes. That entire scene itself reminded me of the movie ‘Saw’ and it was very unexpected, but it was parts like that in which Mara’s strength and I’m-going-to-make-it-out-of-here attitude really shined through.

There was a lot less Noah in this novel, but when he finally came back into the story, oh goodness, I was swooning. I just… really need a Noah Shaw in my life. Now. Immediately. ASAP.

“Je t’aime. Aujourd’hui. Ce soir. Demain. Pour toujours. Si je vivais mille ans, je t’appartiendrais pour tous. Si je vivais mille vies, je te ferais mienne dans chacune d’elles.
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.”

Shoutout to my French class last semester because I actually understood the beginning of this quote when I read it!

I loved how this novel really explored the side characters in this series (I guess you could say that some of them were upgraded to main characters in this novel). Jamie, Stella, and Daniel had really prominent parts in the plot of this book and, while of course I love both Mara and Noah, I really enjoyed seeing characters other than just Mara and Noah. Jamie added so much humor to this novel and I will never get over some of his hilarious lines.

“So we can’t start a fire. We can’t fly. We can’t create a force field. We are the most bullshit superheroes.”

As always, Michelle Hodkin’s writing style was vivid, intense, and brilliant. I found that this book had a bit more dark humor than the previous two and I think that was due to the inclusion of Jamie (one of my favorite characters in this series). There were certain one-liners in this book that were hilarous and they were said at the exact moment when humor was needed.

“I looked up at the video camera and stared. Then raised my hand and gave it the middle finger.
“I thought you were going to give it the District Twelve salute,” Jamie said.”

I really, really love Michelle’s writing style and I look forward to reading what she releases next!

I think that the ending of this book tied into the beginning of the first novel seamlessly. I didn’t expect that to happen within the ending, but when it did I practically screamed “OH, I SEE WHAT MICHELLE HODKIN DID THERE, YES YES YES!” This ending was really satisfying and it had this overall feeling that everything would be okay and Noah and Mara would finally be able to move on with their lives.

“This is a love story. Twisted and messy. Flawed and screwed up. But it’s ours. It’s us. I don’t know how our story will end. but I know it will start. I pick up my pen and begin to write:
My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.”

However, with that being said, I think that the ending of this novel was a bit too perfect. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “But Courtney, Noah and Mara ended up together and lived happily ever after! What more could you want?!” That’s exactly my point, though!

Don’t get me wrong, I love and ship Noah and Mara a lot. But with such an anxiety-inducing build-up of creepiness and plot twists throughout these novels, I found the ending to be fairly anti-climactic. I’ve discovered throughout the past few years that trilogy conclusions can be really tricky to accomplish, whether there are loose ends that are never resolved or character development that has yet to fully occur. However, I think that the problem with this conclusion is how predictable and uncharacteristically happy it was, which is something that I never thought I’d say.

So, from the perspective of a fangirl who shipped Noah and Mara greatly, this ending was perfect. But from the perspective of a book-nerd who has read plenty of young adult trilogies with both amazing and unsatisfying endings, this ending was missing an epic plot twist and was a bit too cliché and carefree.

Overall, I really did love this book. While I find myself agreeing a majority of the time with other readers who were disappointed with this conclusion, I don’t think I was too underwhelmed by it; this story still had action, creepiness, and plot twists galore. This trilogy was such a wild ride full of epic plot twists, winsome romance, and heavily detailed characters. I really loved each of the novels in this series and I cannot wait until Michelle Hodkin releases The Shaw Confessions, which are the spin-off books in this series (because let’s be honest, we all need some more Noah Shaw in our lives).

4 Stars

Have any of you read The Retribution of Mara Dyer? What did you think of it? Comment below!



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