Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date: October 23rd 2012
Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalised isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead!
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
I was a little disappointed with the first book in the Mara Dyer trilogy but because I cannot leave a series unfinished, and because The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ended on such a great cliffhanger, I immediately picked up the second book. Luckily I enjoyed The Evolution of Mara Dyer a lot more. The plot picked up the pace a little, which was my main issue with the first book, and there was more at stake. Once again I was wholly confused by what was actually happening to Mara and what were hallucinations or dreams on her part.
After nearly causing the death of her father, and likely causing the death of his client, Mara knows what she needs to do and that is to turn herself in. While she can’t tell the police the truth, that she imagined these people dying and they did, she can lie to make herself an obvious culprit. However when she arrives at the police station she sees Jude, her ex boyfriend, who was supposed to have died months ago in the asylum collapse and who has been haunting her ever since.
The next time Mara wakes she finds herself in a mental health facility undergoing tests.
Mara knows what is wrong with her isn’t PTSD, or whatever other label they want to stick on her to make her symptoms make some kind of sense, and she knows that she needs to convince her parents that everything is fine so they will let her return home again. If Jude is out there Mara doesn’t want to be stuck somewhere she can’t defend herself, somewhere without Noah.
As the only person who knows the full story, the only person who believes her and shares her strange gifts, Noah is the only one Mara can turn to when she needs to find answers. She isn’t sure what is happening to her but she it’s getting worse; she’s sleepwalking, blacking out, and dreaming of things she should have no memory of. With Jude still out there Mara needs to know herself and her loved ones are safe but the real battle may be convincing her parents, and herself, that she isn’t losing her mind.
Mara is being a lot more careful when it comes to how her family see her. She is very aware of what is happening to her now she knows Jude is alive and she knows any wrong move on her part would send her straight to an in-patient facility, which is the last place she wants to be. Mara is changing a lot in this book. Deep down I think she is still the same person but the things she sees in her dreams, the things she does while sleepwalking, are turning her into someone she can’t recognize and she is scared that a few months down the line she won’t remember who she used to be.
I really love the path Mara’s character is taking in this trilogy. She still has no real idea what is happening to her and Noah, and there is a large part of her that is terrified but she’s starting to think things through now. She has to walk a fine line in this second book and she is very careful not to step over it no matter what happens to her.
Noah wants to seek answers, he just doesn’t agree with where Mara is searching for them. All Noah seems to want to do is protect Mara; it kills him when she finds herself in a mental health facility and when he cannot find Jude because he feels like he’s failing her. While Mara’s gift can kill people Noah’s is the opposite. He can heal people, including himself, but he seems to have a darker past than Mara. Noah is the very definition of troubled but when he’s with Mara he’s almost a better version of himself, happier and at peace.
There’s a chasm between Mara and her family in this book. She knows if she tells them the truth, or tries to anyway, they won’t believe her; so instead she keeps her secrets and pastes on a smile whenever they look too closely. Everything that happens she buries knowing without proof it’s the fastest way to get her parents to send her to an in-patient facility. It’s not what they want, Mara’s parents feel like they’re losing their daughter and though Mara may not agree they are doing what they think is best.
Daniel and Mara’s relationship is still one of my favourite parts of this series. Even when she can’t be 100% honest with him she still reveals more to him than anyone else, with the exception of Noah, seeking answers from someone who’s always had them all.
It was only after reading this book that I fully understood why people were raving about this series. There was a lot more development, both in terms of the plot and the characters, and I was hooked. This trilogy is becoming quite dark, I’m not sure whether I should be rooting for Mara or not but either way she is a compelling protagonist.
What did you think of The Evolution of Mara Dyer? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.