The Evolution of Mara Dyer


Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series: Mara Dyer, #2

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Release Date: October 23rd 2012


Four Stars

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

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Everyone is a little crazy. The only difference between us and them is that they hide it better.”

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.

“Tell me what you see. Because I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t or what’s new or different and I can’t trust myself, but I trust you.”

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.

…The Characters

“I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.”

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.

“This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.”

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.

“You can’t hurt me the way you think you can. But even if you could? I would rather die with the taste of you on my tongue than live and never touch you again. I’m in love with you, Mara. I love you. No matter what you do.”

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.

18 thoughts on “The Evolution of Mara Dyer

  1. I’m so, so happy you loved this book more than the first one! I agree that there is much more development in that one and the stakes are higher, which makes this a thrilling read, really. Also, I’m with you on Mara and Daniel’s relationship, this was one of my favorite part of the books! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So am I, I am definitely glad I carried on with this series and I can also definitely see why so many people were raving about this trilogy! It feels like the first one was more to set up the characters and their past and in this one the plot could really kick into high gear. I love Daniel so much, I think he may actually be my favourite character in this trilogy! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh I’m so glad you ended up enjoying the second book way more than the first! I completely agree with you about the pacing picking up a lot from the first to the second book. I remember reading it in less than a day (back when I could still manage that). I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know what happened next so badly. Also, THE ENDING! Did you freak out? I remember my jaw dropping because I had to wait for the third book and cliffhangers are torture. This one definitely has some great character development I felt it revealed a lot more than the first did. I think my favorite part of this series, aside from the family/sibling aspect, was trying to figure out what was going on or what would happen next. It was very engaging.
    I can’t wait to see your thoughts on the third book. Great review, Beth! 😊♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely did, and I’m glad I didn’t give up on this series (not that I really would anyway, I tend to have to finish series once I get started and the ending of the first book was promising enough to get me to continue). There was so much happening in this book, it was a nice change from the first where it felt like there was a lot about the characters they needed to set up before they could get into the action.
      I really freaked out over the ending, from the second Noah and Mara broke into Dr Kell’s office to the last page I feel like I was turning pages faster and faster because I had to find out what happened next. Most of what was revealed in those last chapters had me gobsmacked. I can imagine this cliffhanger was torture, kind of like the Shades of Magic series for me right now (you’ll understand when you read A Gathering of Shadows)
      Thanks so much Melissa. I finished the third book and will actually be posting my review in a few moments! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that’s good! I’m really happy that it ended up working out for you and that you’ve enjoyed the series so much. 😊
        A lot definitely happens in this one and I felt like there were so many twists. Yes! That’s exactly how I felt too. I couldn’t get to the ending fast enough while reading from the second that happened. Then Jude shows up and I was like oh great haha. For the whole wait between the first and the third everyone was speculating if Noah was dead or not and it was torture 😂. So, if the cliffhanger for that is anywhere near as torturous as this one was then I have a feeling I’ll be trying to read the series as fast as I can haha.
        You’re welcome! And wow you read the trilogy fast lol. I’ll definitely be checking out your review during my blog hopping. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same here. I mean I wouldn’t have given up on this series but I’m glad I got to the end and didn’t regret picking it up or anything. 🙂
        It was kind of a surprise after the first book how many twists and turns this one had and how the plot developed as well.
        Jude seemed to be everywhere in this book but nowhere at the same time so I was shocked when he appeared out in the open so to say. I can imagine how that must have been but I kind of knew he wouldn’t be dead for long, if he was at all. I mean, he’s on the cover isn’t he?
        I’d actually say the cliffhanger is even more torturous, but then again this could just be because I’ve had to wait so long for it. I can guarantee you will be desperate to get through the books either way! 🙂
        What can I say, I’m a fast reader! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I love when series can surprise you. I’m usually terrible at keep with a series if I don’t enjoy a first book but when I do it’s nice when that happens. 😊
        Yeah, but all of the speculation was before we got the book cover or a blurb so everyone was so convinced. I always felt like he wouldn’t be dead because he was such a big part of the first two books but even I was convinced for a while. Until the cover was revealed and then I knew he had to be alive 😂.
        I envy your fast reading!! I need to regain mine lol. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have read a few books in the past where the first of the series was king of so-so but it improved with the second and later third books. Plus I can’t leave series unfinished so I’m always going to finish them.
        Ahh yeah, I can imagine that now. Seeing as as soon as I finished the second I went straight into the third and seeing as I already knew what the cover looked like I was confident Noah was still alive. Either way year he’s such a huge part of the series he couldn’t really be dead could he? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I think the only time I leave a series unfinished is when I really don’t like the first book or something happens in the middle that I really don’t like. It’s only happened with three series so far though so it’s rare that I end up doing that.
        You never know. Some authors have killed off characters that are big parts of a series before so I wouldn’t think it completely impossible lol. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Same here, and there is one or two series I will be leaving just because the first book was so terrible that I can’t even begin to think about picking up the next one! It’s rare for me as well, normally my curiosity means I need to pick up the next release just to find out what happens next.
        Not completely impossible no, but I still held out hope it wouldn’t turn out that way with this one! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Jill. This was a book that was on my to-read list for a while before I finally got around to it too. I thought the first book was kind of slow but the series does get better so maybe someday when you get around to it stick with it. It’s worth it in the end. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I finished book three yesterday and just finished writing my review so it will be posted shortly. It’s an amazing series; book three was my favourite but yeah this one is where things started to get interesting for me as well. 😀
      Definitely hooked!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.