The Retribution of Mara Dyer


Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series: Mara Dyer, #3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 4th 2014


Four Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

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

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“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.”

After everything that happened at the end of The Evolution of Mara Dyer – after being made an inpatient at New Horizons, after Jude finally coming after her out in the open, after Mara and Noah discovered they weren’t quite as alone as they always thoughts, after the asylum collapsed and Mara was told Noah was gone – Mara is still trapped, only now she’s alone. There are tests and drugs destined to stop what Mara can do with her mind; but Mara isn’t content to remain caged, not while the people she blames for what happened to her and Noah are still out there

When an opportunity presents itself Mara makes her escape and runs into both Jamie and Stella, two other gifted teens who attended the New Horizon’s outpatient program with Mara and two other people who survived the building collapse. While their first priority is getting off the island and finding answers Mara’s is finding Noah; she doesn’t believe that he died, she would know in her heart if he was really gone.

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.

However getting off the island isn’t all there is to Mara’s, Jamie’s and Stella’s escape. On the run and unable to return home for obvious reasons the three teens have to use their gifts, use their heads, to try and find the answers behind who they are and what was done to them. The more Mara use her powers though the more she finds herself being changed by them.

I thought this book was the perfect ending to the trilogy, and it’s definitely my favourite of the three. All the unanswered questions I had about Mara, her abilities, and even her past were answered; and although there was a lot of science that I glossed over at times it was a satisfying explanation. The journey Mara, Jamie and Stella go on is not an easy one, they have to make hard choices and use their gifts for things that could be considered evil, but at the same time I was still rooting for them.

…The Characters

“The villain is the hero of her own story.”

Mara changes so much in this book I no longer recognized her as the girl we saw in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, where her story starts off. With Noah gone it’s almost as if he took the part of her with him that kept her human, kept her having a conscience. With Noah gone Mara has nothing left to lose and she isn’t afraid to use her powers to dole out justice as she sees fit. In the first two books Mara seemed afraid of her powers, of what she was turning into, but in The Retribution of Mara Dyer she’s almost free of that fear. Her powers are what make her who she is, who she has always been, and she seems to fully accept them and everything that comes with them.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this trilogy is that I remained unsure whether Mara was the hero or the villain. In any other story about a girl with the power to kill others with her mind going up against another group of people trying to stop her, trying to find a cure, the answer would seem obvious as to who you should be rooting for. In this trilogy though that’s not the case.

“He could never use you. You own him.”

Now don’t get me wrong I loved Noah and Mara’s relationship but with Noah gone for this book I felt Mara had a chance to develop as her own character, rather than as an extension of Noah. When she was around him in the first two books she was constantly relying on him; for answers, for protection, or even just to make herself feel more human. Now Mara only has herself to rely on, and while both Jamie and Stella are along for the ride they are just as lost and clueless as she is about everything that is happening to them.

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

Both Jamie and Stella were brilliant additions to this story. While Jamie has been with Mara almost since the beginning, her friend and confidant in high school and later in the outpatient program she attended, Stella has not. Despite have a gift as well Stella is scared of Mara and her powers, and while Jamie fears her a little as well I think he understands where Mara is coming from more than Stella does. He understands that sometimes you need to make the hard choices to get what you need, and with the three of them on the run from pretty much everyone they could have turned to there’s nothing but hard choices ahead.

The ending to this series was everything I wanted and more. It was left open and the author is actually writing another series set in the same world with the same characters (don’t check out the blurb though unless you want a major spoiler for this book). What started off with an OK-ish book and a slow start has become an amazing series that I did not want to end.

What did you think of The Retribution of Mara Dyer? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

29 thoughts on “The Retribution of Mara Dyer

  1. I loved the Mara Dyer trilogy! The plot was intriguing, the characters hilarious and relatable… I cannot tell you how many times I have re-read these books. However, I feel like the final book fell short on some answers. Like why Mara was always seeing the same numbers everywhere, but in varying combinations–1821 was one of the combinations. I have yet to re-read the final book. I plan on re-reading all three books very carefully once more to see if I missed anything! But overall, I was very pleased with the ending. I loved Mara’s character and how I was always wondering if she was the hero or the villain–sometimes those lines were blurred. I absolutely loved Noah… Ah! I thought it was so cool how Mara and Noah’s full names, when put together, make M.A.D.N.E.S.S.! So awesome. I thought the ending, with the writing of that letter that appeared in the very first book, was a very unique ending. I was definitely sad when I finished the last book. I literally could not put the book down–or any of them, for that matter. Ms. Hodkin did a great job! Great review… I enjoyed reading through it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah overall I thought it was a good trilogy too, I think I had higher expectations for the first book but as a whole the trilogy was amazing. It’s definitely going to be a series I re-read a few times as well! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it so much as well.
      I don’t remember that about the numbers, was it a subtle part of the book or am I just forgetting things already? Either way there is another series coming out in Noah’s POV this time so maybe that will have more answers, it’s definitely going to have more of Mara in it. Mara’s character was amazing, her development throughout the trilogy was some of the best I’ve read and I can’t wait to read more about her and Noah (though I’m a little worried about a new trilogy and what it will do to them.)
      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed my review! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was something quite subtle! I only noticed it after re-reading the first and second books with a fine-tooth comb! Yes, I definitely agree that Mara’s evolution/development throughout the trilogy is very well done. Your…apprehension towards the new trilogy is justified, for sure! I share the same worries! Hopefully Ms. Hodkin won’t do anything too drastic to her characters!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In that case I guess I need to re-read the series to pick up on it. When I do go back to the beginning again I’ll have to keep a closer eye out for the connections and little clues throughout.
        Given how good the first trilogy was I’m sure the second one will be good as well. Still I wait for some reviews to be posted before picking it up myself I think. 🙂


  2. I haven’t read the first book yet, so I kind of had to skim through your review. But I’m glad you ended up liking the trilogy. I’ll definitely have to remember to put the first book on my TBR! Thanks for the review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You sped through this trilogy, Beth! I’m so happy that you ended up really enjoying it. I have to agree with you about this one being your favorite out of the three, it was mine too. I love how Mara really developed and that we never really knew if she was the hero or the villain. We don’t even actually know her real name which I always found interesting haha. I love how the author took a fantastical story and implanted it into the real world, so to speak, and included so many different pop culture references, like THG. Also, Jamie and Stella were my favorites! Especially Jamie. I loved him throughout the series but in the last one it was so great to see more of him. I definitely plan on reading the Noah trilogy she has planned. I am a bit hesitant about it but we shall see. With the way I loved these and the author’s writing I’m betting she’ll surprise me. Great review as always! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it does tend to be that way with trilogies I really enjoy, this was one of them and once I got to the second book it became an addictive series I just couldn’t put down! 🙂
      Mara’s character in this series was my favourite part, or one of them I should say. It’s kind of refreshing to have a character who’s morals are grey, who would sacrifice the world for the problem she loved. I kind of got so used to her being Mara it never occurred to me until the end that it wasn’t her real name you know? 🙂
      I loved THG reference in this book! ❤️
      Jamie was definitely my favourite in this book, I liked him from the beginning but he kind of got the chance to really come through as his own character in this one didn’t he? I’m a bit hesitant too but I have high-ish hopes I guess. I reckon the series will be a surprise, this one certainly was.
      Thanks so much Melissa! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Her character was one of my favorite parts of the trilogy as well. She is definitely a unique character. I’m really interested to see what the author does with her next. Especially after making her a character that I was ultimately rooting for in this. I actually always thought about how it wasn’t her real name 😂. It makes me wonder if it’ll ever be revealed one day or if it will be left a mystery.
        He really did!
        You’re welcome, Beth!! 😊♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve never read another character like Mara before and I think that’s why I liked her so much. I was never sure where the author was going to take her development or even what Mara would do next with her powers. I think it will be interesting reading more about Mara from Noah’s POV.
        I thought about it in the beginning but then kind of forgot about it until the end of the series. Maybe it will be revealed one day, but I’m always going to see her as Mara despite what any reveal will tell us. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. YES YES. I am so thrilled you loved this, Beth! I agree with you, that Mara got a chance to develop way more without Noah by her side all the time, and Stella and Jamie were the best sidekicks to this story, especially Jamie, I loved him ❤ Are you going to read the new book coming out in 2017 ? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a brilliant book and a brilliant ending to the trilogy. It was kind of nice to see her grow more as a character and see her without Noah by her side, though I do love the two of them together! 🙂
      Jamie and Stella were both amazing, but I did prefer Jamie overall! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like it when the last book of a trilogy doesn’t disappoint. At the point, you’re involved with the story and characters and you can only hope the author did not ruin it all (yes, I’m still referring to The Death Cure, haha). I love how you mention the development of Mara, if your characters don’t change as they go through their story, there’s no point to the book. Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, and luckily this one didn’t though there have been a few that disappointed me as well (The Death Cure is one of the worst but unfortunately it isn’t the only one!)
      Mara went though some amazing development in this series, honestly I felt all the characters did but as it was told in first person POV it was more obvious when it came to Mara you know?
      Thanks Donna! 😀


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