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
Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
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 goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.