Review:The Retribution of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: November 4 2014
Pages: 470
Source: Library ebook
Series: Mara Dyer #3

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. 

Once in a while, you read a finale that is so freaking awesome that you die a little because you want more and it's all over. So let's talk about this book.

I read the first Mara Dyer years ago, and this one was the last. Hodkin's books have been unique in the sense that I always enjoy them when reading them, but they seem to fade from my memory and I'm surprised at just how good they are when I eventually do pick them up. In this case, I remember thinking that I could FINALLY finish a series. This isn't something that happens every day because I seem to start more series than I finished. Oh well.

There was a problem, however. I had the faintest recollection of the previous two books. I could remember the very main characters-- Mara and Noah (!!!!!!), and had a vague sense of the others, but I couldn't remember much of the previous plots except that it was all weird and creepy and I didn't know if this was a psychological thriller or a paranormal. The first two books in the series kept the reader in the dark. They were about the intrigue as they built up the story to this book.

With the help of Mari and Recaptains, which could be the best thing ever in the history of things ever, I was able to get some sense of what happened in the previous books, Still, I started The Retribution of Mara Dyer very fresh, and I'm surprised at just how much it can stand on its own. That's because the story is so different from the first two books in the series. We could all see this coming, this lovely, eerie brilliance, but it was shocking in the best possible way to see all the potential of a series realized.

This book was wicked. 

I was hooked from the very first page because all throughout the story, there is this pulsing feeling that something is very wrong and I love that, especially with protagonists like Mara. I loved Mara in this. Mara is changing and she likes it. She's not timid or scared. She's very cold and capable, yet still human. Still, you have to wonder how much of that is changing? Mara does her own thing, and I love her for it. She still cares about her friends, but I love how much of a leader she is and she's growing to accept and even love herself, as she is. She still suffers from guilt, but I truly did think she was spectacularly fascinating, and I loved how unapologetic she was. Mara would make Rihanna proud.

The other characters were all just as brilliant. I adored Mara and wish I could read more about her. And there is something I can't tell you because it would be a massive spoiler but it is so fucking awesome and I love it and I feel like I could burst from the excitement of it all. So um, there's that! There's also witty banter between friends (because friendships matter!) and I thought, in general, that Mara's relationships were all fascinating and there were a lot of good people in her life. These characters were all fleshed out and each brought a different dynamic to every scene and I'm pretty sure I adored them all.

I was really happy that there were answers.

There are some answers early on, and then more later. I still think some of the mystery about the origins of the main conflict are a little confusing, but I don't even care because the plot, while fascinating, doesn't drive this story. The characters do, led by Mara Dyer. I also think that Hodkins has the rare ability to make reading an enjoyable experience, so reading her prose was also enjoyable. She is very good at describing odd, creepy things. In horror movies, there is high pitched movie that puts the viewer on edge. Michelle Hodkins writing is that.

Now, the biggest question to any finale is about the ending: does it do the series justice? Does the resolution tie up all the loose ends, leaving the reader breathless, satisfied, yet also dared to dream? Is this a book that can stand on its own? The answer to those questions is: absolutely yes.

The resolution made me so happy. I mean, I don't think I'm that tough to please but I felt pretty bad about the last resolution I read (*glares at Ruin and Rising*) so a part of me was really scared that this one would disappoint me too. Yet it didn't. Everything was tied up and I feel ready to let go of this series, fondly. Still, I would love a spinoff series on Jamie's character (wouldn't that be great?) but I'm completely satisfied with what happens. This is mostly for character related reasons, because I'm not sure the story is exactly rock solid. I'm still extremely confused about some parts, and the climax wasn't as climatic as one might expect a climax to be. I just feel like overall, this was such a solid book with such an interesting concept, and it actually ended really well, and I'm so happy about that that the rest can be forgiven.

Sometimes, a story transcends the sum of its parts. The intrigue, the creepiness, the badassness of Mara and the supporting characters were enough to make me extremely happy with The Retribution of Mara Dyer. If you haven't read this series already, I would recommend you give it a go because all of the suspense and tension and questions you have in the first two books culminate in a really good series finale. Plus, I haven't spoiled anything for you so you can have lots of fun being confused and scared. :)



  1. I am a little ashamed to admit that I haven't started this series yet. I even have the first book in the series sitting on my bookshelf, judging me. I'm glad you liked it so much!

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. I do recommend trying it. It's pretty different and I think this one was so satisfying that the entire series is worth checking out.


  2. I loved this series. I was in the same situation. I didn't really remember all that much about the first two. I was able to pick it up pretty well though and I loved it. I was worried that it wasn't going to wrap up well but it did. I think the ending was just a tad rushed but I did like it. I was very please overall. :)

    Great review!

    Vicarious Caytastrophe

    1. I do agree about the ending. I guess I was so in love with Mara being badass and scary that I was pretty ready to forgive a lot. I like to read about messed up stuff, and this book had a lot of that. :)



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