Book Reviews

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

*Originally posted on Southern Bred, Southern Read Blog on 11/06/14*

You know, most of the time Angela and I will do a joint review when we read the same book at the same time. Every so often, we read a book that is so epic, so mind blowing that we each have to write our own thoughts because it was just that good. This is what happened with The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

I think I am not over exaggerating when I say this is one of the most highly anticipated books this year (for us anyway). Michelle Hodkin sucked us into her world of Mara Dyer and made us fall in love with Noah Shaw and then left us hanging on a massive cliffhanger at the end of book two.

FINALLY, I was able to get my hands on my precious. I was actually out of town the day the book was released, so I reserved a copy at like three different book stores because I didn’t know which one I was going to be able to get to first.

The book opens a few weeks after the last one left off. Mara is still at the Horizons facility on No Name Island, but she wakes up drugged and with no memory of what has happened in the time that has passed. Dr. Kells and her assistant Wayne are major parts of the first part of the book. Dr. Kells reveals a little why she everything has happened the way it has gone down. The book gets pretty intense pretty quickly, especially when our favorite villain Jude makes a reprise a la SAW style.

Mara finds Jamie and Stella in the facility, but Noah is still MIA. They have to figure out how to get out of this facility and off of No Name Island. Along the way they are finding more and more clues on why they are there and what they are. Once they uncover some pretty important information, they all decide that they need go to NYC. Along the way, we meet some other characters. Some good, some not so good. Between the three of them and their powers they are able to difuse and handle some pretty ridiculous situations. I won’t reveal much, but I will say this book is a lot darker than I was expecting. Mara really has to deal with her crazy and she is also dealing with the fact that Noah may or may not be alive. You really feel her pain and your heart breaks for her right along the way (all I’m going to say is marashaw and when that scene happened I was ready to just go ahead and throw myself off a bridge).

“An angel sat on one shoulder, a devil on the other. Both of them wore my face.”

Once they finally make it to NYC, crazy stuff stars happening left and right. All I’m going to say that several scenes left my jaw literally hanging open on the floor. The best thing about this book is we get answers. We FINALLY get ALL of our questions answers. Why is this happening? Why did Dr. Kells do this? Who all is involved? All of it gets answered.

The best part of the book happens over three hundred pages in and that is when my booboo Noah FINALLY reappears. Though he isn’t in the whole book, the last ~150pgs that he is apart of is absolutely amazing. What he has to go through was so heart wrenching. He if faced with some crazy hard choices that involve Mara, his dad, Mara’s brother, Jamie, and even Jude. I read the last part of the book in an hour because I was on the edge of my seat the entire time freaking out. It is truly freak out worthy and you will be going back and forth between wanting to cry your eyes out to wanting to rip someone’s throat out.

But the ending is worth it. Oh my gosh, is it worth it. The way Michelle Hodkin wrote the last handful of chapters is so romantic and so beautiful. She makes you feel the feels without directly saying what is going on, but it still makes you feel uncomfortable in all the write ways. Let’s just say that Noah Shaw earned his reputation for good reason.

“I know what I can do to a girl with a word, a look, a touch. And I want to do them all to her.”

The ending reminded me a lot of the ending of the Shatter Me series. You get closure. Like for real closure. You’re not sitting there wondering WTF just happened. The ending leaves it open enough that you don’t know what the future will hold but you know that all the characters are going to be ok, at least for now. SPOILER (don’t highlight if you haven’t read the book because it will spoil the ending!!!)- You don’t know if Noah and Mara will live a long life together, but you know the option is there that they could possibly live forever (since her grandma hopefully broke the curse) or Noah could die any time. You get enough closure to be okay with those questions not being answered because you know that right now Mara and Noah are together and they have chosen each other no matter what.

sSo needless to say this book absolutely rocked my world. I didn’t know what to expect going into this, but all of my expectations were blown out of the water. I’m sad this book series is over, but I am adding it to my top series of all time list. If I could give this book a million stars, I would.

“I will love you to ruins.”

5/5 stars

-Leah

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