Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Paranormal Contemporary

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.

This has been one of my favorite series since the first book came out, and this finale was absolutely amazing.  A wonderful end to a great series.  It's going to be hard to write this review without revealing too much of the prior books for those who might have read it yet, but I'll do my best.

In this final installment, everything that's been building finally comes to a head.  What Mara is going through in the first part of this book is absolutely heartbreaking.  I wanted to reach through the pages and rescue her.  At this point, we've spent two books getting to know and love this girl, feel for her, and crave understanding of what's happening to her.  At the end of the last book, we got a small idea of what's really happening, but it definitely didn't answer all the questions.  The author does a wonderful job slowly peppering in more details until the big reveal.  This author definitely knows how to play her cards close to her chest.  She wasn't giving anything up before it was time and only gave you bits and pieces, just enough to keep you in an agony of frustration.

The characters go on a bit of a quest in this story.  They need more answers to what they found out at the beginning of the story, and this quest lent a certain immediacy to the story where you felt like you were on the edge of your seat pretty much the entire time.  There were times in this story where I felt like I didn't know Mara anymore, because she has evolved as a character to encompass both good and bad.  She was an extremely complex character, but I loved her.  The author kept you guessing up until the very end at which side of herself would dominate.

I was amazed at some of the characters that became involved in this story.  People you never would have guessed had anything to do with anything.  Some good additions, some bad.  It just upped the intensity all the more.

The ending of this story was so impactful.  There are lives lost, lives found, love, betrayal, mystery, and a paranormal element that heightened all the tension and lent the story an eerie quality... just enough to raise the hair on your arms at times.  The ending left me completely satisfied, but I almost admired how the author didn't go out of her way to tie up every single lose end.  It would have made the ending unbelievable and it would have seemed like cheating somehow.  The way she ended it was perfect.

The writing was suspenseful, moving, heartbreaking, poignant, scary and uplifting all at once.  I loved every minute of it!

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