Friday, February 13, 2015

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Publication Date:  November 4, 2014
Publisher:   Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers    
Series:  Mara Dyer #3  
Pages:  470
Genre:  Paranormal
Synopsis:  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. 

Review:  (Warning: the one potential spoiler is marked in red). 
The first thing I thought when I finished this book was, "What in the world did I just read?"  I don't even know where to start.  This is one of the most confusing, twisted series I have ever read, and I absolutely loved every second of it.  

This series is a roller coaster, and this final conclusion is no exception.  The writing, as always, is chilling and lyrical and hazy. Michelle Hodkin certainly knows how to write intense stories, that is obvious.  However,  I have some issues with the plot.  The dynamic of the story has changed in this final book, though I am unsure if this is a bad thing or an exciting development.  Numerous story lines are started and not fully explained.  There are a lot of loose ends I wish were wrapped up.  

Noah is not present for much of the book, which is disappointing, as he is probably my favorite character, because he is so complex and witty.  The "mystery" of his "death" does not work out well, because it is blatant that he has not died.  The characters who replace his presence are Stella and Jamie.  I like Jamie, especially his conversations with Mara, which are utterly priceless.  But Stella?  She is pretty pointless and isn't around enough to really get to know her.  

Unlike the last book, which is rife with suspense and the danger of Jude lurking in the shadows, a good portion of this installment is spent running around trying to find answers.  All the while, Mara has gone of the deep end.  Her character completely changes, as in the fact that she is suddenly okay with killing and maiming people, something that previously horrified her.  I think that this change in her, while making her more powerful, is not for the better.

Another thing is that some of the occurrences are simply too convenient.  Events happen just when they are desperately needed, and characters show up all of a sudden when they can be most useful.

The ending throws you through a loop.  It comes out of nowhere, and I am not sure if it is a good thing.  It's just so sudden and unclear, and almost too bizarre to be believable (though what do you expect from these insane books).  But the most pressing concern in The Retribution of Mara Dyer is that nothing is quite resolved in the end.  You get the answers you have been dying to get since the very first book, but nothing really feels over and done with

I know it must seem like I dislike The Retribution of Mara Dyer, but I truly do love it.  It is demented and overwhelming and haunting.  I don't think I have ever read or ever will read another book like this one.  Over all, with all of its flaws, I adamantly recommend this book series, if your mind can survive it.

4 Keys

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