Where to begin? Well, I have officially had my first cry of 2015 and that’s all down to the final book in my beloved Mara Dyer series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
Firstly, before I get to the review, I am in a very emotional state after finishing this series. I can’t believe it’s over and I am not ready to say goodbye to Mara Dyer and the boy she’ll love to ruins.
Secondly, I can confidently say that this is one of the best book series that I have read to date. Michelle Hodkin is exceptionally clever and I bow down to her literary talent.
We catch up with Mara after the incident at Horizons. She knows that there are others with special abilities like her, she knows that Dr. Kells had something to do with it and despite being told different, she knows that Noah is alive.
In Retribution, Mara teams up with Jamie and Stella. Not only are they are embarking on quest for answers to the experiments conducted on them, but Mara is looking for Noah who she hasn’t seen since the collapse.
Running into old acquaintances, Lukumi and the now maniacal Jude, Mara finds herself having to choose between life or death in order protect Noah.
I was very worried about Retribution. While Hodkin did the impossible and created a masterpiece that was even more darker and thrilling than it’s predecessors, at first I did not find myself completely invested in it as I had been before. Yes, I loved the rapport between Jamie and Mara. Their friendship is beautiful, but I just couldn’t place what it was lacking.
It wasn’t until around 200 pages in when we were finally past it feeling like the X-Men and Jamie being the poor man’s answer to Charles Xavier, that the pacing started to pick up. From then on, it was back to being the addictive series that I just couldn’t put down.
With help from Mara’s brother, Daniel, the team (Mara, Jamie and Stella) discover deep and dark secrets regarding the manifestation of their abilities and the woman responsible, Dr. Kells. Might I just add that I adore Mara and Daniel’s sibling bond which is why I sobbed like a baby when Mara was saying her goodbyes.
Actually, the moment when Mara was forced to choose to die in order to protect Noah broke me. It was written so beautifully, especially when Noah is told that he was meant to be the hero and “slay the dragon, but he fell in love with it” instead. The dragon, being Mara whose shadow affliction interferes with the prophecy that Noah is destined for greatness. I thought it was superb how all those flashbacks with Mara’s grandmother tied together with her current state and Noah which in the process explained a lot. I like how Retribution gave us answers.
There are plenty of revelations in Retribution. You can never predict what will happen, but you can be sure that you’ll be an emotional wreck when it does. There’s twists and turns and there was never a moment when I was a hundred percent sure that I knew what would happen next. From Mara channeling her inner Jesus and resurrecting to Noah putting a gun to his head. I couldn’t safely say that I knew either of them would survive, but I’m glad they did. I think I would’ve been in mourning for years if Noah Shaw had died.
Hodkin is a genuis. Looking back, now that I’ve completed the series, it is interesting and frustrating to see how all the little details fit together like a jigsaw. One detail that I loved in particular was the fact that the initials of Mara’s full name, Mara Amitra Dyer, spell out MAD and Noah’s initials, Noah Elliot Simon Shaw, spells out NESS. Put them together and bam, you get MADNESS! Which is pretty much sums up the series. Madness. But a perfect madness.
It’s going to take me a long time to get over this series. It took me by surprise how quickly I came to invest and care for these characters and I had a heavy heart as I finished the final page, closing the book and bidding them farewell. The ending, in my opinion, did it justice. It wrapped everything up nicely with lives still intact.
I’d like to thank Michelle Hodkin for this masterpiece of a series that emotionally ruined me and for setting my standards impossibly high in guys. Seriously, if I don’t marry Noah Shaw I will sue. He is the fictional love of my life.