Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Summary (from Goodreads):
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 is one of those books whose publication date kept getting pushed further away. I was worried I’d forgotten too much since book 2, which came out over two years ago. I was also a little worried about not getting all the facts I was so desperate to know from earlier in the series.
Let me tell you right now: I remembered everything as soon as I got sucked back into the story. And I got to learn all there was to know about Mara. I forgot how much the author sucks you in. There is no good place to put the book down. I read it under 24 hours. I could not take my eyes off the pages. And it was nice to have another final book in a series, where I was so excited to learn answers and see what the results would be instead of calling everything from page 1. Hodkin shocked me, made me cry, and had me biting my nails in suspense.
There was not a single dull second in this story. Between the torture, teen experiments, crazy supernatural powers, abductions, hitchhiking, clue-solving, snip-bits from the past (aka: Mara’s grandmother’s story), break outs, murder, and revenge, this book was so action-packed, it’s made other action-packed YA novels look boring. The last 100 pages or so went by in a whirlwind for me.
Mara’s not the easiest character to love either. You feel bad for her because well, torture. But, you never know how sane or reliable she is; she does talk to illusions that no one else sees, and sometimes her reflection, which doesn’t always mirror her…And also, she’s gotten to be a little less good. She has no qualms about killing bad guys. While the rest of her friends (also with abilities) might hesitate about what to do, Mara is all about acting on her powers first, and not thinking too much about it later. And she got a little scary.
But, I loved her. I did. I loved having a main character who wasn’t Super Man or Harry Potter or someone so keen on being morally conscious all the time. It stood out for me. And maybe a small part of me was even on her side for her toughest moments. Who wouldn’t want to kill the person responsible for torturing you and your friends for an extended period of time? Main characters aren’t very realistic if they are so good always. And Mara definitely wasn’t so good always.
It was also kind of great to see her coming into her powers. She was finally embracing who she was. She didn’t want a cure. She never once didn’t trust her sanity (though I might have a little), and she stopped at nothing to find what she needed.
I loved this chapters in her grandmother’s point of view. It was so interesting to see the history of this strange gene pool. I’m not 100% sure I understood all the explanation I received about why Mara is the way she is. And there might have been a couple of explanations that made me go, “huh?” However, I love love loved the ending. Right when you think the story is going one way, the author changes it. And then you get comfortable (kind of with the new ending), and BAM, it’s changed to something else completely. I was continuously surprised. I love being surprised in YA!
All in all, this book rocked. It moves at the speed of light. There is so much action. Mara has become a fantastic main character with some extraordinary abilities. All the questions are answered. The surprises and twists kept coming. And while I’m not sure I believed in all the explanations, nothing could take away from my enjoyment of this one. It gets a 10/10 from me.

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