genre: young adult, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery
series? yes, third/final book
published: on november 4, 2014 by simon & schuster books for young readers
i read the: us hardcover
began: november 4, 2014 // finished: november 7, 2014
where can i buy this? here via the book depository!
goodreads summary: right here.
“maybe sometimes we can only see the truth about ourselves if someone shows us where to look.”
– noah shaw, page 441
the retribution of mara is the third and final book of the mara dyer trilogy. i feel a bit uncomfortable summarizing these books because everything – the actual summary, the descriptions, the beginning – is very vague. there’s a dark, mysterious aura to the whole thing and i feel like summarizing it would destroy that. it’s better to enter this series knowing (nearly) nothing, except for the fact that it’s good (so good). all i can say is, it’s fairly creepy and borderlining horror. oh, and there’s a really attractive male character here. definitely fangirl worthy.
michelle hodkin is the queen of dialogue. the banter between the characters is the best. i look forward to pages that have nothing but dialogue; and luckily for me, there are tons. there’s no lighter way of saying this: her writing style is spot-on. i just *heart eye emoji*. one moment i’m laughing my head off, next i’m shivering from the creeps. there are so many contrasting elements – murder, love, supernatural powers, and science – that blend together perfectly, and it kinda blows my mind. reading the final book of the series, i fell in love with her sassy, and sometimes poetic, sentences all over again.
if you read unbecoming and evolution, but haven’t started this.. i suggest re-reading the first two before you start. i waited a year for the release of this book and forgot a lot. it’s not that i was lost, but there are a lot of references to both books. i missed all of them, obviously, but i re-read parts of unbecoming and evolution (after i finished retribution) and ohmygoODNESS there were so many references. so please, begin this book with a fresh memory of the past two.
overall series: 9.4/10 ✩
*spoiler-filled discussion and in-depth review beginning. please do not read unless you’ve finished this book, as well as the previous two! I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL YOU.*
before i began, i was hoping to see:
- noah alive gdi that’s all i ask
- the explanation/connection from the scenes ‘before’
- the truth
- a happy ending with everything resolved
- mara’s real name
there isn’t anything i’d change, but for some reason, i’m still kinda disappointed?? nearly all of things i wanted to see came true, but it still didn’t feel completely satisfying, and i don’t know why (it’s so frustrating). i wanted to be happy with everything. the epilogue, climax, set up was great but.. let me just list out my complaints:
- i wanted more noah. i know it’s necessary for mara to find him so late in the book. it just wouldn’t make sense. the climax would be.. well, anti-climatic, and defeat the purpose of everything. but i still wanted more noah! he was my favorite (everyone’s favorite) and i wanted more fluff. i can never get enough of them, so naturally, i wanted more mara and noah.
- the ending is kinda vague and incomplete. i know it’s intentionally, and again, would make more sense. but it’s still disappointing. it would follow the mysterious air and fit much better, but i can’t help but.. *sighs* i just want to know
what does mara decide? does she put on the necklace?
who and what is lukumi? we never find out. we never even meet him, even though he was such an important character. we only see him in memories.
what about the future? will there be more people like them?
does the ‘curse’ stop like their plan? or is it still there and continuing because mara and noah decide to stay together?
and their parents. will they ever find out? (i’m assuming no)
what happened to stella?
what happens to mara’s powers? does she control them better now? all we know is there’s no cure and she accepts herself, but what about the actuality of her powers?
what happens with the letters? do they ever confront each other about it again?
- that’s a lot of unanswered questions, but i know it’s stuff mara doesn’t know. it’s clearly stated in the first page of the first book, “this is what i remember,” but still, it’s frustrating. i guess it’s a metaphor for our lives and the future. we never know what’s going to happen. most of these questions are variations of “what happens next?” but we’ll never know because the ending is in the present. the future is wide open, and much like life, we’ll never know what’s going to happen.
- i was originally annoyed that the ending was mainly focused on mara and noah. i love them, but what about everything else. this entire final book is about their powers/strange dna, but the ending doesn’t end that segment. the ending wraps up their relationship – which i love and adore, but i just wanted a bit more on all the other stuff. i mean, we didn’t even see noah until over 300 pages into the book, and he’s the main focus of the ending (not that i’m actually complaining).
and now i’m just passive-aggressively bringing up things i’ve already mentioned i was annoyed at.
the lovely michelle hodkin wrote a very awesome response on the ending, which made up for a lot of these complaints. i understand the reason for all this, and agree with her. but i can’t help but feel just a little disappointed. (i really suggests reading her response.)
now it seems like i didn’t like this book, but trust me, i really enjoyed reading this. one of my favorite parts of the ending was how it came to a full circle and concluded so well, despite the rising questions. you start the first book with mara’s letter, and finish the final book with her writing the letter. if you ask me, THAT’S BRILLIANT. everything clicks together and just makes sense. i love it.
i really like how we see things from noah’s pov later on. when i saw it was being told from noah, i actually freaked out and thought mara was going to die. it was like allegiant all over again. (i swear, allegiant has traumatized me and i’m legit afraid of any/all endings) i was nearly sobbing when mara died, but then i was like, “there are so many pages. there’s no way.” then noah died and i was sobbing yet again and i was like, “oh wait, i’m so dumb. he can heal himself. there’s no way. and there are so many pages.” i really love reading from noah, because i love noah. (in case you didn’t realize, i’m completely and utterly his.) ((did you see what i did there?? *wink wink*))
jamie and mara have the best conversations – like ever. and jamie is like the best friend mara
or anyone could ever have. their dialogue is my favorite out of everyone’s. both mara and jamie are incredibly sassy, so reading their exchanges will always leave me in fits of giggles. jamie is such a supportive friend, even (and especially) after seeing mara at her worst.
the amount of times i wanted to scream, “what the f–” during this book, is too many. (actually over fifteen times. not joking.) my emotions were all over the place, and shock was definitely topping the list. every single time something crazy would happen (basically every other page), i would actually be this guy:
the references made to unbecoming and evolution!! i didn’t know notice until after i finished the book and reread parts of from first two, but SO GOOD (and SO MANY). the repeated sentences and everything. that last scene (before the epilogue) with mara and noah had a lot of descriptions and sentences from their first makeout session and i didn’t even realize! and i’m sure there are loads more. i’ll definitely be rereading the entire trilogy in the future.
in conclusion, this series was phenomenal. the unbecoming of mara dyer will always be my favorite, but the other two are just as amazing. i’m so pleased with this final book, even though i had a ton of complaints in the beginning. the mara dyer trilogy is certainly one of my favorite series and i cannot wait to reread it over and over again.
what are your thoughts on this book/series? please let me know in the comments below!