Book Reviews

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- Book Review


Oh wow. Just…wow. I don’t even know where to begin.

After I first finished this book (last night), I couldn’t quite put my thoughts into words to form this review. But after a goodnight’s sleep, and organizing my thoughts, I feel like I can finally gather the words I need to explain how I feel about this book.

The first thing that pops into my head is “What the hell?” I loved the book. I loved the companionship and friendship that was formed between Stella, Jamie and Mara. I loved their adventure in their search for answers. Even when Mara was a little battier then normal I still found the book enjoyable. But then the end came and I was just….it was all…unfathomable. And by that I mean the actions off the characters. I swear that they all got stupid during the last 130 pages or so.

I will always remain a true fan of Michelle Hodkin, that is no question, but what I just can’t help to wonder is what she was thinking when wrapping up the Mara Dyer series.


I don’t think I have ever read about a more selfish character before. Mara definitely takes the cake.

“You will love him to ruins.” Well that couldn’t have been truer.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am all for couples who are in love to overcome their obstacles so they can truly be together and live happily-ever-after, but Mara and Noah never overcame the most pressing obstacle, and that the being…she will love him to ruins. She absolutely will!

To me, loving someone, and I mean TRULY loving them, is wanting what is best for them even if that doesn’t include you.

Noah is…or I guess I could say was…a charter destined for greatness. As long as he is with Mara though, that can never happen.

I can help but think of that episode of Smallville when Lana Lang obtained the Prometheus suit from Lex Luther and gained the same abilities Clark Kent had. She could even suck all the Kryptonite out of the room if she wanted too! How perfect was that for them when Lana could protect him? But then fate intervened and after she absorbed so much Kryptonite that she could no longer be around Clark Kent without hurting him, she was forced to leave him.

Mara and Noah’s situation was very similar to this one. Mara may not be hurting Noah as rapidly as the Kryptonite had hurt Clark Kent, but one day Mara will kill him or get him killed.

In the end, I really thought that Mara would let him go and I wasn’t even upset over the idea. In fact, I would have respected her more if she had. If she actually loved him, she would have let him go, however, she did not. And by him simply being with her, he will lose his immortality and gift. He is literally risking his life every day that he is with her. How is that love? It’s not. It’s selfishness. I have loved Mara and Noah together since the very first book, I was hoping that after everything they had been through, they would eventually find a way to be together. I did not understand then how tragic that would be at the time.

“Maybe we are codependent,” he went on. “Maybe we are fucked up. Maybe I’m stupid and you’re trouble and both of us would be better off alone.”




He ignored me. “I don’t care. Do you?”


The list of what he would lose with me was longer than what I could give him. But no. I didn’t care.

Mara barely has a conscious so I could understand why she toyed with the idea to stay with Noah despite what she would do to him. But in the end I really really hoped that selflessness would win out. I know it could not have been easy to let him go, but shouldn’t her love for him have outweighed the selfishness she felt by wanting to stay with him?

All of that being said, Mara is not the only one to blame here. Noah also played his role in the stupidity. The biggest one being the almost Romeo and Juliet scene and wanting to die even though he could be a blessing to humanity. Mara dies so obviously Noah wants to die too despite everything he had been told about himself and so he provokes Jude into killing him. Then Mara wakes up, sees him laying there dying, then he does die. If she would have killed herself in that scene it would have almost been identical to a certain star-crossed lovers story I know. I wasn’t crazy about Romeo and Juliet either.

“I would rather die than live without her,” I say to my father.

When everything was said and done and the choices had been made I couldn’t have been less pleased. And their choice to be together saddens me rather than it pleases me. The realization sank in that Mara didn’t really love him or she would have let him go and that sucks to realize after you have been rooting for this couple the entire trilogy.

Noah would be much better off without her, but he pulled the strings to make she would stay with him and she did. Very disappointing.



I had to give this book four stars because of how disappointed I was after the ending. The rest of the book was fantastic and kept me on the edge of my seat, but the very end….I just can’t get over it.

I know this review might sound like all the things that I hated about this book, but it really isn’t. I guess I just couldn’t understand the character’s actions and that really got to me. I needed to understand and I still don’t and I think that has affected my rating.

The action in this book was amazing. I loved the adventure, the search for answers and Noah, the rescue and the conversations between the characters, especially those involving Jamie. The author did an amazing job of making me love him. He was definitely one of my favorite characters. I loved any and all scenes with him. I wish I had known what his letter said from Lukumi. What future was he destined for? It also would have been nice to know what become of Stella. I really found myself liking her as well. Too bad I’ll never know.

Thank you Michelle Hodkin for writing this trilogy and making me believe that Noah and Mara’s story could be real. You have entertained me from the start and I will continue to read anything you write.

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