Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, #2
Released: January 21st 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

The truth about Mara Dyer’s dangerous and mysterious abilities continues to unravel in the New York Times best-selling sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. She can’t. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren’t. She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

In many ways, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is a better book than its predecessor. It’s certainly a more mature work, free of the usual genre tropes. While The Unbecoming was emotionally challenging, The Evolution takes things a step further as our uncertainty and fear for Mara reach a whole new level.

After a horrible, terrifying event, Mara wakes up in a psychiatric hospital. Her family doesn’t believe her, and rightfully so. Mara has a history of PTSD and hallucinations that occasionally caused her to hurt herself horribly. However, while their lack of faith is certainly understandable, we can’t help but wish that someone, especially Mara’s mother, would finally listen to her. Her experience in the hospital leaves her (and us) with a horrible taste of betrayal in our mouths. Reason goes out the window when everyone but Noah turns their back on poor Mara.

Once again Hodkin shows her excellent sense of pacing and her ability to build tension to almost unbearable levels. Mara’s story is infinitely creepy, with danger lurking from every corner. No one but Noah can be trusted, and even Mara’s brothers have to be kept in the dark. Mara is the most unreliable of narrators, and fully aware of it. She often doubts the events around her, even as they’re taking place. The uncertainty doesn’t help matters, especially when she’s in danger and frozen because she doesn’t know whether the peril is real or hallucinated. Her constant questioning was painful and realistic, although occasionally frustrating.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy were the flashbacks of Mara’s (well, someone’s) life in India. They were so randomly thrown into the story and they were terribly disruptive. I didn’t really see the point, but hopefully their significance will become clear in the third book. As it is, I found it hard to concentrate during those chapters.

I didn’t know this before, but Christy Romano was chosen by Michelle Hodkin herself to narrate these books. Apparently her voice reminded Hodkin so much of Mara that she invited Christy to borrow her voice first for the trailer, and then for the audiobooks as well. The audiobook is truly of the highest quality. It’s quite obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into it. After the story, the audio version includes an interview between Hodkin and Romano, which gives us a chance to learn more about both the writing and the audio recording process.

We are once again left with a horrible cliffhanger, but there’s finally hope for Mara as well. Hurt beyond comprehension and separated from everything she holds dear, Mara is finally finding the strength to stand up to her enemies. There’s a true fighter somewhere in there, and I believe that she’s finally waking up. We’ll just have to wait and see.

"All the pain I have ever felt was just practice for this moment."

I’ll be starting the final book as soon as possible. I don’t see how things could possibly end well for Mara and Noah, but I have faith in Hodkin, and I certainly have plenty of faith in Mara.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I think I will wait for you to review the last book before I take the plunge and get these... I've heard some very good things, and the unreliable narrator is something I really like in books, but I want to be sure the final book is not one of those flops that sometimes happen!
    Great review, Maja!

  2. So many people are reading this series right now and loving it. I so need to make it a priority!

  3. Wow this is interesting! I have finished this series and it is awesome
    But I didn't know that little tidbit about the audio book. i am definitely interested in listening to it
    GREAT review dear
    Your reader,
    Soma R.

  4. That quote sounds so ominous. Scary.

  5. I'm planning on reading this series next month. So glad book 3 came out already because the cliffhangers in books 1 and 2 sound horrible! Glad this one avoided the middle book syndrome.

  6. Replies
    1. Yep.

      Well, I know I said I wanted to do this one on audio since the author picked the narrator. This sounds delightful and I'm glad that this one was better than the first.

  7. Another series I keep hearing awesome things about

  8. I've heard so much of this series, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. But the feedback I keep getting is that it's really good with a touch of creepy to boot. Your review convinced me that I should try the audio, though... I've been listening to graphic audios for a while, but they're mostly limited to fantasy and science fiction stuff and really want to hear young adult renditions. I'll definitely try this one myself!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  9. I read the first but havent stayed current


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