Author: Michelle Hodkin
Narrator: Christy Romano
Series: Mara Dyer, #3
Released: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Source: Publisher for review
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.
The heart-stopping conclusion to Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy is everything you want a finale to be – more tense, more violent, more exciting, more romantic, and just more! Although it was safe to expect as much, it was still a relief to discover that this wonderful author found a way to give us more of everything. Leaving Mara was by no means easy, but me suffering from a book hangover is a sure sign that the author did everything right. And she did.
As usual, we find our Mara in a world of trouble. Her circumstances have changed significantly, her support system has changed, her family has changed and, most of all, Mara has changed. The girl we find in The Retribution is not the same girl we remember. Having lost everything she had to lose, Mara awakened a deep part of herself, her true nature, and it’s wilder and more dangerous than anything we could have imagined.
I must say that I rather enjoyed seeing Mara embrace her dark side. It’s not something I could possibly have issues with – the characters are meant to be pushed to their limits, they are supposed to transform, and for Mara, the path she chose was only natural, after being manipulated and pushed around for so long. Away from her family and from Noah, scared, burdened with guilt and hungry for revenge, she became someone else entirely, someone I pitied and feared all at the same time.
“Look,” I said to Daniel and Jamie, “what’s the most terrifying thing you can think of in these tunnels? Rats? Mole people?”
“Evil mastermind hell bent on killing you?” Jamie suggested.
“Wrong. The most terrifying thing in these tunnels is me.”
The pacing around the middle was a bit of a problem, but that is often the case with final books in trilogies. We expect so much and it’s easy to start feeling resentful and restless when things slow down even a little bit. The explosive beginning and more-than-satisfactory ending made up for the weaker middle part, though, and the book as a whole was even more than I hoped for.
I also felt that things weren’t neatly resolved in the end, which can be a good thing if done right, but in this case, it didn’t sit well with me. Some of the people behind the conspiracy against Mara and others like her escaped free and clear, which bothered me immensely. I suppose Hodkin wanted to show that money really does run the world, and she was right to do it, but this particular character made me so angry and I really wanted to see at least some consequences for their actions.
As usual, Christy Romano made this experience so much better. She is a fabulous narrator and it didn’t take much for her to become Mara’s voice in my head. Like the previous two, the audiobook was done excellently, without a single flaw I could point out. This is the only series Romano has ever narrated, having been talked into it by the author herself, but I truly hope she won’t stop there. I’m looking forward to more books from her.
All in all, my time with Mara and Noah was well spent and I’ll surely be going back to them at some point. They are a part of my fictional army now, along with Juliette and Warner, Deuce and Fade, and many, many more.
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.