Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
“This is a love story. Twisted and messy. Flawed and screwed up. But it’s ours. It’s us. I don’t know how our story will end. but I know it will start. I pick up my pen and begin to write:
My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.”
There are reasons why one would review a whole series together.
First would be the obvious one – the sequel hasn’t been published.
Second would a little obvious – you couldn’t actually put down the books long enough to coherently write down what you actually thought about each instalment.
Third, the least obvious reason is that you aren’t quite patient enough to wait till the third book is released, therefore, you wait till all the three books are out that you can devour the trilogy together without letting the cliffhangers destroy your life (Tehehehehe sometimes even my genius brain amazes me :P)
The second reason on the surface applies here. This series took me a while to finish, not for the lack of trying let me tell you. But simple fact is, even if I wanted to read 24/7, I can’t because adult responsibilities get in the way.
But the main reason I am reviewing the whole trilogy together is because I knew that when I came to know about this trilogy, the third book was a little way off to be published, so all I had heard was that there is a reason why everyone was clambering for the last book to be out already. So I decided to buy all three together, so I never have to go through the wait myself 😀
Never has a series baffled me the way this one has. This series is twisted, gory, cringe – worthy at times yet absolutely un – putdownable (is that even a word?).
Ms. Hodkin is the master of keeping her readers on toes till the end to unravel the mystery she has so expertly created. I’m going to do my best to actually write as spoiler free review I can, for all those who were late comers to this twisted little party like I was 😛
The trilogy starts with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, wherein we meet an array of characters, including Mara Dyer, Noah Shaw, Jude Lowe, Jamal Feldstein-Roth, and many others. The plot starts itself off with a creepy little warning that Mara will kill her friends in 6 months. And it gets creepier with every page. The first book shows Mara trying to understand what is frickity frack is happening to her.
The trilogy continues with The Evolution of Mara Dyer, which as the name suggests continues the plot, where in Mara continues on a quest to understand the extent of her powers and why they work the way they do.
Side Note: All of you who waited, patiently, for the last book to be published, you have my eternal respect!
The trilogy ends with The Retribution of Mara Dyer, where at last we, the readers along with Mara and her gang of freaks, finally get to understand the endgame.
This trilogy had me twisted, almost puking, and absolutely confused as to what was right and what was wrong. Ms. Hodkin has created a wonderfully explicit world that, for an over imaginative mind like mine was horrifyingly brilliant at the same time.
Since I want to keep this review spoiler – free (Things I do for you, bookworms :P), especially for those who are even later than I am to this party, I am going to talk mostly about the characters, the writing and the beautiful wonderful Noah Shaw 😉
The best thing about this trilogy was the characterisation. Told in the POV of Mara throughout, the author has painstakingly made sure that the readers intimately the kind of pain, confusion that Mara goes through, and all kinds of twisted it is in her head. The characters, even the supporting characters were given the due to them. After a long time, I have read a plot wherein, even characters that most would consider superficial to the story got equal attention.
Mara’s relationship with her family, especially her brothers is something that I adore in the book, especially being an only child. Her relationship with David is exactly how I pictured my relationship with a brother would be like (and it is almost similar to the friends who sorta act like my big brother :D). So yes, the characterization was one thing that I absolutely loved and adored in this trilogy.
“You’re the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You’re the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you’re wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You’re the girl that I–” Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. “You are my girl.”
Now coming to Noah Shaw, yes he gets a whole special mention 😉
Before I even started reading this trilogy, I heard a whole lot about Noah Shaw and how perfectly gorgeous and perfect fictional boyfriend he was. So my expectations were already set high. And at first though, he sounded like a typical pretty boy with a playboy attitude, but when you are first introduced to him personally, you realise off the bat, that there is a hidden layer to him.
He is made of what typically makes a perfect fictional boyfriend. He is cocky in a confident way. He is gorgeous without even trying. He is intelligent enough that he doesn’t need to try in school. And he falls for the first girl who sasses him, the first girl who doesn’t fall for his charms immediately.
Yes he is predictable, but that doesn’t make him less endearing, especially when you move in deeper into the story.
“I’ll love you to ruins”
The predictability of Noah and Mara’s relationship made me restless. Even knowing that they are supposed to end up together (well DUH!), the speed at which they fall for each other, didn’t exactly make me feel butterflies or make me go ‘aww’. It was only the uncertainty of what was happening to Mara and how Noah was supposed to figure in with his powers, saved the day for me. Their back and forth sassy conversations were literally so fun to read. Mara really was his match, and their attraction strong enough to actually make me fan myself to cool off sometimes 😀
“You are what happiness means to me. And I would rather have today with you than forever with anyone else.”
Now coming to what I didn’t like. These were surprisingly very few. The fact that this was written only in Mara’s POV was irritating to me, because I do like to have a wholistic picture of the story rather than only one POV, but this is just me and this might not be problem for anyone else (I am very picky this way!).
Now the second thing sort of wraps up in the first – Since this was a single POV trilogy we only find out what exactly is the whole story behind the powers until Mara herself does. And that’s why I felt as if there was no closure even with the epilogue. And the fact that we only get Noah Shaw for only the last third part of The Retribution Of Mara Dyer, made me feel as if I was cheated.
But beyond these, this trilogy was horrifyingly perfect. The concept, the writing and the characters all meshed up together to give me enough fodder for nightmares, and I say that with utmost adoration Ms. Hodkin.
I hope to read more of Ms. Hodkin’s stories in the future 🙂
“It has been said that there must be a villain for every hero, a demon for every angel, a monster for every god. Despite what we are, I do not believe this. I have seen the villainous act heroic, and men called heroes act villainous. The ability to heal does not make one good any more than the ability to kill makes one evil. Kill the right people, and you become a hero. Heal the wrong ones, and you become a villain. It is our choices that define us, not our abilities.”
4 / 5 Stars
(Only because the single POV never does work for me)
I would recommend this trilogy for tose who love a little horror and paranormal, mixed in with their love stories. Also would recommend this trilogy for those who love twisted fictional characters more than they could ever love the goody – two shoes one!