Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Posted 10/31/2012 by alicemarvels in Paranormal
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one of those books that is both exquisitely addictive and deeply frustrating. At the end, we have no idea what is happening with our main character, Mara. Is she crazy? Possessed? An X-woman? A figment of someone’s imagination? WHAT IS HAPPENING??? I’m happy to report, dear reader, you DO get some answers to these burning questions in the fabulous sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
This book was, like the first novel, an incredibly addictive story, but with better development and pacing than book one. Here are a few things I loved about The Evolution of Mara Dyer:
Mara Dyer is one of my favorite unreliable narrators, because she is entirely persuasive in her version of events, but also incredibly vulnerable and fearful of herself. I have no idea if her version of reality is legit, but I’m enjoying the ride immensely, and I’m rooting for her. A lot of the snark we saw in book one has been replaced with fear, protectiveness and empathy, and she grows tremendously as a character in this installment. While I found her intriguing in book one, she has totally won me over in book two.
British, sexy, smart, a bookworm….why does Noah have to be SO perfect and SO fictional? Ok, he’s not really perfect; he’s actually terribly messed up, and we find out more about his past in this book. But his desires and focus and instincts when it comes to Mara are so deliciously lovable, and their chemistry is scorching. Hodkin is a master of building romantic suspense, wisely understanding the buildup to a kiss is sometimes more exciting than the actual locking of lips. If it were possible (and not creepy) to have her write a day in my love life, I would totally sign my BF and me up for that, cause girlfriend can write some good sexy-times!
Villains and Superstition
There are some pretty terrifying enemies (real and/or imagined) in this book, and many people who could be working against Mara and Noah as they try to convince Mara’s parents that she’s not insane and as they continue to seek the truth about her unique set of skills. The book comes close to horror movie level thrills and suspense several times, keeping up the same dark undercurrent that made the first book unputdownable.
Reading this series, and The Evolution of Mara Dyer in particular, is a bit like the experience of watching Lost (BEFORE it jumped the shark), in that each minor mystery solved brings a new question and a fresh sense of dread and unease. Some people don’t like being on this treadmill of suspense where questions get answered with new questions, but I LOVE it. Michelle Hodkin is quite talented at stretching your patience, giving you something as a reward, and asking for even more patience afterward.
I absolutely love Mara’s family. Her brother Daniel is too sweet for words, and he almost made me tear up several times. It’s important that her family be so wonderful and three dimensional (and they are, despite how limited their page time has been), because it really makes the stakes so much higher for Mara. Her enemies have more to use against her, and she has more to fear from herself. We get to find out new information about Mara’s grandmother as well, and just how interesting her family’s past is.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is much, much better than the first book (which I LOVED), and it seals my serious, incurable addiction to this series.
Watch the trailer:
Don’t forget to enter to win a copy on our stop on the Madly in Love blog tour!