**If you have not read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer there WILL be spoilers for that book in this review. You can read my review of The Unbecoming here**
This book absolutely lived up to the hype and expectations that have been churning in my head the past year while I waited for it to be released! Second books in a series or trilogy are always nerve-wrecking to read. Most of the time they don’t quite live up to the first in the series. It’s called the sophomore slump and I am ecstatic to say Michelle Hodkin did not fall victim to it! In fact, while I loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, this book was exponentially better.
The Evolution picks up about a day after The Unbecoming left off.
Mara finds herself locked up in a hospital for 72 hours because her ex-boyfriend Jude, who should be dead from the accident (not so accident) that killed her best friend Rachel and his sister Clare, is stalking her and no one believes it. Everyone thinks she is delusional when she says he is alive. Everyone but Noah of course.
Yet again, Mara must pretend that she is not crazy. She must pretend that she does not believe that Jude is alive. Because she cannot figure out what is going on, how Jude is alive, and what he wants from her from inside a mental institution.
This book is scary. Not quite in the horror story type way that The Unbecoming was, but more in a thriller story type way. Jude is hunting her and this time we know its real and it is dark and creepy.
Mara is still trying to come to terms with the powers that she discovered in the first novel and the things that she inadvertently did with them. She is trying to better understand them, and this search is bringing up a lot of things that connect her ability with Noah’s. Even things that connect Noah’s family with her’s. It was so interesting to see things that were set up in the first novel come to life in this one.
Of course, most of Mara’s search leaves us with nothing more than more questions. But, where The Unbecoming was somewhat confusing and left us with so many more questions, I think the Evolution clarified a lot (without being too confusing) while still leaving a certain amount of questions for the final book in the series. I was definitely satisfied without being too satisfied.
My favorite part of this novel was Noah Shaw. Big surprise there, right? Noah’s character was the perfect amount of caring and protective without completely abandoning his sarcastic, witty, bored with life attitude that I loved from him the first time around. Hodkin’s development of Noah’s character in this novel gave him so much more depth. In The Unbecoming he was so enigmatic, it was difficult to ever understand what he was thinking or why he did certain things. In The Evolution, through Mara’s eyes as she gets to know Noah better, we finally start seeing parts of Noah’s past, who he is and what drives him. His character became so much more real in this novel and I loved him so much more for it.
Mara is, yet again, a heroine I loved. She is stronger in this book and though fear still overcomes her at some points, she fights it ruthlessly at every point. Her relationship with Noah helps keep her strong when no one else in her life believes she is sane. He helps her find the strength to fight.
So, as I said, I 100% LOVED this novel. It is full of scenes that will either terrify you or cause some major swoon-age (yes, expect some hot and heavy, definitely sexy Noah/Mara scenes). All of the secondary characters that I loved (Jamie and Daniel) where thankfully present and Mara’s family dynamic was much more interesting in this novel. There were a few shocking twists and revelations that I never saw coming. And the ending. It was heartbreaking and made me wish I could read The Retribution of Mara Dyer RIGHT NOW. I am not sure how I will be able to wait another whole year for this one!
If you’ve read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I strongly suggest you go buy this novel now! I promise you will not be able to put it down. And if you haven’t read the first, then I suggest you go out and buy both of them now! You will not be disappointed.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer was released yesterday, October 23, 2012.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★
• Publisher: Simon and Schuster (October 23, 2012)
• Length: 544 pages, Hardcover
• Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance