In the sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Mara finally has proof that the things that have been happening to her haven’t all just been in her head. Instead, her ex-boyfriend, Jude, escaped alive from the crumbling asylum after she tried to kill him and he’s after her.
Problem is no else believes Mara, except for Noah. Her whole family thinks Mara is imagining things, all as a result of her PTSD, and they’re ready to institutionalize her for it. But Mara knows the truth. Or does she?
Mara starts having visions of another time and another life, and she struggles to keep her hold on reality, as Jude gets even closer and tries to ensnare Mara in his traps.
Can Mara keep her life from falling apart before Jude kills her?
This review contains spoilers for the first book The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Proceed with caution!
In The Evolution of Mara Dyer, we get right into the action. There’s no boring recaps or pages wasted on reminding us what’s happening; instead we’re thrown right into the middle of things, right after the surprising conclusion of the first book, in which we find out Mara wasn’t the only survivor after the asylum collapsed; Jude was too.
With her worst fears confirmed, Mara’s grip on reality loosens even more. Before, she tried to convince herself that she was imagining things, but now she’s convinced Jude is behind everything. The most heartbreaking part of this story was how no one in Mara’s family believed her. Strange things keep happening, things that Mara knows Jude is behind, like leaving a dead cat on her lawn and his dead sister’s name on her bathroom mirror, but Mara can’t prove it.
The tone of the series changed slightly for me in this book, but I enjoyed it. Instead of only being focused on the supernatural and the hidden motives of the psyche, there was even more scary scenes, as the book turned into a cat-and-mouse chase. The creepy factor was definitely amped up in this book; I read this book on some very stormy nights, and once right before I left for work at 5 AM in the pitch black dark. Hodkin’s writing provided a skin-tingling experience every time as I couldn’t help but imagine a Jude-like character lurking around in my front yard. The atmospheric writing was superb, in particular the scenes with Jude, which left the hairs on my neck standing up!
Of course, the mystery deepens, and there’s hints that there’s something bigger going on, bigger than Mara and Noah. The last 50 pages or so left my mouth hanging wide open as I raced towards the shocking ending, which left me with even more questions, and not many answers. It wasn’t as dramatic as the ending in book one, but definitely left me wanting more.
With so much going, it was kind of hard to follow The Evolution at times. Like I mentioned before, the additional creepiness turned the book into a thriller, which also included a lot of supernatural as well as psychological elements. It was kind of hard to remember all the different pieces through the text and how they connected, especially since there were so many questions lingering from the first book that weren’t really answered in this one. What’s more, Mara has these flashbacks of her grandmother (I’m assuming), and while I’m sure these scenes have some greater purpose in the larger story, they just slowed the pace of the narrative for me, and again, was explained by the end of the story.
With that being said, I still really enjoyed The Evolution, since it was a fast-paced, thrilling read, filled with romance and creepiness that makes me excited for the final instalment in the series.
So for that: 4/5.
Thanks for reading,