Review of The Beguiler (Hate Apocalypse #3) by Jo Michaels

It’s one year until the apocalypse of 12.21.12 is supposed to take place. 
Burning buildings, screaming babies, and death will surround us. 
It will be the end of the world.
That can’t be allowed.
When six powerful women come together with one goal—to save humanity—they’ll get much more than they bargained for. They join forces and learn to use the gifts hidden within themselves to battle a monster feeding off something too many of us feel in our souls: Hate. But they must first learn how to forgive—themselves as well as others.
Hate is birthing a creature dwelling under Central Park in New York, and the fiend is eager to burst forth and sink his fangs into the Earth.
The Fury, The Visionary, The Beguiler, The Siren, The Prophet, and The Mystic are our last hope, and even they aren’t sure if they can win.
The end is coming, but with it, there may be a new beginning.

The Beguiler is book 3 in Jo Michaels’ Hate Apocalypse series, and this is Sheila’s story. The snapshot we got of Sheila in book 2 is a pretty good indicator of what you’re going to get in book 3. It’s a pretty emotional and tough read. Whilst I struggled to find sympathy with Lily in book 2, I immediately felt such heartache for Sheila this time round. A series of tragic events has led to the worst kind of Cinderella story for her and when a seemingly throwaway comment opens up the eyes of others, her life is put into further turmoil.

Good thing Markaza is on her way!

As with the first 2 books, The Hate Apocalypse is incredibly introspective, it takes suffering in all it’s forms and makes you realise that no matter what weight we, as outsiders, as readers, give the seriousness of what we are reading, it is all equally as serious to the person involved. On a personal note, I deal with victims of crime on a daily basis and I felt like Sheila was very well researched, her acting out, her feelings of guilt and blame, and her channelling her focus through her violin were all dealt with incredibly sympathetically. At first I found that her repetition of outlining her suffering to each party she met hard going, but then I understood that finally speaking out and being able to speak out must be a cathartic experience.

I felt a bit however that Sheila’s story suffered a little from being condensed down into the short series format, everything happened so quickly. I accept I don’t know much about the US justice system but I found the trial set up difficult to get my head round with the shortness of the proceedings and the actions of the defence lawyer. I get that this series isn’t about the court room drama but after such care and time was taken over Lily’s recovery in book 2, perhaps a little more time could have been spent with Sheila before she got whisked away.

What is clear however, is that Markaza is a woman who is running out of time and whilst we don’t have much of an update as to what is going on in Central Park, we get the usual insight as to what is coming up in the next book and it’s clear it’s going to be another emotional one.  I did really love it when the 3 came together and started discovering what it was all about, it reminded me a lot of The Craft and I look forward to seeing more of how their powers grow!

4*

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