Review of The Mystic (Hate Apocalypse #6) 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.

With The Mystic comes the end of The Hate Apocalypse series, its a full length novel and combines both Markaza’s story and also the final showdown. Markaza’s story is an emotional one as it is for all the ladies of WSTW.  Dealing with visions that would leave the best of us with PTSD. She also has to deal with growing up and the ostracising that comes when the inevitable failure to find a balance with her peers occurs. It’s explains her drive though and her need to prevent her visions at all costs having failed to in the past.

It’s cleverly written in that the book often feels like it’s going to in one direction only to pull it back and change tack – I was worried that they were all going to end up pairing off at one point, but Jo Michaels never goes in the direction you think and the balance at the end was right in my view. The embracing of their powers can be joyful at times and there was a stand out moment with Coralie which really made me smile. There is a kicker lurking though which took my breath away I have to admit. I want to say a ton about it but I can’t. If you’ve read it I would love to talk it through – I’m welling up though just thinking about it again. The theme of forgiveness runs strong and the ladies must cast the net wider in order to fully develop their powers which is a nice segue back to the first book. It seems like so long ago now that Markaza found herself in New Orleans seeking out Voodoo and a trip back to to the start of book one could be of benefit if there has been a long gap.

The thing that did nag at me though was I wish that more time was spent with the ladies as they forged their plan, I don’t want to say the dreaded montage sequence but I felt that at the times when they should have been knuckling down and really honing their skills, they just went shopping instead. I understand that that had a lot to do with helping them learn to love themselves and also maybe serving as a distraction from the task ahead but it felt like they were perhaps not taking things seriously and I found myself wanting to know more about the monster and what was happening around it. Bronya makes a timely dig though which again made me smile as I knew one of them was thinking like me!

The Hate Apocalypse is a tough and at times graphic read that some may find difficult, but it is tempered by a quick writing style that is alight with humour and inspirational moments. It’s about finding empowerment and owning your flaws and accepting your trauma, rather than letting self loathing consume you. There are parts of the story which may go against some beliefs and parts where you’ll find it difficult to sympathise, but allowing yourself to open your mind and put aside those issues you’ll be in a place grow with the characters and make the ending ultimately all the more satisfying.


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