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I Belong

Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Title: The Hallowed Ones

Author: Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: The Hallowed Ones (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0547859260 (HMH)

ISBN-13: 978-0547859262 (HMH)

Reviewed by: Kristie


If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?

Quick & Dirty: A dark and intense read about the Amish, vampires and the end of the known world.

Opening Sentence: After the end of the Outside world, the Plain folk survived.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Amish, vampires and the end of the known world? This was one premise that had me intrigued when I read the synopsis. Katie is a young Amish woman. She has about a month to go until she goes on Rumspringa. Katie has saved up money and even knows the first few adventures that she will go on once she gets to experience the outside world. She is even more excited because she will be experiencing the outside with the young man that she believes she will one day marry.

Katie’s happy plans take an unexpected turn when a helicopter crashes onto the Amish farmland. Katie is one of the first people on the scene and what she believes she saw in the helicopter has chilling effects. The attack happens so fast that the Amish stuck in the outside world don’t have the time to make it back home. Katie is able to explore the nearby town and the destruction before the Amish leaders decide the close off the gates to anyone. No one is allowed to leave or come into the lands.

Katie is way too curious for her own good. She takes it upon herself to investigate the happenings and when a young man is found barely alive and tangled in the fencing of the land. The Amish leaders vote to leave him for dead but Katie can’t sit back and let him die. She decides to help him and hides him in her barn. It is a pivotal decision that will weigh heavily on Katie’s future.

The world created in The Hallowed Ones is mysterious, dark and creative. The vampires are not cute, cuddly and sexy. The vampire virus acts quick and certainly. These vampires are smart, deadly and devious. Katie is safest on Amish land or is she? The Hallowed Ones comes off like a psychological thriller with Katie’s world in the dark about the attacks, delivering key information to move the story along but still packing scary moments to keep you hooked.

In my reading of The Hallowed Ones, I felt as if I was in the midst of the stark world, not having instantaneous news updates to know about what is going on in the world around me. I don’t know much about the Amish but Katie really makes the lifestyle fit, she doesn’t make excuses for what she is as she tries to explain her way of life. Although she does repeat parts of her Amish lifestyle a few times which can be a little annoying.

Overall, The Hallowed Ones is a fascinating take on the Amish and vampires. The ending absolutely gave me goose bumps. Katie is one strong willed cookie and the future looks very bleak. I cannot wait to read what is next in this world with the sequel The Outside.

Notable Scene:

I slipped down the stairs, through the dark kitchen. I grabbed my shoes, opened the back door . . .

And plunged into darkness.

The day had rendered this place gold, but the night was cool and silvery. I ran past the pumpkin patch, through the tall grass. Overhead, I could see the Milky Way, the trail of the dead, as I swam through the tall fields and heard crickets singing.

I scanned the silvery darkness for the vampires, but I was not afraid. Not like before. I had been terrified of the violence. But now I had already seen what there was to see. I knew that they could not harm me as they harmed the others. I had the Hexenmeister’s power, however long it lasted.

Even so, I sensed that my time was measured. I wanted to wring every last experience out of it like juice from an orange, to feel, to touch, and to taste the juice as it ran down my chin. I did not want to lie down and wait for death like Ginger and the others, with their veil of ignorance drawn around them and surrendering their will to live to others.

I wanted my life to matter.

And I wanted to choose how it mattered.

The Hallowed Ones Series:

1. The Hallowed Ones

2. The Outside (Fall 2013)

FTC Advisory: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided me with a copy of The Hallowed Ones. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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