Book Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones CoverBook: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Published 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|311 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: The Hallowed Ones #1

Genre: YA Paranormal Apocalyptic/Horror

What It’s About:

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

What I Thought:

The Hallowed Ones is a really different book!  It’s definitely vivid, and it’s quite the page-turner.

I will say that I didn’t really get the dystopic label up in the summary.  I feel like that’s really misleading, because while there are a couple of things that could be seen as dystopic, the book is really more of the “holy crap, WTF is going on out there, is the end of the world really happening” kind of story.  I also got more of a horror vibe from it, so unless there’s something I missed, the mention of of it being a dystopian tale makes no sense to me.

What made this one really terrifying was the isolation.  No access to technology, which means a community who has no clue what’s really going on, but also knowing there’s something going on.  No people coming in, no people going out. no matter what. Elders who refuse to believe something really weird is going on, even though it’s happening right in front of them, when it finally ends up at their front door.

It really makes the book creepy, when you’re not quite sure what’s going on, but knowing something’s there. And the fact that vampires had a hard time getting onto Amish land…I really liked it, and it’s really different, but the safe spaces are definitely safe, and different than what you’d expect from vampires roaming around.

I also liked that Kate was questioning things, and didn’t want to fall in line, even though it was clearly expected of her.  There was one point in particular where it was frustrating, but I also understand why she thought the way she did, especially considering this world is all she’s ever known.  What I thought was really different and interesting was how it’s more a philosophical/spiritual look at the end of the world.  It’s not religious at all, but you do have that element throughout the book.  And it does get you thinking about beliefs and values and what it means when the end of the world is happening.

My Rating:

3 stars.  I liked it, and it’s different and creepy but I also didn’t fall in love with it.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

  1. I was so excited to read this book when I first heard of it – Amish + Vampires! But it was quite different than what I was expecting. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I started the second book once, but never finished it.

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