The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle
Publication Date: September 25th, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Synopsis: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.
My Thoughts: Amish + Vampires, what's not to love?? The Hallowed Ones is a scary, page turner that is unique in it's genre. This was Laura Bickle's debut into YA and I just have to say, keep it up! I'm actually saddened that this is a stand alone because I want more! Laura's writing style kept me hooked and it was one of those books that when I did have to set it down (unfortunately), I was constantly thinking about it. Yes, I needed to know what happened next, had to. I still wonder what happened after the ending. I also have to say that I love the cover for this one, it's so dark and actually suits the story quite well, always a plus. I learned so much about the Amish and their ways while reading, which was also nice.
The protagonist is Katie, a teen aged Amish girl who is anxiously awaiting her Rumspringa. She has been waiting for years, excited to get a taste of the Outside world. Then, mere weeks before she is supposed to journey out, the Elders call for a lock down due to the strange activity that's going on in the Outside. Katie ventures into town and runs into monsters and sees the destruction that they've caused. How they brutally murder their victims. But, she can't say anything, she'd have to admit to breaking the rules and leaving. She could be exiled for it. Also, if they found out about the young man she's hiding who was outside of their fence, the man the Elders wanted to kill, that she dragged back in the dead of night to hide. The one she left to get antibiotics for. Katie seems to be breaking all of the rules, but she doesn't care as much as she feels she should.
I really enjoyed Katie's character, she grows as the story goes on. She is supposed to be obedient and follow the rules with no questions asked, but she is brave enough to go against the rules when she knows they are wrong. She helps when no one else will, braving the monsters in the dark even. She is a survivor no matter what and it makes me respect her. And who else is happy that she saved Alex from death, eh? I love me some awesome Canadian men!
The vampires are monsters in this book. They are cold blooded murderers who rip their victims apart. I'm not going to lie, there is some pretty brutal scenes to read, so if you're squeemish, you should probably hold off on this one. These aren't like your Twilight vampires. Heck. they aren't even as tame as the True Blood vampires. These vampires are downright scary. I would recommend this to older teens as it is pretty gruesome. But, that being said, it's one of the things that makes this book so awesome. Makes it so you can't place the book down for very long. It's just an amazing read with some scary, scary vampires! So if you're looking for something awesome, scary and unique, give The Hallowed Ones a read, it's a new favourite for me!
*Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for the review copy!*