THE HALLOWED ONES
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia
Pub Date: September 25, 2012
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?
I've been an Amish fiction fan for several years every since I read my first Beverly Lewis book. I'm also a fan of vampire novels, like the Vampire Diaries and The Southern Vampire Mysteries. In The Hallowed Ones I get a combination of Amish fiction and vampires!
In the book the main character is a teenager named Katie who is about to start her Rumspringa years. These years are when their parents and elders let the kids interact with outsiders, date, go to movies, etc. Then, they'll join the church (aka baptized) and find a spouse. The community in The Hallowed Ones must be either really liberal or the author didn't get her facts straight of what Rumspringa is actually about. I'm not an Amish expert, but I have read enough books about the culture to notice a few errors when they occur.
The majority of Amish books are Christian books and let me tell you, this book is not a Christian book as there are some graphic murder scenes involved, which didn't bother me since I was already aware that this was a supernatural read when I signed up to review it for the Bewitching Book Tour. For those who don't care for religious books, don't worry, religion is mentioned but that is about it.
Once I forgot about the few Amish facts errors, I enjoyed the dark horror plot. The author does an excellent job painting vivid descriptions and creating a frightening atmosphere that can cause goose bumps. I'm not around any young adults, whom this book is aimed for, so I don't know if they read Amish fiction, but I am aware that they do like to read anything to do with the vampire lore thanks to the overrated Twilight novels and books. As an adult, I enjoyed reading The Hallowed Ones as it reminded me of another Amish supernatural thriller titled Plain Fear Forsaken by Leanna Ellis. I recommend the book to vampire fans and Amish fiction fans!
About the Author:
Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.