Author: Laura Bickle
Series: The Hallowed Ones #1
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication 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?
Oh… wow! The Hallowed Ones is such a good book! I devoured it during a late night sitting. I was completely sucked into this world and didn’t want to leave, no matter how frightening it got. I don’t get scared easy, so it’s always a huge plus anytime a book can get me to feel some of the fear. It’s not exactly action packed, but it will get your heart going.
The Hallowed Ones begins with Katie and Elijah making plans for Rumspringa, something Katie has looked forward to for a long time. She’s Amish, so this is her only chance to truly experience Outside with the freedom to make her own decisions. Unfortunately her dreams may be dashed when strange and terrifying things start to happen on the Outside. People are literally being ripped apart by something evil.
Bickle did a wonderful job at painting the setting of The Hallowed Ones. I had such a clear picture of everything in this book, even the not so pleasant scenes. This is one of those books that really takes you there. She also does a great job with the characters. They are all very well done, and I got a real feel for them. And the vampires, –shivers– there will be no romancing these creatures.
I liked Katie a lot! She is in a constant struggle with being obedient and being rebellious. She’s strong, smart, and a little bit naughty… by Amish standards, anyway. I mean really, every girl should have Wonder Woman comics. Then there is Alex… mmmm. Some of you know how picky I am about my fictional men, but Alex is a great secondary character. Ginger, who is an Outsider that takes refuge with the Amish, is another character I really liked. I felt so bad for her at times, but she was a small source of strength for Katie.
Overall, The Hallowed Ones is put together really well. I don’t know if there will be a sequel, but I hope so. Though, part of me likes leaving it the way it ended. Either way, I’ll be happy. Honestly, the more time that passes, the more I realize just how much I loved this super creepy book.