Thursday, November 8, 2012

"The Hallowed Ones" by Laura Bickle

Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 320

From Goodreads: "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."

When I first received this book for review I had admittedly never heard of it before, but as I read the synopsis of it on the back of it my eyes kept getting wider and wider because: Amish + post apocalyptic + paranormal creature just screams EPIC, no? I quickly dropped everything that I was doing to read this (in fact, when I had my copy of this laying around my mom, a non-reader, happened to pick it up and asked if she could read it after I finished it). However, I must admit this book was not near as epic as I had hoped it would be.

Overall I found the plot to be a fair bit flat, the only heart-pounding moment that I experienced while reading it was during the scene where the paranormal element was first introduced, otherwise I found that the most action-packed moments were word-of-mouth- a character recounting what they had experienced, stumbling across an event that had happened when no one was in the vicinity, and whatnot.

Another criticism I have of the book was Katie herself. I understand that she was looking for more in life than the Amish community could offer her, but having had the Amish beliefs ingrained in her from an extremely early age I can't imagine that she would just throw them away within a matter of days, without any remorse (I know that TLC's "Breaking Amish" is more than likely fake, but even the characters on that show waffle back and forth in their decisions during their time spent in the English world- "Do I do this knowing that if I do I can potentially be shunned from my community?", "What would my family think if I did this?", and the likes of). Furthermore, the romance that occurred a bit too fast for my taste- Katie was essentially engaged to her lifelong best friend, Elijah, and Alex has just lost the love of his life who he traveled borders for. That being said, Alex was a really great character (bordering on swoon-worthy) and I loved learning more and more about him.

All in all, this book did win on creativity fronts and I am very excited by the possibility that there could perhaps be a sequel to it (the ending was quite open and leaves plenty of wiggle room), which, despite my criticisms, I would read. I think that this book will appeal to a wide audience with the "I Am Legend" meets "The Village" feel to it!

Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


  1. Nice review! I admit to being intrigued and skeptical about this one. Vampires and the Amish? yeah, that is new! It sounds exciting, but the few reviews I've read have been the same as yours, being that the book is okay, just not as awesome as they were hoping for.

    I've read this author's adult series under Alayna Williams and have her other ones in my TBR pile. But I just can't decide if I should add this.

    But despite my indecisiveness, very nice review!!

  2. I loved this book! I went into it not really knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the whole holding up in an Amish community during the apocalypse concept. it really was creative. I can see where you're coming from on the action front, there wasn't much in this book, but I figure that there will be much more in the sequel, The Outside, based on the ending and that title! Great review :)

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction


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