December 9, 2013

Review: The Hallowed Ones by: Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones by: Laura Bickle (#1)
320 pages
Genre: YA/Horror
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: 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 Review
Why aren’t more people reading this?! I’m serious. If you are shying away from the Hallowed Ones you really shouldn’t. Don’t let the Amish part of this book make you nervous about reading it, I know sometimes reading about topics you are unsure of can be unsettling, but don’t let that keep you from reading this. I’ve never read an Amish book before, but I read an amazing review of this book so I gave The Hallowed Ones a chance, and it was totally worth it.

I’m still on a book high after finishing The Hallowed Ones yesterday. It was that good. It was fascinating, dark, chilling, and just plain awesome. I was worried the religious parts of the book would be a turn off for me, but they weren't, not even a little bit, they enhanced the book. The life of the Amish was interesting and the topic of what exactly the definition of faith is was unexpected and welcomed. Oh and this is definitely a horror book, and a darn good one at that. This is kind of a longer review, so if you bow out now I don't mind. Basically I go on to talk about how The Hallowed Ones rocked my world and that you should read it as soon as possible. Now carry on.

The characters are complex and easy to relate to. The main character, Katie, is so real, strong, and full of emotions. Bickle does a great job at showing us Katie’s struggle with her beliefs when something dark starts affecting the “Outside” which makes her start to question everything she has ever known. Her parents are present, which is different than a lot of young adult novels and a very nice different. Her friend who she grew up with is not what I was expecting. The young man Katie brings in from outside, saving his life, is Alex, and he shares with her ideas and things that are new and intriguing to Katie. The Amish elders are in charge of the Amish community, they have the last say in what goes on in the community, and how they handle the situation of the danger brewing on the outside is scary and crazy and believable. All the characters are just so…good.

I think one of the most important and interesting parts of this book is the relationships that are present. They are abundant and unique. During the course of the book Katie is challenged to figure out her relationship with old friends, her family, God, the guy from the outside, the elders, and the jealousy she starts feeling towards a fellow girl in her community. It’s intense and awesome and real and above all, really fascinating.

The pacing of the plot is spot on. The gory scenes dealing with the darkness is beyond gruesome. I refuse to talk about the darkness going on “Outside” because I don’t want to ruin anything and I want you to read this yourself, but I will say that it’s creepy good. The plot twist is a perfect “my mouth hung open” moment. This book really did surprise me in every good way imaginable. I could keep giving this book praises all night but I think you get the point.

Read The Hallowed Ones, preferably sooner rather than later. Just do it. If you don’t end up liking it I apologize in advance, but I really doubt I need to. It's not a perfect book, but it's really really close.


  1. It took me a while to realize why people were reading this book and then I saw the whole vampire angle. But it doesn't seem to be your ordinary run of the mill vampire story. I really like that the Amish or religious aspect didn't hinder your love for this book and that Katie is so complex. I like a main character with a great amount of depth to her story. Your review is just another reason why I have to read The Hallowed Ones already (:

    1. It's a unique novel that is for sure. I really did enjoy it a lot more than I ever thought I would. It is one of my favorite reads this year! I hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. I read this a few months ago and LOVED it!! I too don't understand why more people aren't reading it?! It deserves every rave review it gets and hopefully more and more people will hear about it. Enjoy book two!! ;)

    1. OMG I'm so glad to hear someone else that is read it and loved it!! It was such a good book, and I really wish more people would read it. I just finished book two and it was just as good!! :)

  3. I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO READ THIS BOOK FOR FOREVER BUT IT NEITHER ONE OF MY TWO LIBRARIES HAS IT! WHAT THE HECK. I just need to buy it already. I am so glad you loved it but so distraught at the same time because that just makes me want it all the more. It just sounds so good. I am already creeped out about the outside. I am curious about the whole Amish thing. Awesome review!

    1. The Outside is sooo creepy. This was my first Amish book and I'm really glad I took the chance and read it. I hope you get it sometime so we can talk about it together! I have so many things I would love to discuss with you. :)

  4. This one hadn't been on my radar, but I am always intrigued by books you rate that highly -- will have to remember to check it out sometime :)


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