The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones, Book 1)

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Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning. My Review. 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. 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. The pacing of the plot is spot on. The gory scenes dealing with the darkness is beyond gruesome. 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. It's not a perfect book, but it's really really close. Email This BlogThis! Labels: 4. Kay Hello! Kay here. Known as Allison in real life. Long story. I am a something book nerd, part-time circulation desk clerk at my local library, a wife to the most wonderful husband, a sister, a daughter, a best friend, a pet owner, and a Netflix binge watching junkie. Enough about me.

Go back to reading my blog posts, or just reading in general. Adriana Garcia December 10, at AM. Kay December 12, at PM. She's really looking forward to Rumspringa, when she can go into the "Outside" world with her best guy friend Elijah, and figure out if the Amish faith really is for her. You know, dip her toes in with us heathens and what not.

The thing about Katie though, even though her faith may separate us, she's every real. Extremely resilient and rebellious to what she is told - she doesn't just accept everything, faith included, but questions. But she doesn't do stupid rebellious shit like every YA heroine out there. She rebels as I would, thinking first and using heart and instinct.

Anyhoo, it starts with a helicopter crash in the cornfields, a horrifying scene in itself, and the fact that she sees a red-eyed Things very slowly, very ominously, come into place. Something terrible has happened in the outside world. There are no medical services or firetrucks responding their "English" aka Outsider friend is visiting and she has a cell phone , the nearest town is deserted. Weird shit. The kind of "I think the end of the world is coming but how or why?

This is why zombie movies freak me the fuck out. Oh, but this isn't a zombie movie. Oh no, I think it's worse. Remember our friend the vampire? Do you remember they used to be scary at one point? Well in this book, it's the monster from your nightmares. That's right And holy crap,do you feel the unease and hopelessness that the world will end when the last living thing has had their intestines ripped out and their head chewed off.

There's also an injured Canadian boy yay! Their relationship builds slow and at the end will surprise you sex in YA novels is awesome Anyhoo, I'm rambling Thank god I only have to wait until Tuesday to get the next one in the series. I must say the way the author portrays the honest is compelling -it both shows the hypocrisy of the rules of the religion particularly when it comes to the governing Elders but also shows the heart and soul of it too.

If you're a fan of horror and suspense and lyrical writing and all things awesome and unique, do read this book. You won't be sorry. Unless you value your sleep. View all 17 comments. Oct 09, Bradley rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy , ya , horror. The novel showed promise through the beginning. An Amish Story meeting non-sparkly vamps meets a coming of age story.

I enjoyed the expectations things going very wrong, and waited with baited breath. The immersion in Amish society was a pleasant diversion and I really didn't have any problems with the many references to godliness. It was what it was. And then I became a bit annoyed with the rather one-dimensional reactions of the Bishop. The whole Amish became a caricature of itself inst The novel showed promise through the beginning. The whole Amish became a caricature of itself instead of remaining human.

Or, I should say, the only one who remained human was the main character. And that is so very typical for YA titles that it might as well change its title from trope to tripe. There was, and is, still a ton of room to grow as characters while NOT falling into a Silent Hill trap. And even Silent Hill had character progression for its villains. The vampires were all one-dimensional bogeymen.

The Amish elders were pretty much the same. Which was rather sad, because, like I said, the novel showed a lot of promise in the beginning. Without zombies, of course, but the trope is part of the current zeitgeist, and I can roll with it. Still, along the same lines, I'd have preferred to roll out the man eating plants from Day of the Triffids or perhaps a plague of Hulks a-la what was implied at the end of 's Incredible Hulk. That would have been pretty cool surrounding an Amish community.

It wasn't bad, per-se, but it might be rather forgettable. I'll read its sequel out of a sense of duty, but at least the first wasn't boring. Then we'd have some truly kick-ass and bloody over-the-top adventure that might just push back the vampire menace. View all 6 comments. Mar 08, Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies rated it liked it Shelves: amish , vampires , ya , religious-spiritual , dystopian , high-school , horror , apocalypse , action. Interesting book with a storyline one doesn't encounter too often.

The heroine is a spirited Amish girl about to go off on her Rumspringa trip with her childhood friend Elijah, a boy she might one day marry. Their little community is isolated, obviously, but they do have contact with the outside world including a woman who visits fairly regularly. Suddenly, strange things start happening, a plane crashes, and the outside world doesn't respond.

When several members of the community who has been v Interesting book with a storyline one doesn't encounter too often. When several members of the community who has been visiting town go missing, Katie and Elijah go investigating and find that the entire town is empty. The elders of the village then decide to completely cut the community off from the outside world, even refusing to save Alex, a young man who is injured and who has stumbled onto their land.

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Despite their warning, Katie takes it upon herself to help Alex survive. Within their community, the elders are creating a little witch hunt and keeping the majority of the community in blessed ignorance, but Katie and Alex knows that there is a vampire invasion going on outside.

The Hallowed Ones

It might be up to them to save the day, since everyone else is in denial or ignorance. Vampire apocalypse. Never did I think these would go together. I have to admit I expected a zombie apocalypse, so it shocked me more than a little when I found out that the bad guys were vampires.

The protagonist was likeable, strong without being bitchy, sheltered but not TSTL. She has the common sense to hide her tracks and avoid getting into trouble, and is brave enough to stand up against the elders and do what she knows is right. Her religious upbringing gives her faith, but she is never preachy, just truly curious about the nature of religion when it seems that it is the power of faith, not a specific faith, that repels these vampires. As an agnostic reader, I appreciate the non-preachiness of a book whose heroine's culture is so steeped in tradition and religion.

The book is difficult to read in parts, because it gets a little bogged down, I find Alex a little annoying and patronizing, but he is from the outside world and I think I would find myself a little high-handed myself when dealing with what I consider a backwards community. It's an original book, and while not the best written or compelling, makes for an interesting read. View 1 comment. Dec 08, Brandi rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. I absolutely loved this book!

I haven't felt a really good connection to anyone in a while, and not because I haven't read some good books recently The 5th Wave , and Not a Drop to Drink come to mind , but even with those two I didn't get that instant pull I want. You know what I mean. The story is about an Amish girl named Katie who witnesses the zombie apocalypse. Wait don't go!! Hear me out first. Now, I know you might be thinking that yet another zombie book isn't going to be special, bu I absolutely loved this book! Now, I know you might be thinking that yet another zombie book isn't going to be special, but it is!

I'm not a big fan of zombie books at all actually, and I think it's safe to say I've read no more than 5, if that, so I put this one off for a long time, and what a disservice it was to put this book off! Don't make my mistake. Laura Bickle can write, and tell, a helluva story folks.

I've always been fascinated by the Amish; I wish I could be more self reliant like them, and reading this book made it feel like I was experiencing the real Amish way of life. I can't say that everything was accurate, but it felt true. I will be reading everything that comes out for this series, as well as checking out her other works. She just got herself a fangirl. Our protagonist is Katie, like I was saying, and she is one strong young woman!

There is no damsel in distress here, this chick is brave There's a time for bravery and time to hide under the covers girl! It all started with a helicopter crash in their corn field, and she saw something unnatural in the wreckage. Shortly thereafter she finds a man wounded outside of their fence and the Elders refuse to help him since they're afraid of what's happening on the Outside.

Katie makes some difficult choices and in the end, they change her whole future. I absolutely adore this girl. I did not want to lie down and wait for death like Ginger and the others, with their veil of ignorance drawn around them and surrendering their will to live to others. I wanted my life to matter. And I wanted to choose how it mattered. Katie is not the only character here that I can't get enough of. Every single person was fully realized and came to matter to me, whether I disliked them or not, they became part of my world. Elijah, Alex, Ginger, and their families.

I teared up a few times while seeing the pain that Ginger was in, and found myself glaring at the Kindle when the Elders were pissing me off. I can't say enough about how great this book was for me. This is a story about love, friendship, survival, and freedom. It's a story about accepting yourself, and your own power, and overcoming insurmountable obstacles to do what you feel is right. I highly recommended this to anyone who would enjoy such stories.

View all 21 comments. Survival is another. Are you looking for one? Look no further! The Hallowed Ones is here for you! Y'all I'll be honest; the beginning of this left me lukewarm. I wanted a little less talk, a little more action. I fretted over which direction the story would go. I shouldn't have worried. Soon there was action aplenty, along with some pretty spectacular talk. My enjoyment of th "Faith is one thing. My enjoyment of this increased exponentially as I read on. I put my face close to his, snarled: "I don't care. I don't care what you think of me, what you approve of, what you forgive.

You are not my God Not you. Not ever. Not even after the vampires chew us up and spit us out, and we're all dead, rotting meat waiting in line for the kingdom of heaven or the road to hell. Having not gone on Rumspringa yet, the Plain life is all she's ever known. Amish women are supposed to be obedient and yielding. However, blind acceptance is not in her nature. Katie's tried her best to be a proper Amish woman, taking care of all her chores, especially raising litters of puppies golden retriever puppies!

However, she finds herself unable to blindly follow the Elder's rules, especially when she feels that those rules are blatantly endangering the community. She's smart and practical and thinks before she acts; Katie is basically exactly what I want in a protagonist. Do you know how she decides which dress to wear to a social singing?

She goes with the brown dress instead of the blue because it will make her harder to see at night. It's little stuff like that that made me love this book even more. When the outside world begins to be overrun with bloody acts of violence and rioting, aka vampires , it seems like Katie's Amish community might be one of a few safe havens left. The Elders order the community sealed off for their own safety.

When Katie finds an outsider collapsed just outside the fence, her faith, community, family, and endurance are all put to the test. That and being able to call upon a god and The act of believing in something has power. He never mocked her beliefs, in fact he was curious to know more about Amish life. But he also wanted to know how Katie felt and thought about other ideas and beliefs.

He valued her opinions, just as she valued his. You know what, they're both great. I love them both. I did not know that the human body could hold so much blood. I suppose that I must have had some concept of it. I helped on those weekends when pigs and cows were butchered in the spring and fall, watched as the blood drained from them into buckets.

But that was outdoors, not in a confined space. And we only butchered one or two at a time. Not a whole family. I also really appreciated how bloody this was! You can't have a vampire story without blood. It just doesn't work. The violence and gore and the way it shocked Katie's pacifistic community was crucial in making the threat feel real and dangerous.

Basically, I'm just pleased as punch with this book as a whole. The Hallowed Ones pushed all my right buttons and it was a total pleasure to read. View all 3 comments. Who would have thought the mix of Amish people, end-of-the-world, and vampires would make a bloody brilliant story?!! I was riveted, scared and on the edge of my seat in parts!

Katie is an Amish girl preparing for her Rumspringa, and she can hardly wait. That way, when they get baptized and com 4. Life seems to have other plans for Katie, because the Outside world has changed and soon Rumspringa will be the least of her concerns.

The Hallowed Ones started out basically giving us a look into the life the Amish, or the Plain Folk as they call themselves. I found it fascinating learning about their ways. They lead such a simpler life than most of us do, probably a more content one. Katie, was a girl I could totally relate to. When they find an Outsider at the edge of their fence, unconscious and injured, the Elders decide not only to leave him there, but to bar anyone from going in or out of the gates.

Katie is outraged that her people would refuse aid, and disobeys the Elders order by bringing in and sheltering this stranger in an unused barn. Let me warn you right now, that parts of this story should not be read in the dark. I had chills and nervous energy thrumming through my body while reading this. There are some scary scenes and some pretty gruesome ones, as well, and I was lapping it up! I love it when a book scares the you-know-what out of me!

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This sent a thrill though me: His fingers meshed in mine. I nodded wordlessly and moved away, pulling against his grip. He reeled me back in as if I were a fish. With a startled gasp, I stumbled and landed against his chest. A flicker of amusement glittered in his eyes. He kissed me on my forehead, whispered against my skin. The story ended and I immediately wanted more! Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for allowing me to read this. You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.

View all 10 comments. May 29, Giselle rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , ebook. Who knew a story set in an Amish community could be so spine-chillingly gory! The Hallowed Ones is for every post-apocalyptic fan out there. It offers originality in its setting and a freakish paranormal aspect. It offered a lot more than I expected. Katie is about to get her first taste of the outside world when all of a sudden that world gets dark and creepy. First there's a helicopter crash where Katie glimpses at something quite eerie.

Then she finds the town desolate and empty when sh Whoa! Then she finds the town desolate and empty when she goes to try to find two of their own who never came home. Something is definitely not right. The creep factor makes itself present very early on in this novel, showering each page with this tense uncertainty. Even though things start happening quickly, The Hallowed Ones is a very character oriented thriller that advances at a brisk, but unhurried pace.

We get to learn a lot about this Amish community; how they live, the laws that guide their lives and decisions, and how they have been kept safe from the end of the world so far. While it obviously has to have religious undertones, it never goes beyond the necessary. Don't let this scare you off either, I'm the kind of reader who would rather stay away from anything religious in books and I was nothing but fascinated with the role that the Amish culture plays in this story.

The apocalypse arrives quickly and suddenly, as it would. Since it's told through Katie's point-of-view, we don't quite know what's going on right away. As we slowly learn the conditions of Outside, we're filled with anxiety and fear of what we'll come across next. Murderous, blood thirsty creatures is not what you ever expect to find on an errand run, that's for sure. The suspense is never ending, the threat is omnipresent, and the terror is very real.

There is no sugar coating the massacres we come upon either, made considerably real due to the Amish culture who take care of their own dead - from the clean up to the burial. The creatures causing this are part science, part paranormal - at least that's what's theorized by our knowledge of them so far. It borrows greatly from classic tales, but the author sticks to the most primitive, vicious side of their lore.

There is still much more to learn about them, including where they came from, in the following installments, at least that's what I'm assuming. In my opinion, the creatures were not the only aspects of horror in The Hallowed Ones. I was quite horrified by how the elders reacted in parts. This is the end of the world, yet they refuse to consider the realities of what's happening, even though it means certain death to the whole community as well as the person they ban for trying to keep everyone safe and alive.

It makes you question a lot of things in terms of belief and values, whether you agree with it or not. Well researched, atmospheric, and surprisingly horrific, The Hallowed Ones is one suspenseful novel you will not want to put down! For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads Nov 21, Simona Bartolotta rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy-and-co , in-english. Love was what was in front of me, not a distant fantasy. This book will not be easy to review. I'll probably touch a bunch of thorny issues, therefore I state beforehand that in anything I'll say is not in any way implied any kind of judgement on my part.

On the other hand, I will probably express some of my personal personal, people. If you don't know what this mysterious and lovable word means, please go check before freaking out opinions. Katie, the main character, is Amish. The blurb of this book, when I first read it, thrilled me so much that I decided to read it despite the fact that I knew that I was likely to be annoyed by many elements which, mathematically, I couldn't not encounter in a book set in an Amish society.

For those who are not informed about it, the Amish belief is based upon some basic 'truths', two of which I particularly reject: the necessity of blind obedience from every member of the community and the certainty that whatever you do in life, at the end is God to decide if you'll spend your eternity with your mouth stuffed with ambrosia and playing a lire or chased by the Malebranche, but if you behave well you are more likely to end up among the other well-connected ones. Oh, wait.

That's what I loathe about religion in general. I'm just I've had a bad morning. I went to church. That explains it. Really, guys, take it easy please. The protagonist is honestly depicted as a normal Amish girl who's spent her whole life in that community , and thus has a very limited experience of anything that could be defined as 'other', but also who, at the same time, has the desire to see and experiment more than what she can find in her limited world.

Actually, the development of this trait of her personality is not as well-handled as I wished. This theme, the struggle to free oneself from the boundaries of a mentality, of a society, and yes, of a religion, is very close to my personal experience and to my heart, so I am a perfectionist when it comes to it. Here, in my opinion, it is dealt with in a messy, hesitant way: at first, Katie pretends to be rebellious and independent when it's clear she's not, tries to make a display of it and doesn't manage to do in it convincingly.

She, or better, the author, tries to fool us into believing she is strong and she has always thought with her own mind, but that's it. She just says it, never actually shows it. She goes against the rule of her community when she saves the life of a stranger the Elders had practically doomed to death, but that's called humanity, in case you'd never heard. You don't just let someone die because a little old man with a huge beard tells you so. Also, I had some issues with Katie's logic. In the book, a plague of some sort is spreading all over the world and as a result people turn into vampires and this is so well explained and handled that ahahahah.

But I'll talk about it in a minute. Which is to say, now for Amish people the Outside is even more forbidden than it was before. At one point when she and another character are talking about education , Katie remarks that, given the horrible situation on the Outside, she's kind of glad Amish are not permitted to be educated in proper colleges.

Wait what? Now that the the rest of the world is going through apocalypse you're happy you couldn't go there to build yourself up a little culture? The vampire thing. I swear I have still no idea whether this supposed plague or whatever is to be ascribed to a scientific reason or a divine one. Maybe the core of the book was that we had to wonder this very thing? My point does not change. That's not the way it has to be done.

This illness is said to have spread from some lab in DC maybe? I admit I don't remeber the city but then holy things yes, holy things. It's that general seem to be able to keep it at bay. So I don't really know what to think. Instead of making me curious it just bored me and annoyed me to death.

Fluorescent lights everywhere, even in otherwise perfectly normal stores, mysterious and muffled noises galore and, last but not least, eerie flash of white things running around like rabbits please, don't ask. Then it got unexpectedly better. I can't even name what exactly made it better, but I'm pretty sure it was Alex. With his presence, also Katie slightly improved. I still don't see the reason to insert the insta-love in such an abrupt and unjustified way, but Alex's character is not bad at all. Also the plot kind of got more fast-paced and interesting. That's how I found myself hooked in the last third of the book and ended up giving three stars instead of two.

In spite of this, the characters' development remains among the worst I've ever seen. Elijah, Katie's betrothed, tells her he'll wait for her even if she is not ready to marry like tomorrow for once she and I agreed and twenty-four hours later he has a new girl already. The same girl his now dead brother was courting, by the way. Katie can only think how important it is for her to be respecrful of God's will and then she's all 'my body is ready' with Alex.

Nonsense, nonsense. Coherence, the unknown. Summing up, it was an enjoyable, original read , in the concept if not in the execution. I think a lot of things could have been developed far better than this and that this surely spoiled m enjoyment and the quality of the book both.

I don't think I'll read the second and last instalment, because I read in a lot of review that the religious element is unbelievably more pressing in it than it was in here and I don't see the point of torturing myself and the write a review not so benevolent. So thank you, Katie, but our adventure together ends here. View all 5 comments. Sep 23, Keertana rated it really liked it Shelves: kick-ass-heroines. The Hallowed Ones was one of those novels I remained skeptical about until I was a good half-way through the book. It had come recommended to me by all my most trust bloggers, so of course, I knew it had to be good, but I was still skeptical.

You see, my mom went through a phase where she was enamored with the Amish culture and lifestyle and as such, we'd have novels with Amish women on the front cover and I'd often find her watching movies featuring men with long beards making butter. As her da The Hallowed Ones was one of those novels I remained skeptical about until I was a good half-way through the book. I respect the Amish and their culture immensely, but I've simply found it very boring.

I didn't see it as something interesting, new, or fascinating in the least - although now I certainly do. The Hallowed Ones opened my eyes and gave me a new appreciation of the Amish lifestyle, all with a healthy dose of good 'ole vampiric fear. Imagine this: You live in an isolated establishment, without any electricity or means of obtaining information when suddenly, out of nowhere, people are panicking. You don't know how, you don't even know why , but they just are.

Now, a mysterious stranger enters your settlement, wounded, injured, and potentially dangerous. Outside, the world is in chaos. Inside, your world is ignorant. A stranger is unwelcome at this time; you know nothing about him after all. It is in this scary, terrifying realm that debut author, Laura Bickle, has placed us. Katie, our protagonist, has been eagerly anticipating Rumspringa, the time when Amish teens leave their homes to experience the normal lifestyle of other American teens, when a sudden epidemic - one that converts humans into vampire-like creatures - hits.

With the crash landing of plane, bringing with it the arrival of a stranger who Katie saves, Katie's biggest problem is no longer what dress to wear to church, but how to prevent vampires from breaking into her Amish establishment. The Hallowed Ones is, evidently, a novel that took me by surprise. Katie is a strong, fierce, and independent protagonist.

Far from the obedient and submissive heroine I assumed she'd be, Katie proves to have a mind of her own and follow her own heart. What I loved most about this novel was the fact that it exposed corruption, even in the heart of a religious establishment. The Elders don't always do what's in the best interests of the community and seeing Katie stand up to that, all while simultaneously going against her parent's wishes and all those she holds dear, was truly awe-inspiring. It takes a special type of courage to be able to stand up for oneself and for ones beliefs, and Katie has certainly earned my respect as an incredible woman.

Furthermore, her inner vulnerabilities despite her outer strength made me instantly connect with her. Although Kate is Amish, she yearns for some of the simple luxuries those Outside have and that, combined with her complexity and depth, made her a protagonist to root for. In addition to Katie, Alex completely stole my heart.

I loved the slow burn of his romance with Katie and while not wholly unexpected, it still came as a surprise how well-suited these two were for each other. Perhaps best of all is the fact that it never detracted from the creepy - and utterly twisty - plot and only added to my enjoyment of the tale.

Ivy Book Bindings: Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Theirs is a romance I am excited to see play out in the sequel and simply thinking about it brings a silly grin to my face. Elijah, contrary to what we may think when we first begin the novel, isn't the primary romantic interest after all. Instead, he plays a rather different role in this novel, one which was unexpected and remarkably tied the plot together, making this tale all the more scintillating as I was unable to predict nearly anything. Bickle brings to life the Amish settlement that is the backdrop of her debut and while she has utterly changed my view of their simplistic - but satisfying - lifestyle, I enjoyed thinking through the tougher questions she probed about religion.

Now, this isn't a religious book in the least. In fact, despite taking place in a religious setting, it never becomes preachy and never even touches upon religious aspects or undertones. Yet, we know, innately, that each member of this establishment believes in God and this belief, which comes to be tested with the arrival of a mysterious stranger and a deadly disease, is subtly alluded to and made the novel all the more interesting for me, simply because it made me think about my own faith.

It is all very subtle, but Katie's own questioning of why, or how really, God could come to let this be only further made me connect with her. I think everyone at some point in their lives has thought this and to see it present in this novel, albeit extremely subtly and never detracting from the terrifying plot line focused on vampires, was satisfying to say the least.

It's a debut that it simply spectacular and I am already eagerly counting down the days till the sequel. Bickle writes with a skill that would surprise some for a debut author and her in-depth characters, well-constructed plot, and overall originality makes this a story any vampire or paranormal fan can't miss! You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings. Sep 14, Jill rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy-pnr-sci-fi-romance.

Three weeks before Katie is due for her Rumspringa , when Amish youth go Outside and taste the real world, news filters into their isolated community that strange things are happening Outside. When a young man is found injured near the border of their property, the elders decide to leave him to die, fearing he may be a carrier of a contagion that's affecting the outside population. But Katie's never been too fond of following the rules, so she hides him in a barn and cares for him. Alexander Green Three weeks before Katie is due for her Rumspringa , when Amish youth go Outside and taste the real world, news filters into their isolated community that strange things are happening Outside.

Alexander Green is a young Canadian student who has witnessed the terror and disintegration of the world as we know it. Fleeing from the fast-moving vampires, Alex ends up outside the Plain Folk's community. As he recovers, he and Katie work together with the local Hexenmeister gathering snippets of information from outside to piece together what's happened and how they're going to survive the apocalypse. Though this is recommended for YA, it is a somewhat brutal and gory story.

The romance between Katie and Alex is very light with very little descriptive detail. The real strength of this novel lies in its heroine Katie and the world that has been left as the vampires kill off the humans. It was wonderfully atmospheric and horrifyingly apocalyptic.

I loved it. Although there is a conclusion and no real cliffhanger, there are questions unanswered and way more story to be told. I do have a few quibbles with the way the romance was handled. It seemed a trifle formulaic. Fade-to-black sex for YA novel? Steam: 1. Dec 20, Regina rated it really liked it Shelves: ya , will-continue-series , post-apocalyptic , urban-fantasy-uf , first-in-series. To read a guest blog post by this author and more reviews like this check out: Laura Bickle's Guest Blog Post Badass It is unusual to read to read a different take on two of the most popular genres — vampires and the apocalypse.

But that is exactly what the Hallowed Ones is — a completely different telling of vampires and the end of the world. I am partial to survival stories, whether they are non fiction, written by Laura Ingalls or a modern apocalyptic tale. And having glutted myself on urb To read a guest blog post by this author and more reviews like this check out: Laura Bickle's Guest Blog Post Badass It is unusual to read to read a different take on two of the most popular genres — vampires and the apocalypse.

And having glutted myself on urban fantasy and vampire stories, any author that writes vampires in a different way and adds in the apocalypse starts off as a winner for me. These vamps are true monsters and something to fear after sundown.

The Hallowed Ones

But while vamps and the end of the world are the general themes of the novel, the main character Katie faces other challenges. Katie engages in normal rebellion, or what appears normal to me. However, her questioning of the elders in her community and her questioning of religious and social belief structures sets other scarier monsters after her — i. What happens when a community already closed off from the world is one of the last remaining communities in the world?

I really enjoyed the religious focus of this story. Having said that, the religious element in the Hallowed Ones is not offensively done and is not overwhelming. The Hallowed Ones is not a complex story and it is told simply. But it is engaging and hard to put down. The characters are interesting and Katie, the main character, is one that grows, changes but definitely has her flaws.

But the romance and the teen concerns are not the main focus of this story. Which I appreciated. I like a tad bit of romance thrown in, but I enjoy my post-apocalypse stories more when the struggle the characters go through is something separate from the romance story line. If you enjoy post-apoc and urban fantasy stories, I think this is a story you would enjoy. View all 15 comments. Aug 28, Tracey rated it liked it Shelves: amish , blood-sucking-fiends , 3-star , fantasy.

I wonder how someone who hasn't been around the fictional block a few times would read the beginning of this novel. I wonder if someone who hasn't seen a few horror movies okay, in my case, mostly commercials for horror movies and read a few scary books and who didn't take in the synopsis of this book would see the first couple of chapters. I can apply Mary Richards 's quote to my relationship with horror: "I'm an experienced woman.

I've been around Well, all right, I might not've been I wonder how someone who hasn't been around the fictional block a few times would read the beginning of this novel. Well, all right, I might not've been around, but I've been I know that when crows congregate, it's a Bad Thing. I know that when communications are abruptly and inexplicably cut off, and traffic suddenly disappears, it's a Very Bad Thing… I often say I don't like dystopian fiction.

In fact, I've found I am fascinated by the idea of something like The Stand or "Falling Skies" or "The Walking Dead", where a small group of people is left when the rest of the world is wiped out, and have to make use of what's around them to live amongst the ruins.

Krista Reviews: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

One reason I don't like the sub-genre, I believe, is that in most books that I've seen — like that unicorn novel, Ariel — there is just no explanation for it. The Stand had a good reason, and a purpose beyond simple survival for those who remain. Gosh, dunno, did I mention my unicorn talks? The Hallowed Ones does not provide a full explanation — it wouldn't, would it, being evidently the beginning of a series, and being told from the tight point of view of an Amish girl of about sixteen. But there is enough to be going on with. I may have only been "nearby" the horror genre, but I've been near enough to recognize some classic tropes when I see them. Some are as above — the crows, the red eyes gleaming, etc. This is where I wonder how someone who reads a great deal of horror would see this book. But I'm thinking hoping this might have been fully intentional. This is a novel with a unique point of view: that of a young Amish woman on the verge of adulthood, curious about the world mainly to reinforce her decision to remain out of it, and she doesn't know the tropes.

She does know quite a bit about the Outside — this community does not quite live in a vacuum, but interacts with the English regularly, and lapses in the unbaptized children are often overlooked. Especially as Rumspringa approaches, illicit experimentation has been quietly aided and abetted by nearby store owners — Katie's favorite comic book is Wonder Woman, for example, and her love of Coca Cola almost gets her killed once things fall apart out there out here, I mean.

There are some references dropped throughout the book that raised my eyebrows a bit, but for the most part I could swallow them. Her internal comment about passive aggressive behavior, though, was one I couldn't quite get down.


For me, the first half of the book was the strongest. What is going on Out There? Where is everyone? Can they get the missing members of the community back? Was rescuing the stranger a terrible mistake — did she just fulfill the Elders' worst suspicions and bring in something which will eviscerate the community?

I can't say I enjoyed the tension — that suspense right there is one of the biggest reasons I Don't Do Horror — but I did appreciate the skill with which it was ratcheted up, and the rest of the book — once some of the answers come out — felt a little flatter. The suspense did not evaporate, but a good deal of it was swapped out for outright gore: this was a good deal bloodier than I expected. There's no seduction.

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No passionate luring of the victim to a dark side of velvet. This is not just the stinking, rotting underbelly of evil without its makeup. This is exactly what the Undead were in all the old folk stories, the world around. Every culture has a vampire — a creature that drinks the blood of the living.

And it's not a pretty process. It would not matter that she was right, that Alec is not a danger but should in fact be an asset; it wouldn't matter that this community did essentially the same thing in sheltering Mrs. Parsall; it wouldn't matter that if they drive Katie from the community she will be very soon very dead.

The rules are the rules, and there is no argument. It's, again, the sort of thing I would expect to see in a fantasy novel, or something set long ago and far away. The Elders are stolid and stubborn and will not hear what an unbaptized girl or an English woman have to say; they make decisions that anyone who knows anything like Katie or the reader knows are nonsensical and dangerous, and will brook no argument. This might, perhaps, be completely realistic, I don't know; it felt overly stereotyped. The rest of the Amish community is not stereotyped; Katie's family and several featured players are nicely rounded characters who make those Elders look just a bit more two-dimensional , and the community as a whole is given a genuine warmth and life through Katie's eyes.

I like Katie. She has a refreshingly unjaded view of the world, and a real love for her home — but she just wants to have her Rumspringa, dammit. For me the only shortcomings to her was that her perceived flaws are more told than shown. She reflects often on how disobedient and willful she is, but — while she does think for herself and take action off her own bat — she reads as a fairly normal smart and strong girl. It is as an Amish girl that she is headstrong, but we never get to know any other Amish girls very well, so it's hard to judge - again, it's all as the reader is informed, and through the filter of Katie's perspective: she may not be so different from the other girls of her community, except that she believes she is more prone to disobedience and free thought.

I probably will read the rest of this series as it comes along. It wasn't what I expected, which was good; it wasn't what I hoped for, which wasn't so good. It wasn't entirely my cup of tea again, I'm a wimp , and I'm not sure if it would satisfy a true horror buff — but it was pretty good. View 2 comments. I loved those and was a bit bummed when she didn't continue. Then I stumbled into this title thank you GR! Yep, I was sold. I loved it!! This was the kind of urban fantasy story that I enjoyed -- something refreshing; where the heroine wasn't portrayed as too strong she became unrela 4.

This was the kind of urban fantasy story that I enjoyed -- something refreshing; where the heroine wasn't portrayed as too strong she became unrelatable to readers -- like she didn't need anyone else. Katie was a young Amish girl who was on the verge of her Rumspringa when suddenly the Outside world was falling apart.

People was turned into vampires -- viscious, blood-hunting vampires. And the evil was finding their way into the Plain community. The Amish life was pretty heavy here -- and it was something I would like to give my thumbs up for. I didn't know whether it was accurate; I had no experience or knowledge about Amish life, but this was made the story different.

I also didn't know how people would get annoyed with the religious issue here -- there was the Plain folk vs. English mentality among the Amish elders; also how they should leave their fate to God, and how the Bishop refused to acknowledge the possibility of evil coming inside the community It gave a very good conflict when Katie was questioning about the blind belief and her instinct to survive.

I found her questioning the rules and earlier in the story, her determination to get the taste of Coca Cola and comic books made her a believable young girl. Since the story was written inside the community, there was the isolated sense to it and it was deliciously haunting I could sense Katie's desperation and fear and I admired her bravery; that when push comes to shove, she would not give up without a fight, even if she ended up breaking the rules.

The only complaint I had would probably had to do with her relationship with Alex, the English young man that she saved after finding him unconscious outside the community