The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle is a fantastically creepy experience from start to finish. Not once did I find myself bored while reading. Just read that synopsis. First off, we have some sort of world wide disaster happening, so there's a lot of excitement and danger. But The Hallowed Ones also shows you what it's like to be Amish. Learning about a culture I've never taken the time to learn about before was fun in and of itself.
The heroine, Katie, is one of the most realistic characters I have ever read. She makes reasonable and rational decisions as well. This was truly a treat for me, because I'm used to heroines in YA doing dumb things that only end up causing them more problems in the end. Even Katie's bad decisions were thought through rationally and were things that I would have done or questioned if I was in her position. Katie is also incredibly strong. Stronger than most people could ever be, put in her situation. She handles herself calmly in times of crisis and always does what she thinks is right. This is, at times, difficult for her because of her Amish upbringing, but she manages to stay true to herself and her religion as best she can while having a crisis of faith.
I admit, I don't know a lot about the Amish community, but the world Bickle creates is incredibly realistic. You learn about the Amish community through Katie's actions and dialogue and every second of it is intriguing. Everyday details conveyed in the writing make it that much more terrifying because, even though you may not be accustomed to Katie's world, you're seeing it through her eyes in a way that feels so real, so achingly familiar, that you can't help but be sucked in. And when the danger strikes, you feel that too.
Even though The Hallowed Ones is about an Amish community and Katie and her family and friends have very strong opinions about their religion, Bickle handles it in a way that feels very real. I didn't find the character's comments on God or other religions offensive, but rather, I found them enlightening. This is how a group of religious people might feel during the end of the world. They might, as Bickle suggests, shrink in upon themselves. Try to stamp out all connection to the outside world and hide. They would very likely make mistakes and, while trying to protect their community from the dangers Outside, overlook what has already found it's way in. Be it monsters, a power hungry leader, or fear itself.
There is a sort-of love triangle in The Hallowed Ones. Although, throughout the book, it's hard to tell if it is, in fact, an actual triangle. It would be more accurately described as an amorphous shape, changing throughout the novel. We first meet Elijah, Katie's friend, expected future husband and pretty much her whole world, and he's a nice, sweet boy who seems to really care for her. Then we're introduced to the other guy. Tattooed, Outsider Alex. He's smart and funny and appreciates Katie's ability to think for herself, unlike some of the other men in the community. These boys are two halves to Katie. One representing a life in the church, the other representing life Outside, the life Katie has always dreamed about.
Thinking back, there were some issues I had with The Hallowed Ones. The character development of one of the love interests seemed a little too convenient to me. I felt he was sort of thrown under the bus by the author, but, nevertheless, I found myself shouting at the book in incredulous rage at some of his actions. Bickle had me so caught up in the emotions of the story that I barely cared whether his actions were just an easy way out. I really wished we had at least gotten to see more of what became of him at the end of the novel, though. I wished we had gotten to see more of everyone at the end of the novel. The book wasn't too long and the ending was a little abrupt, but hopefully there is a sequel in the future so I can jump back into these character's lives and see what happens!
If you enjoyed The Immortal Rules or The Hunt, you will love The Hallowed Ones! Fans of dystopian stories will enjoy reading about Katie's community and how they try to hold their lives together during the apocalypse. Be warned, though, this isn't for the weak of heart (or stomach). There is some serious gore within these pages, so if that's not your thing, you might want to pass on this one.show more
by Pretty In Fiction