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The Hallowed Ones

The Hallowed Ones

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Laura Bickle

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  • Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Format: Paperback | 311 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 208mm x 22mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 25 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Boston
  • ISBN 10: 0547859260
  • ISBN 13: 9780547859262
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 67,029

Product description

Amish teen Katie smuggles a gravely injured young man, an outsider, into her family's barn despite the elders' ruling that no one can come in or out of the community while some mysterious and massive unrest is wreaking havoc in the English world.

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Author information

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she's dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs, and writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. "The Hallowed Ones" is her first young adult novel. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.

Customer reviews

By Amy Sanders 18 May 2013 5

The wonderful and very amazing Jen from YA Romantics had recommended this book to me telling me how scary good it was. That was back around Halloween (I know it took me a long time to finally get it) but I finally picked it up and I am so glad I did. This book puts the frightening back into vampires!
There is definitely no sparkly brooding vamps here people. Nope! These are the vampires that will be just as happy eating your face off as they will draining you of your entire blood supply. But these guys are mindless killing machines either; they are smart and clever killing machines.

Laura Bickle has taken a turn for the more traditional storyline with the terrifying vampires that decide to go after everything. And I love her for this. Don't get me wrong: I love the brooding sexy vampire that hates what he/she truly is as much as the next guy. But....there is just something about the scary as hell vampires that love being what they are and love hunting down their food source like a predator.
A good comparison for these vampires are the ones from 30 Days of Night.

But there is a lot more to this story than just vampires; sorry I really dig those guys though. Our main protagonist, Katie, is a very different heroine but definitely one I truly love indeed. Katie is an Amish girl impatiently waiting for the chance to go out on her Rumspringa, which is basically like Spring Break for the young Amish people. It's where they go out into the world and experience the secular world and decide if they want to stay or come back to their people.

This is where we see how completely cut off from the world this Amish community truly is because the Outside world is in complete disarray while life continues to move along at a slow and steady pace for them. But they finally see the upset that is happening when it comes to close for comfort at their doorsteps.
I really loved Katie as an character. She was curious; always questioning her elders and the rules they set in place as the world went further into turmoil. Katie is also very strong and handled the apparent threats in the town much better than I think anyone else would have. But we also see that Katie can be fragile as glass at other points in the book. I think I really enjoyed the well roundness of her personality. Even her faith, while some of the closed mindedness she exhibited when she learned other religious groups could try to battle the evil by saying:
"God cannot be everywhere. Not everyone is right."
did upset me, I found that Katie was much more devout than some of the elders with her faith because of her undying need to protect those who needed it. No matter if they were Amish or not.
She didn't have that snobbery that most of the other Amish elders and families there in the community had against outsiders.

These two dynamics: the Amish and vampires, are definitely an original idea to me. I think it was an awesome idea to take these two seemingly vast opposites and put them into a book where it seems the world may very well be coming to an end in the most evil way possible. Then we get to see how these two play against each other as well compliment each other too.
I was completely hooked from the first minute I started reading this book. I always had this ominous feeling about me as I read it; like someone was going to jump out at me and scream "BOO!" any moment. I love that feeling, just like when you watch a scary movie. It was just amazing for me that I got it from reading a book. I hardly ever have that creepy feeling and when I find a book that takes my breath away with that kind of energy I know I have found a truly special thing! I loved The Hallowed Ones and I cannot wait till I can't get my hands on the second book.
I give it .........................

By Brenna Staats 14 Jan 2013 2

I had heard some amazing things about The Hallowed Ones - so one day, while in the mood for something deliciously creepy, I picked it up expecting the best. And fortunately, it had such a strong start that drew in right away.

Unfortunately, it never really picked up for me after that. I felt like I spent the remainder of the book waiting for "it" to happen (I'm not really sure what "it" was, but I was hoping for something truly exciting and captivating) but it just never arrived for me.

REASON TO READ:

1. Brilliant plot concept:

The idea behind this story is like blow-your-mind amazing. An Amish setting? In an apocalyptic world (this is great because Katie's Amish community is so isolated that you have no idea what's going on with the Outside world- INCREDIBLY MYSTERIOUS, love it!) with some freaky killer thing(s) running around? I'm not sure it can get much scarier than that.

And the first few chapters are fantastic. They perfectly set the atmosphere up to scare your socks right off, and everyone is like, "WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!" and there's some blood and life gets crazy.

And then Katie seems to spend most of her time trying to figure out where she stands in her faith and her love life. There's nothing wrong with that, but it didn't jive very well with the direction the book initially seemed to be headed in. The role of faith was interesting, and for the most part it fit very well until eventually it just felt like we were beating a dead horse.

Plus I really couldn't care for her love life - at all. I sympathized with Katie for a while, because she was in such a tricky spot but after a while it just seemed ridiculous. And I couldn't bring myself to care when I didn't understand why she was acting out that way.

But really, I was hoping for more scares. It felt too much like there was a trade-off part way through the book: exchange scary scenes for kissing/doubting ones. So I believe the ultimate problem for me was that my expectations were for something entirely different, and I was disappointed by that.

Review copy received from Thomas Allen & Son Ltd for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

By Carien Ubink 12 Oct 2012 5

Ever had that feeling when you read a book and you love it so much that part of you wants to share it with the whole world, while another part of you wants to jealously guard it and keep it all to yourself?

That's how I feel about The Hallowed Ones!

(And to those who do not know that feeling (which is probably all of you): Yes, I'm weird like that.)

I fell in love with Katie from the start. She's a thinker, who doesn't take what others tell her for granted and who wants to explore things before making a decision. Living in a community where it's expected that you take the things your elders tell you for granted is difficult for Katie. That's why she's looking forward to her Rumspringa, to see the outside world and to be able to decide for herself if her place is really among the Amish or if she belongs somewhere else.

Then bad things happen and it looks like Katie's future might be decided for her.

There is so much to this story I could just ramble on all day. It's as much a creepy, suspenseful horror-thriller as it is a story about strength and faith. Who can Katie trust? Who can she confide in? What will she have to do to survive the horrors that plague the outside and that threaten her community?

There's a constant threat hanging over the story which slowly begins to escalate until it's not just a threat anymore and Katie will have to fight for her survival.

I also loved the setting. The Amish community Katie lives in was described very well and used to its full advantage for this story. I especially loved reading about the Hexenmeister, a mysterious and intriguing figure, who paints so called hexes to protect houses and families from all kind of things.

The climax of this story was just totally amazing and the ending makes me hungry for the next book to see what will happen next (and I can tell you: that is bound to be a lot!). So I can safely say I will be reading the next book as soon as it's released and I'll be rereading The Hallowed Ones in the meantime.

By Pretty In Fiction 26 Sep 2012 5

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.

By Johanna Pulkkinen 11 Sep 2012 5

In short, WOW. I absolutely LOVED this book and it has easily made it´s way into my favourites of the year.

The horror in this book sneaks up on you and before you realise, you are feeling like YOU should be running for your life. Most of the time I need romance in a book for me to really love it. In this book there is a part for romance too, though it is definitely not the focus of the story. The book has made me flinch a number of times and hold my breath like watching a movie that makes you scared. There were moments when I had to think that I cannot continue reading in the dark, that I had to quit and wait for morning and light. So yes, I pretty much LOVED this book for the terribleness of it!

If you can´t handle gory details, this book is not for you, also I wouldn´t give the book for anyone really young either. But for others I would definitely recommend this book! It goes straight to my absolute favourites of the year! There were many themes woven into this story which made it the more intense. I am sure the book would´ve worked only as a story about Amish people being faced with paranormal danger from Outside, but all the other themes made it more powerful a story.

I got this book free from Netgalley for an honest review.

Review quote

Praise for "The Hallowed Ones""This is a book to make you fear the shadows--a horrifying and gruesome tale of faith, and things that blink red eyes in the night. I began reading in the daylight, and read on into the late hours, leaning close, biting my lip. I could not look away; I was obsessed. Katie is an unbreakable soul."--Lauren DeStefano, New York Times Bestselling author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy"What an eerily believable, unique story! I can't stop thinking about it--or shivering."--Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of the "Wicked Lovely Books""Tight pacing, suspenseful scenes, Wow! moments of tension, and exposure into a world I knew little about, " The Hallowed Ones" is an exciting, terse read. . . . Laura Bickle's debut novel for young adults has quickly become my favorite dystopian novel of 2012. . . . It left me wanting more, so much more."--readergirlsblog.com"Readers will find it hard to put down this suspenseful, scary, compulsively readable adventure."--"Kirkus Reviews""Katie's an original character, and her thoughtful rebellion makes her an interesting addition to supernatural fictions's gallery of strong heroines."--"Bulletin" Praise for "The Outside"* "Top-notch. . . . A horror story with heart and soul."--"Kirkus, " starred review"At once horrifying, hopeful, and hauntingly beautiful, this gorgeous read with its rich textures and spine-tingling suspense kept me glued to the pages in utter fascination. Laura Bickle is a master storyteller. Brava! Just superbly done!"--Darynda Jones, "New York Times" Bestselling author of "Third Grave Dead Ahead" and The Darklight Series