Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones
by Laura Bickle
Series: Hallowed Ones #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Genre : YA Paranormal
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository


If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in? 
In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror… Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing. Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?
I was dying to get my hands on the Hallowed Ones and patiently waited for it to be released in eBook format since I set a goal to only buy eBooks in 2012. I even entered contests to win it! Grrr!  I was so thrilled when I saw it on B&N and consumed this on Halloween Day. What a perfect read for All Souls Day. Bickle’s novel blends the Amish world with the vampire world in this post-apocalyptic novel and I loved every minute of it. The first in the Hallowed Ones series this offered up some horror, fascinating characters and set the stage for things to come.

The tale begins when we meet Katie, a young Amish girl on the verge of Rumspringa. She is daydreaming about her adventure when a helicopter crashes into the cornfields. As she calls for help and attempts to save those inside, she sees the pilot pulled back into the cockpit by a thing with glowing red eyes. When the outside world fails to send help and two Amish boys fail to return home at the end of the work day, the small settlement realizes something is dreadfully wrong. Unsure what has happened, the Elders order the gates closed. No one goes in or out. Katie finds a injured young man by the fence and the tale that unfolded kept me riveted.

The plot was fantastic, but Katie made the tale come to life. I really adored this bright, young woman with a weakness for coca-cola and comic magazines. Her world is turned upside down, yet she hungers for truth and despite fear of God, the Elders and her family her own moral compass steers her. She struggles with Gelassenheit (God’s will) and at times does things to save her people despite the fear of being banished.  Alex, the young injured man was interesting, and I am looking forward to getting to know him more. Ginger, an English woman, separated from her family and trapped on the farm was a strong, silent presence. She helped remind us how truly different the Plain folk were from the outside world. Elijah, the young Amish man she is intended for had me wavering in my feelings for him. I loved the Hexenmeister and found both him and his role fascinating. The two love interests in Katie’s life were very different and each represented a different path. The romance was sweet and felt genuine.

The world-building was dark and horrifying. From the first few pages I was enthralled and could not put this book down. While there are no new elements, Bickle cleverly weaved the Amish, religion and vampires into a tale that I will not soon forget. I liked her straightforward writing style, and grasp of the characters. The suspense was constant as she slowly revealed revelations as the tale demanded them.  The tale ends on a cliffhanger. The tale felt finished, but the ending did pose questions and left a few unanswered. What will happen to Katie and her friends? What is happening outside? How did the vampires come to be?  I simply cannot wait to read the Outside book two in this series.

I highly recommend the Hallowed Ones to fans of suspenseful horror and fascinating characters. So grab a flashlight, cuddle under the covers with enjoy! The Outside is scheduled to release in the fall of 2013.

Four and half cups of pumpkin lattes out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Happy New Year!
I hope you find fantastic and memorable books while
enjoying health and happiness :) 
oh, and that it's totally Caffeinated!

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44 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Stacey Joy Netzel said...

This is so different from anything I'd usually read, and yet your review totally has me wanting to read it. Thanks, and Happy New Year!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM , Anonymous Bookluvrs Haven said...

I have this one on my to read list, and hopefully I can grab a copy and read it for myself soon enough. Great review!


Lily

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

I adored this one! When I read it as an advance copy, there had been no announced sequel, so you can imagine how I felt. lol Laura was kind enough to put me out of my misery and tell me that one was coming though. :) Katie is one of my favorite female characters from last year, you just explained why perfectly - if anyone doesn't want to read it after reading your review, they never will. lol It's an awesome book, peeps!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM , Anonymous karina said...

Happy New Year, sweetie!!! I've got this book in my pile and really glad you gave it such high rating! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM , Anonymous Pnrurbfantasyreviews said...

This sounds great. I'm not usually a horror fan but I do read a few, I'll be adding this to my pile, thanks to you. Happy New Years, muffin!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM , Anonymous Aurian said...

I have this one on my shelves, but as you describe it with words as horror, dark, horrifying, I don't want to read it anymore ...

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

Wasn't Katie awesome?.?.. I am really happy you enjoyed this so much. :). Wonderful review.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This is suspenseful, and not straight up horror (no real gore) ooh but you should read it with your Mom!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous Candace's Book Blog said...

This sounds really good. I have a hard time with horror, I scare easily but some things marked as horror I don't find scary at all, so it's hard to know. I guess if it gets super intense and suspenseful I might scare more just cause I'm on the edge of my seat. I'm not sure if I'll read this, but you have me thinking that I might have to give it a try...

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Awesome..i cannot wait to hear your thoughts when you read it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous GRgenius said...

In answer to the opening question...no! In answer to will I be checking this one out...now that is a resounding YES! Certainly sounds different than other books out there right now and with a blend of pop culture interest to mix things up, I'd say it definitely has potential. Thanks for the heads up on this one...happy reading!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thank you Maja and I am jelly you still get to experience it for the first time!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

Oh, wow, I feel so guilty for not reading this sooner! It sounds wonderful, and after all those glowing reviews, such wonderful words from you are just the push I needed. The plot sounds wonderful, but I love that Katie is such a strong, memorable MC. Wonderful review as always!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Step outside your reading zone there are amazing books to discover!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous Steph, The Readingista said...

This sounds like a read that I would be head over heels for. I love the setting. Thanks for the great review. I am adding it to the TBR right now!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooo squee i am jelly you still get to experience it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Sweet...i cannot wait to hear what you think!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

Omg, seriously.. I'm going to strangle freaking disqus. This is that last time I'm going to try this...... I loved this book so much. I love how the vampires were truly scary creatures not to be messed with.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

agreed no sparkle here!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I loved Katie too..i cannot wait for book two!!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Beth you too!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Too Fond said...

Happy New Year, Kimberly! All the best to you in 2013--may you read lots of wonderful books! :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ooo yes..you love monsters and creepy things..so yep, you Need to read this!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Turning the Pages said...

I've been flirting with the idea of borrowing this one from my library for the past week or two now after reading your review I think I'll have to put it on hold. :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Hehehe..i laughed at your confession because i am the same way! I love going to Lancaster, we went four of five times each summer since we lived in south Jersey. I also love Shipshewana in Indiana. I use
to imagine living their as a child..
You have to read this...it is crazy good!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

holy baby jesus this sounds good! Confession: I am obsessed with Amish stuff. When we go to PA on Sundays to visit SO's youngest, they live next to/around an Amish community, so we see them all the time. They create traffic jams! I also love reading about them, watching shows about them. I DON'T KNOW WHY.
Anyway, this book sounds fabulous and sort of reminiscent of the movie The Village, too. In a way. Adding to my GR list like right now.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Happy New Year Lisa, and while this has horror, its more along the suspense and paranormal lines..so yeah you should so try this!!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

The cliffhanger isn't so much a cliffhanger but a ahhhhh i want book two now kinda thing! So yeah, ya brat..that would be the smart thing to do so you can avoid drooling like the rest of us!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

This one sounds awesome...maybe I'll wait to pick it up though until closer to book 2s release if it really has a cliffhanger

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh Sally you must read this ..it was creepy good!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Sally@Always Lost in Stories said...

Ooooh wow- I love the sound of this one!

Creepy, thrilling, with dark world- building and great characters? I need to get this book!

Great review :D

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I cannot wait for book two!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I loved this one too! I loved everything about it that you did. It really was a great tale. Very dark, very detailed and very creepy. It was fantastic!
Great review Kimba!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ooo i cannot wait to read your review and get excited all over again! Happy New Year Kara!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I really adored her, so strong spirited! Thanks and Happy New Year!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Squeeeeee... your excitement has me excited all over again about the book, and yes we need more Alex!! Happy New Year Nick!!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous Nick said...

Eeeeepppppp! I'm SO SO freaking happy that you loved this, Kim! :D
This is one of my favorite reads of last year and when I see someone I know loves it too, I get a little overexcited (as I'm sure you've already figured out)
Your paragraph on the characters is spot-on! I especially loved how you described Katie. She was so awesome. I loved her! :D
I agree with you! The book does leave you with tons of questions but in a way that has you anticipating the next book. I'm glad it didn't have one of those awful cliffhangers.
I need more Alex! >.<
Love the review, Kim! Do excuse my "shrieky tone" in this comment!

Happy New Year, Kim! :) I hope you have a wonderful year ahead! May it be filled with tons of happiness and tons of books! <3

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous Kristilyn Robertson said...

Yeeees! This was SUCH a good book! Everything was perfect and I loved that it wasn't too heavy handed with the religion. I also loved the characters and can't wait to see what they do in the next book. Oh, and I loved how the vampires weren't totally there, but the fear was. This was a book that scared me at night! But such a great read. :) I'm glad you liked it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Hehehe..i am excited that peeps loved it as much as me, and you are right it had just enough religion to make it believable and not preachy.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Thanks Lily ..enjoy it !

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh noooo... it was very suspenseful and I was scared but there is no real gore.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous Samantha said...

I've been reading some really great reviews for this book lately!! I can't wait to read it myself :) Great review as always!!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ooo I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:53 AM , Anonymous Anatea Oroz said...

I'm really excited to read this one. I've never read a book about Amish people, and your high rating is really making me want to read it right now. Great review!

 

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