Series: The Hallowed Ones #1
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Houghton Mifflin (9.25.2012)
Paperback, 311 pages
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.
Why did I wait so long to read this book?! I’d been seeing a lot of people say good things about it, but for some reason I thought it was a Historical so I was put off from reading it. It’s not a Historical, but it is about the Amish, which isn’t something I would usually be interested in reading (only because I steer clear of any books with religion). But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one!
Unlike most YA horror, this book was actually horror. It was super creepy, I loved that! You don’t find many books like that in YA. I actually thought this book was about zombies at first, but it was actually about vampires. Now, I’m not really a fan of vampire stories. But this book did not sugarcoat vampires. These vampires were actually scary! The helicopter scene in the beginning was INTENSE.
I loved how gory and bloody this book was! Again, you don’t see too much of that in YA. I love that this book was nowhere near the fluffy YA horror novels I usually read. I’ve been CRAVING this book for so long and I didn’t even know it!
Unfortunately though, I was kind of bored with the Amish lifestyle parts. When there were no vampires in the scene, it was pretty slow. However, I’m impressed with the world building…it was very convincing! Even though the pacing was slow, Bickle took the time to really build the Amish life and give the reader a feel for what it was like for Katie to live the way she did. And their lifestyle was kind of fascinating, in a way, how different it is from the “English” (that’s us). I mentioned before that I won’t pick up a book about religion by choice. I will say that even though this book is religious because of the Amish, it wasn’t preachy. The religion is just there because it’s just their way of life. It just is.
I really liked Katie’s character. She’s strong willed and independent and she questions authority when she needs to. The way she was expected to be obedient and docile made me grind my teeth! And ELIJAH. UGH. The way she was supposed to bend to him REALLY irked me! I hated how he treated her, even though he was supposed to love her. And the Elders were awful, too.
The ending was left pretty wide open, so I’m very curious to see where it goes in the next book! I’m really hoping it will give more information on how the vampires came to be. There was mention of an explosion of some sort and an outbreak (hence why I thought it was zombies), but nothing more. I want to know what happened to throw the world into Darkness!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5
This book was actually horror. Not the fluffy stuff that YA usually is! It was nice and gory, too!