30 March 2013

Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) by Laura Bickle

Published: 25 September 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 311 (paperback)

Genre/s: YA, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Own library

Synopsis

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? 

My Thoughts


Religion in books is something I'm usually very cautious about - I don't mind it as a plot device, but there's a fine line between that and having the author's opinions feel like they are being shoved down my throat, so I was a little hesitant going into The Hallowed Ones, but also intrigued - I find the Amish infinitely fascinating, and the synopsis really got me thinking - if the world did end, what would happen to people who are isolated from the world, either by choice or circumstance?    

Luckily, I didn't find the religion in this book to be too much for my tastes, however I would warn anyone that finds religion in books uncomfortable to be fully aware before grabbing a copy of The Hallowed Ones - as the Amish themselves are religious, there is a lot of discussion about God, the Bible and the will of God when it comes to determining fates of people and the world, but I never felt that it was overly preachy.   Yes, some of the characters are therefore annoyingly oblivious and seemingly stupid, but it's also understandable, and Ms. Bickle approached it with enough explanation that it didn't make me feel frustrated, rather more sympathetic.

Katie is open about the fact that she is a little bit more rebellious than she should be, and it shows in her actions.  However, despite some naivety, she's also strong, capable and pretty sensible when it comes to figuring things out.  And once she meets Alex, she really becomes a memorable character, standing up for what she believes in and dealing with the aftermath of a particularly gory attack by the creatures without becoming an unrealistic action-woman.

Once I finished The Hallowed Ones, I realised that in terms of plot, not a huge amount had actually happened - yes, the world seems to be in the midst of an apocalypse, there are some scary arse monsters hanging around and the local 'witch doctor' of sorts has taught Katie more than a few tips and tricks about the monsters, but everything is pretty much confined to the settlement with little to no information about the wider world.  However, the intricacies of the Amish lifestyle and religion and the spooky isolation of the setting really kept my attention.

The second book in the series, The Outside, is scheduled to be released in September 2013, and I'm intrigued to see where Katie's story goes next.

17 comments:

  1. I've been very curious about this book for a long time. It's a fascinating setting and I can't wait to see how this works out. I don't really mind some religious aspects, as long as it doesn't feel forced. Great review Kat :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kept seeing it around and it got quite a few good reviews, all very well deserved.

      Delete
  2. Great review. I've been looking forward to this but haven't really heard much about it. Can't wait to pick this up and give it a go now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very different to what I thought it would be, and the whole Amish perspective is done very well.

      Delete
  3. I've been interested in this one ever since I first heard about it, but I was also a little weary because I knew religion would play a part in the story. I'm pleased that you didn't find it too preachy, as that can really diminish my enjoyment of books. Fantastic review, I'm really looking forward to reading this one myself now! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is quite a bit of discussion about religion, but it's very much used as part of the storyline, rather than being overwhelming - which is the kind of religion in books that I'm comfortable with.

      Delete
  4. This has to be one of the most unique premises I've heard - Amish plus vampires! It sounds like the religious aspects are dealt with realistically, which I actually tend to like as long as (as you said) it doesn't get preachy. Definitely going to have to check this one out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to be on an Amish kick recently - I find the whole no-technology thing scary/fascinating *hugs laptop*

      Delete
  5. I think you already know that i loved this book. I'm glad you did too. I felt the same way as you when I went to review it. There wasn't actually a lot going on as far as world building and what's going on outside her community.

    Even though I'm not particularly religious I loved how this apocalyptic event brings your choices and faith to the forefront. i'm guessing we'll see more of the outside world in the next book. I'm really curious to read how it all turns out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really hoping the next book has some action, it will tie everything nicely together.

      Delete
  6. I think the Amish would be so much more prepared to live through an apocalypse, but I guess it depends on exactly what is happening...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really got me thinking about places that would be good to hide out in during an apocalypse!

      Delete
  7. I have been wanting to read this one for a while. I have never read an Amish book in my life, but with vamps.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh good, I bought this one a while back and then people were like ehhhhh, and I was like NOOOOOO. But you liked it, so I have hope again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad I could give you that hope ;)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...