The Hallowed Ones
by Laura Bickle
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia
(September 25, 2012)
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 teenag-ers 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 first attracted to this book because it was Amish. I adore Amish literature. I have also been enjoying a lot of paranormal stories lately. Imagine my joy when I found the two genres combined! At first, it would seem like combining the two genres wouldn't work at all. I commend Laura Bickle for attempting it and feel that she was able to pull it off.
Katie is familiar in that she is trying to find herself and determine whether or not the Amish faith is really the choice she wants to make for her life. An Englischer shows up who helps her to further question her beliefs and life. There is also some romance thrown in there, to keep it interesting. Oh yeah, and some unearthly creatures wreaking havoc in the Outside world.
I had a hard time putting this one down once I started it. There is plenty of action to keep the pages turning. Sure, some of it is predictable, but you still want to keep reading to make sure you are right. The ending leaves the door wide open for a sequel or a series. I really hope a second book is on its way! I want to read more about Katie and this new dystopian world!
About the Author
Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs.
She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.