Title: The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: Horror, YA, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Published: September 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: NetGalley via Publisher
Buy Links: 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 rumours 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 de-cree: 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 bounda-ry 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?
Life is quiet in Katie’s home village, but that is about to take a drastic change as the “Outside” world falls into chaos. Rumours of violence and strange happenings reaches the small community, as a helicopter crashes into a farmer’s field. When no one comes to claim the wreckage, Katie realizes something is very wrong.
We are introduced to a small close knit Amish community, one of the few old-world groups left. With no power and no phone, outside communication is limited to a few ‘friends’ that visit and occasional trips to the “English” village nearby. As unrest in the outside world grows, the church Elders decide to close the gates and hunker down until things pass. Oh, how naive they are!
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. I love reading about the Amish, which is what initially drew me to this title (and the book tour). What threw me for a loop was the horror aspect of the story and how it would blend with the story of the Plain folk. I was impressed with how the author wove the different genres together. It was such an interesting combination – horror, suspense, dystopian, vampires and the Amish.
This story kept me on the edge of my seat, and there were a few moments I actually had to put the book down and shudder. I’m not usually a fan of horror, but this story was so amazing I couldn’t help but love it. My only complaint was how quickly and abruptly the story ended! I wanted to find out what happens, but I will have to wait for the sequel! *fingers crossed that Laura has one in the works!*
Would I recommend this book? Yes, this is for readers who love something unique and outside the box. It’s such a unique combination of genres! Will I read more by this author? Most definitely, I need to find out what happens to Katie and her friends!