Friday, May 2, 2014

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones #1. Harcourt (Sept. 2012) Library
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.




In a quiet, unassuming Amish town where technology has been cast aside in favor of traditional values we are introduced to Katie, who like any other ordinary Amish girl is looking forward to her Rumspringa. Katie dreams of the time where she can go to the outside world and have some real adventures with her best friend Elijah who everyone expects her to be married with when she comes back from her trip... well if she comes back. Based on her rebellious streak, no one, not even Katie knows for sure what her decision will be on whether she will live in the outside world or the town that she has always called her home. But before Katie can even make her way to the outside world, tragic events force her to stay within the boundaries of her religious community. It is then that she discovers the secrets being kept and ways in which her life is being limited that Katie starts to question everything she has ever known and everything she thought she was capable of... when the outside world comes to her.  

There came a time when reading this book that I thought to myself "What's taking so long?" I was ready for the action packed, horror filled thriller that I was promised and it wasn't there. I can see what readers see in this book. I really can. Nevertheless, I feel like I missed all the hype that was built up for The Hallowed Ones. It felt more like a precursor to the second book than anything else. It was slow paced and again built up way too much for the next book which would be alright if it was a novella but it's not. Even when things were getting heated it felt slow, this is a shame since this book had such great promise.

Putting aside the negatives there is still great potential for this series and its characters. The protagonist, Katie, is a girl you can stand behind. She lives in a community that can be very restricting yet she still has this perseverance and strength in her. She's basically labeled "defiant" by the community Elders however she always does things out of the goodness of her heart. She's a true hero in the sense that she does the right thing even when everyone else is against her which I love. Protagonists need to push the boundaries, not let someone else take over and save the day. So Katie represents a great protagonist in her own right. 

The threat that Katie faces are vampires. The vampires in this story are actually how vampires are supposed to be - Terrifying. They are mindless to anyone else's needs. They just kill and feed whenever they want. I don't think they even speak yet they seem to be intelligent beings. I have to give the author kudos on creating vampires that are even scarier than the original or new vampires you come across in books today. They remind me of zombies (The Walking Dead kind) in a way because they only have one goal and they are a huge epidemic that people are trying to cure. The way the book is heading there will be more our protagonist faces (i.e. vampires trying to eat her all the time) which shows the potential the next book has of creating the action packed, horror filled thriller I wanted in this book. 

A lot of people like this story. They rave about it, can't wait to read the next book, and all that jazz. It just wasn't for me. The series does have great promise although; I don't think I'll continue on reading the series since I didn't like this first book. I worry for the repeat of slowness in the next books. I do think The Hallowed Ones is worth a shot at reading because so many people have enjoyed it even if I didn't. So if you like the premise and want to see where the story will take you I say go on ahead and give this one a try.

Katie's tale continues on in The Outside.


Art by Shane Rebenschied

7 comments:

  1. Interesting. I know a lot of people have liked this book and I was curious to see what you thought of it. It's too bad that it didn't work out for you, but I can understand getting frustrated with the slow build up. Sometimes the build up adds to the suspense, but sometimes, it can make a reader impatient and frustrated. I hope you like your next read better!

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    1. i think the hype is what got to me. I expected action right away and it just took forever. I hope my next book is better too thanks (:

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  2. I hate that this book was misrepresented to you as a fast-paced thriller =( I think you really would have enjoyed it more without those expectations. I went into it knowing practically nothing about it and really loved it!

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    1. Reading other reviews before I actually read a book usually goes well for me but not this time. It was bound to go wrong sometime... I hope you like The Outside as well.

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  3. The premise of an Amish community and vampires really appealed to me (I've interacted with an Amish community several times, and it's a fascinating culture!). However, I agree with you-this book was slow. I liked it well enough and gave it 3.5 stars, but I won't be continuing with the series either. Great review!

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    1. Seriously? That's cool. My brother went to an Amish community with an Amish style restaurant and he absolutely loved the food there.

      Aha! I didn't think anyone would agree with me. I feel better (:

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  4. I haven't read this one yet- but it has been on my list. I loved hearing your thoughts and your honest review was very helpful. Now I have a better idea what to expect. :) What a great cover!

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