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September 3, 2013

A Shot of YA: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Series: The Hallowed Ones 1
Format: Mobi
Read an EXCERPT
Recommended by: Lee of She-Wolf Reads
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Purchased via Amazon
Genre: YA - Thriller
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

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.
I've always wanted to read an Amish novel, it's one of those "reading outside one's comfort zone" thingy however I haven't found anything that will kick-off the sub-genre for me... Until I've seen my dear She-Wolf, Lee, read and review Laura Bickle's THE HALLOWED ONES. I knew I found The book that will break the ground as far as reading Amish tomes are concerned AND it's YA so it's the perfect shot for this week!

I love THE HALLOWED ONES' odd combination of ingredients. On one side we have the vampires, poster creatures for Sci-fi/Fantasy under the paranormal-dystopian setting. On the opposite side are The Amish, cloistered, rigid and faithful in their beliefs and religious practices and their exclusive community is one of humankind's last bastion of the living against the undead. The juxtaposition is too exotic to pass up and I'm so happy I found this on the Amazon sales rack because it was worth every penny. HUGE bang for my buck! #thriftshopping
I was Amish, I didn't dislike my life & accepted the inevitabilities cheerfully. Still, I wanted the experience of Outside. To know that I'd made the right choice. To be absolutely certain.
Katie as a heroine was such an engaging character to follow. She is in NEED of Rumspringa to quell her curiosity and maybe dull her streak of rebelliousness. There's so much about the Outside that she wanted to explore unfortunately Rumspringa was cancelled this year because of the contagion. So as a cloistered teenager who's been looking forward to this rite of passage for the longest time only for it to be "cancelled" last minute?! You can bet your ass Katie's going to be angsty, antsy and snoopy much to the dismay of The Elders. And Katie's insatiable curiosity is what I loved about her because she's not the type who'll just settle for the answer, she'll poke and prod until it makes sense to her which reminded me of the saying curiosity killed the cat and in Katie's case, it is a little literal. 

Another thing that made me enjoy THE HALLOWED ONES is the minimal amount of romance. Katie is linked to an Amish boy named Elijah but as Katie said, he's too rigid and uncompromising it's hard to like him. Then there's the Outsider Alex who is the total opposite of Elijah, he's older, worldly, learned in a lot of ways. He shares things that Katie won't probably experience due to the world's current circumstances. He talks to her about different forms of worship and religion Katie is both dumbfounded by how blasphemous it is and also curious because it's all so new to her. But even with these two male characters in the mix, the romance was kept in the DL. 
-crime, hatred, war. In my peaceful life, I had never known any of these things.
THE HALLOWED ONES is such an enticing read. I'm not well versed in The Amish way of life so I can't say if Lbickle's portrayal of them is authentic or not. She wrote it so well for a while there I almost want to be Amish. I want to trade with Katie and spend a reverse version of Rumspringa in her neck of the woods. To be so ignorant of the evils in the world sounds divine and to be content with being Plain is something a lot of us can probably benefit benefit from. Not only that, LBickle was very clever in presenting the religious rigidity of Katie's community. She presented it in a matter-of-fact way and was far from being preachy. LBickle did a wonderful job in contrasting the simplistic and plainness of The Amish against the worldliness of the Outside. No question THE HALLOWED ONES is one of the best and most far-out YA-Fantasy I've read.  










18 comments:

  1. It warms my heart that you loved this! It's one of my favorite vampire books. I loved reading about the amish way of life and it was just so refreshing to have evil vampires again.

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    1. And how gory was it? I was pleasantly surprised by how bloody it was considering it's YA!

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  2. I grabbed this at the Amazon sale price, too, and can't wait to start it. Vamps are my favorite paranormal creature, and to see them in a YA book about the Amish? I can't resist that premise. So glad you enjoyed it, Braine!

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    1. Isn't it so interesting? I'm sure you'll enjoy this one, Lee

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  3. She does sound like a great heroine, and the far out there intrigues me

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  4. I've heard nothing but praise for this series. And ohmygosh, the premise creeps me out! I've read one Amish book, a romance, and loved being immersed in that lifestyle, though I can't imagine actually living it.
    Great review, Braine!

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    1. Haha! Too Plain? I want to try it for a day, see if I can survive.

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  5. I loved this and am so glad you did too..i am reading The Outside now and squee....its creepy good!

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    1. Ooh that's good to know! I'll gossip with you soon, need to know what happens to Katie.

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  6. Yay!! So glad you liked this one. I think this is a fantastic paranormal YA and it was one of my favorite reads.

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  7. Hmmm... I've never read an Amish novel. This sounds great! I try to venture out of my comfort zone as well. :)

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    1. You should give this a try on your next venture.

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  8. I'm glad you liked it, loved it as well and I really want to read book 2!

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  9. Vampires and Amish, I'm intrigued. Great review <3

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  10. Goodness, Braine! This book sounds awesome! I've never read an Amish book either but I really like the sound of The Hallowed Ones...creepy and thrilling! I might have to give this one a shot.

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