Review: The Hallowed Ones
Title: The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Format: Library book
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.—via Goodreads
So here’s the deal: I love bonnet books.
But more than liking the fictional, romanticized books, I find the Amish fascinating and I could probably write an entire post on my many, many thoughts and feelings on the Amish and how they’re portrayed in current media. (i.e, I think Breaking Amish is bullshit.)
My friend Michelle told me about The Hallowed Ones, a book that somehow flew under my radar, not so long ago while we were drinking very cheap margaritas during Happy Hour. Our conversation went like this:
M: Have you read The Hallowed Ones?
B: Nope. What is it?
M: Oh! It’s about Amish people and vampires.
B: I MUST READ THIS IMMEDIATELY.
I am SO glad that Michelle told me about this book because you guys—HOLY. BAZOO.
What I like about this book though, is that it isn’t really a bonnet book. Clearly, it’s about the Amish, but it’s not an angsty, saccharine romance.
It’s about a mothereffing vampire apocalypse.
These vampires don’t espouse Gothic romance. They don’t sparkle or brood or gain souls that they just end up losing and then regaining. They are bad news and they want to eat you and that is all.
It’s fantastic. And legitimately scary.
But there is a reason why this book is set in an Amish community, and one of the most clever parts of this book is the discussion of religion, salvation, and faith that the vampire apocalypse brings with it. Normally those are the types of topics I like to avoid in life because they get so messy and feelings get hurt, but the way Bickle handles the topic and material is really smart and quite impressive.
And y’all, I’m not joking when I tell you that I LOVED this book. Loved it. Read it twice in a row I liked it so much.
So, overall: Yay Amish setting! Yay scary vampires!
Yay yay yay!
Also, why isn’t it September 3rd yet?