Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

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The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

or: Amish, and Post Apocalyptic Vampires, oh my!

Goodreads  ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: 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.

This book grimly fascinated me. But I don’t know if it was for exactly the reasons that the author wanted.

This book was a typical YA book centering around “the end of the world”; it’s told by a ‘plain’, but apparently beautiful main character who is so distracted by potential suitors, the potential of creating a truly meaningful discussion on societies failings are lost.

For some reason, YA is really frustrating me for this reason right now.

I read this book quite a few months ago but have really struggled to put my feelings for this book into words. See that’s the thing about this book; it had me both gripped but also kind of disappointing.

Australia doesn’t have Amish communities; we do occasionally get a religious secluded settlement but it’s not an organised religion, just usually a cult off-spring. The Amish and their ways have always fascinated me, and it was definitely the promise of learning a bit more about the culture that drew me to the book.

And Bickle does deliver on that; she works very hard to set the scene of an Amish community. It does seem a bit forced sometimes, but on the whole, I am satisfied by what she put forward on the community in this book. I wish I knew how accurate her information was, but Bickle never commented in Authors Notes or Acknowledgements her sources for this book.

I was also initially curious about the vampires, especially on how the Amish community would deal with them. I quickly lost interest in the vampire plot point about half way through. Bickle was so earnest in trying to get her audience to believe there was a vampire doomsday, she went over the top and the whole thing became too contrived. She should have left the mystery there and just left them unknown; the story would of had more gravity and would have been so much better.

The love story bored me. Too cliche, too obvious. Didn’t add anything to the story. In fact, the story would have been 10 times better without it. I wish that the outsider had just stayed her friend and that would have been the end. The Amish boy who made up the other side of the love triangle was awful and I had zero sympathy for him. He was an asshole and so uninspiring I don’t even remember his name.

There are apparently other books in this series. I will not be, however, wasting my time or money on them.

I don’t know how well this review captures my feelings on this book. As I said, I really don’t know how I feel about this book other than that a lot of it annoyed me. I never ended up giving this book a stared rating on Goodreads and for a good reason. Now? I think I would give it a 2.5 stars.

Guess I’m not in Kansas anymore Katie

Read: English Paperback Version 

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