The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed OnesKatie 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. (From Amazon.ca)

You know what got me to read this? Amish. Then the word ‘dystopian’ showed up somewhere in the same paragraph. Yep. Instantly got me into the book.

So it starts off well. Katie is your typical heroine of the book. Strong willed but obedient when necessary, but knows when to say something when things don’t look right. I liked how what was ‘Outside’ was a total mystery until at least midway into the book. Even when you encounter them the first time with Katie, you’re still not quite sure what they are.

Then the tidbits of information come out (sort of like the breadcrumb approach) and once you find out what is Outside, ‘inside’ just seems a whole lot safer now. The horror aspect of this novel was very well written and well done. Sometimes, what you don’t know is a lot more scarier. You do find out what they are, and it’s still just as scary. Just the way they were portrayed and written does actually raise a hair or two at the back of your neck.

Throughout the other half of the novel there’s more horror and a bit of romance in the mix. (What would a YA be without a potential love triangle). Watching Katie make her own choices showed a lot of her development as a character – plus you also saw some other characters develop (and then go down the downward spiral) (coughElijahcough). The romance part of it was okay. A little cliche towards the end but tolerable.

The ending was good. Wasn’t really a cliffhanger but it’s good enough to keep you interested for the next one. I can’t wait to see what happens. I definitely recommend this to YA readers.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

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