Thursday, September 20, 2012
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?
In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.
Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Who would have thought that anything Plain folk could get this exciting? Because get this, it’s vampires in Amish country! And, these blood suckers? They’re the bloodthirsty, daylight-scared, and the vicious sort. All of that’s made more fascinating given the twinning of all that WITH she knew. Except even before that things already were complicated, by connections to the people she knew and those she didn’t.
This is a first for me, reading about Plain folk. I know what most other people know, (and may be even less,) that they live very basically. The closest thing we’ve got to such a bare to the bones religious way of life is… hmm, I don’t think we have one of those. So, me reading this was an education, Banns and Rumspringa and God willing things to be all things that made this even more an interesting read (because half the time I was wondering how they were doing it.)But, Holy Moses!
Katie read almost too perfect. You know, just the right mix of good and not so good? On one hand, she is good daughter and dutiful young woman. Then on the other there’s that younger side to her that longs for things that are different. The innocent side of her is what we start with, the one who thinks there’s all the time in the world; her thoughts as such went from cute to just plain beyond me. (Coca-Cola?!) But it’s the rebellious aspect of her that’s time and again alluded to that we see grow because initially there’s a lot of nodding along and following.
Then enter the Outsider. Thing shake up and then ass holes start showing their true colors (even I wish that weren’t the case, especially with regard to Elijah.) But to Alex, at first, I found him explaining things feeling stilted; a bit unbelievable because I wondered at the necessity of having certain aspects explained at all. BUT, I kind of bought it after awhile. This outsider churning out bits of wisdom eventually felt less stilted and started making more sense in context~ because she knew what she knew and didn’t know what she didn’t.
Perhaps most surprising were all those questions of faith, specifically her questions of faith because we start this story with a girl who certain about how things go but when all those carefully laid out plans of hers fall through and when certain people act counter to what she’s familiar with… everything, just everything get’s mixed up. And, so there I was all excited about how messed up things were. Not at all helped with people choosing to live with their heads buried in the sand, thinking that that which others didn’t know, wouldn’t hurt them… all the while being so far from being right.
Thank you Net Galley!
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