You guys. I had DOUBTS about The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle. Amish people and vampires? *snort* Sounds like a half-baked plot for a cheesy porno. But…I wasn’t even that far into the story before hopping onto gchat to talk to April (who was also reading it). We were both like “Whoa! This doesn’t suck after all!” I know that sounds like faint praise, but it isn’t. Because guys? This book was good.
So, when The Hallowed Ones begins, we meet Katie. She is looking forward to her upcoming Rumspringa, a chance to experience the “English” life before deciding whether or not to commit to being Amish and marrying childhood pal Elijah. Before this has a chance to occur, some pretty bad stuff goes down in the real world. It doesn’t take long to also make a huge impact on Katie’s Amish community. When she disobeys her Elders to do what she thinks is right by saving an outsider? Hello hot mess. (And hello eventual sexytimes.)
Katie is such an awesome character, I could fangirl about her all day. Instead of the Amish thing being thrown into the novel just to give her something to rebel against, or as a tool to allow her to come off as brainwashed, it just gave her something to question as she tries to decide who she really wants to be. She wants to be respectful of the beliefs she was raised to honor, but she also has a personal code of honor she can’t quite make herself turn against.
If you’re worried about the book pushing religious propaganda or being too preachy – don’t be. There is no “CONVERT THEE TO AMISH, OR PERISH IN A HOLY FIRE!” talk. There is spiritual reflection and details about the Amish life – but it all fits in nicely with the story, and it never becomes too much. Pinkie swear.
As for the vampires? Whoa mama, y’all. Laura Bickle ain’t messin’ around. We are talking pee-your-pants-in-fear-straight-up-Stephen-King-style vampires. No sparkling or sexaholic prototypes need apply. So, if you’re hesitating to pick up The Hallowed Ones because you are sick and tired of the regular vampire novel? Don’t be.
Basically, The Hallowed Ones impressed the hell out of me (ha, pun intended). Flawlessly weaving Amish culture and the horror of old-school vampire lore together, Laura Bickle has written a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
To Sum It Up:
- If you’re worried that the whole Amish + vampires premise sounds too hokey, don’t be! It is very well crafted, and you will be impressed.
- The characterization is also a home run. Katie is such a fantastic MC!
- This book has vampires that are actually frightening. Imagine that, y’all. Just in time for Halloween.