This review was originally published on my other blog, Book on a Wire. I have permission from the author to post the review here as well.
Genre: Science fiction/apocalyptic
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia
If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?
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 Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?
I have to admit that I’m not a fan of vampires. I’m rather tired of them, since they’re everywhere in the book world. Sometimes it seems like authors throw in a vampire or two just because.
But The Hallowed Ones is not your typical vampire novel. And that’s why I loved it.
For starters, the book is set in Amish country. Now, I don’t know about you, but if there’s a group of people I’d rather be with after the world ends, it’s probably the Amish. Think about it: they already know how to survive without technology and all those other pesky things that will go the way of the dinosaur in post-apocalyptic Earth. The Amish know how to survive with the tools they have. So from that perspective alone, I was fascinated. After all, what would post-apocalyptic life be like for the Amish?
I know nothing about the Amish, so I can’t speak for the accuracy of Amish culture in the book. However, from what I read, it seems like Ms. Bickle did a lot of research (or she’s Amish, heh).
What I really liked about the book was that the vampires were vampires. As in, they were scary. They were monster-like. In other words, they were depicted the way vampires should be depicted (and had been depicted in the past). These vampires were scary monsters that would give my kids nightmares. They were not possible romantic partners and love interests.
All I have to say about that is, “HALLELUJAH!”
Keep in mind, of course, that this is an Amish book. It’s set in Amish country, and the heroine is an Amish teenager. Therefore, there will be religious elements in the book; after all, religion is a big part of Amish culture. If you don’t like religious elements and/or prefer that religion stay out of your reading material, it’s probably better if you don’t read this book.
However, that being said, I quite liked The Hallowed Ones. (It helps that the hero — ie. the non-vampire love interest — is a Canadian . If you don’t know, yes, I am Canadian. Hehe.) The book was an interesting look at Amish life, and it had a great apocalyptic world. At the same time.
Also, it had vampires-as-monsters. That alone made it a total win.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Note: I received a free review copy of this book as part of The Hallowed Ones tour through Bewitching Book Tours.