Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Laura Bickle
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A peaceful, isolated Amish settlement is in danger after a mysterious contagion wreaks havoc in nearby towns, turning those infected into bloodthirsty vampires. In order to protect themselves, the Elders decree that no one enters or leaves the community. Katie, a spirited Amish teen, finds an injured young man named Alex outside the fence and hides the Outsider in her family’s barn. Unknowingly, someone lets vampires breach the fence and the monsters start a killing spree. Katie seeks the help of Alex and the town’s Hexenmeister to destroy the vampires. Eventually, the Elders discover the Outsider and banish Katie and Alex from the community, even though the world is still in chaos. There is uncertainty in her future, but Katie is hopeful as she leaves her family and all she has ever known behind.
The Hallowed Ones is an intense coming of age novel that is full of contrasts: light vs. dark, good vs. evil, spiritual vs. worldly, righteous vs. wicked, old vs. young, and peace vs. chaos. All of these contrasts make it challenging for Katie to decide where she stands and what she really believes. As if growing up isn’t difficult enough, Katie also has to survive a vampire apocalypse at the same time. Some blood is expected with vampire novels, but this book is drenched in blood and gore which might be too graphic for some readers. Also, there are some explicit sex scenes that don’t add value to the plot and should have been avoided. All in all, The Hallowed Ones is not an outstanding novel, but it could be of some interest to readers who enjoy vampires and apocalyptic plots.
*Contains severe violence, moderate language, and severe sexual content.